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The Schirmer Inheritance

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  273 ratings  ·  32 reviews
It wasn’t anyone’s idea of a glamorous first assignment at a white show law firm. George Cary, former WWII bomber pilot and newly minted lawyer, was given the ignoble task of going through the tons of files on the Schneider Johnson case, just to make sure nothing had been overlooked. But, as luck would have it, George did discover something among the false claims and dead- ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published October 19th 2011 by Vintage (first published 1953)
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AC
This book is not quite as ambitious as either Passage or Deltchev - but no less masterful for that. Despite a slower beginning (for me), the book picks up and is flawless, once again, in its construction. Clearly Ambler is a man who does not write until he knows what it is he wants to say. How refreshing! and while he chooses to use the style of the political thriller, it is nothing less than the anatomy of man, that "ape in velvet", that he has firmly in his sights.
Sketchbook
The usually skillful Ambler spends 100 pages on back-story & exposition as an American legal treks post-war Europe looking for an heir to a million bucks. His aide-de-camp, born in Yugoslavia, was traumatized by invading troops and she now likes to be abused, but not by our Harvard sleuth. There's a lotta trek in this hasty pudding.
Gavin
A post war tale centered on an estate lawyer combing Europe for a lost heir to millions. A fascinating premise, but....

Zzzzzzzzzzzz...whazzuh??! No more peanut butter, mommy....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Huh?! I'm up! Sorry, must have dozed off there. Where was I? Oh yeah, the estate lawyer sitting in dimly lit rooms searching through family records and......

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

Snork! I'm awake! I lost my train of thought. Is it warm in here? Something about a lawyer and paperwork and Germans. Germans?
...more
Dfordoom
Eric Ambler’s 1953 novel The Schirmer Inheritance isn’t quite a crime novel, or at any rate certainly not a conventional one. It’s perhaps best described as a mystery thriller with a dash of international intrigue. It’s somewhat in the style of Graham Greene’s cloak-and-dagger novels. Ambler and Greene took the spy/adventure story as written by people like John Buchan and seasoned it with lots of cynicism, and a certain amount of black humour. The Schirmer Inheritance is typical of Ambler’s work ...more
Scott E
Not really spy fiction, not very thrilling or intriguing. All in all, I hope this is one of (only?) the underwhelming efforts by Ambler because I want to read more. The first 50 pages or so led me to think this was going to be very interesting. Then nothing happened...seriously, nothing was added to the story again until the final 40 pages or so, and the final 40 pages didn't serve any purpose other than to wrap up and get out of town. If you're an Ambler completest, read until George leaves for ...more
K T
good plot and character development; kept my interest all the way through
Procyon Lotor
Un'eredit controversa con un lascito agognato. Il titolo stato cambiato da "l'eredit S." al pi vasto "il caso S.", ma sempre di un eredit si tratta. Ci sono soldati, e un paio di guerre ma non solo un libro di guerra. Terroristi e partigiani e politica e spie ma non solo un libro di intrighi, pure amore ma non solo un libro romantico. E un personaggio importante pure avvocato, pur non essendo solo un legal thriller. In sintesi un Ambler. Uno che si documenta benissimo, sui complessi eventi ...more
Alan Gallauresi
Eric Ambler is the master of the unglamorous spy novel where everyday people fall into complex but comparatively bookish intrigues in a believable way. That's as opposed to, say, Graham Green winking at you from underneath a hat at the bar as he introduces characters tailored for the silver screen -- Ambler's plotting and characterization is natural, almost unremarkable. In some cases, a little too unremarkable: The Schirmer Inheritance is a fair procedural but not a memorable classic, reminisce ...more
Tom
Ambler is one of those old school spy/espionage authors that is heavy on atmosphere. In this time out, he writes about an American lawyer searching in Greece for a long lost heir to a fortune. The book opens with a brief synopsis of Schirmer's forebear, and it really gives you a taste of what was going on in 1950's post-WWII Greece. The political strife and the intense betrayals that had gone on for decades is really brought home very well. So using this as a backdrop, the American lawyer follow ...more
Ed Kohinke sr.
This is another fine Eric Ambler novel at the beginning and through most of the book. However, like most of his others that I've read up to this point, the ending is a bust. I'm going to take a break from my Ambler retrospective for a few weeks before I tackle the next one.
Peter N.
the beginning, and very end, of this fine Ambler thriller strike me as among the very best, most brilliant, things he ever conceived. What's in-between is quite good, but it would be impossible to sustain the superiority of the front and back.
Neer
A young lawyer is assigned to find a missing heir. This quest takes him to still scarred by the second world-war Europe.

More here:

http://inkquilletc.blogspot.in/2014/1...
Vanessa
I'm not sure what this was... a completely inexplicable resolution marred what had been, up to that point, an engaging exploration of post-WWII Europe. Also, Mr. Ambler's portrayal of women in this novel is deplorable.
Jemera Rone
A mystery with a young lawyer as hero (formerly a soldier in WW2) in search of a missing person who might inherit a large fortune has lots of ups and downs and a surprising ending.
Danny M
Mar 13, 2012 Danny M rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: READERS OF SPY AND MYSTERY NOVELS
ERIC AMBLER WAS THE FOREMOST WRITER OF ESPIONAGE NOVELS DURING THE FORTY'S AND FIFTY'S. HIS BOOKS DO NOT HAVE THE GADGETS OF THE NOVELS TODAY BUT ARE MORE BELIEVABLE IN CONTENT. THIS BOOK IS A VERY INTERESTING TALE THE STARTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ENDS UP IN EUROPE. THE STORY IS ABOUT AN INCIDENT THAT TAKES PLACE DURING WORLS WAR TWO AND IS INVESTIGATED IN THE SIXTY'S. THE MAIN CHARACTER IS A ATTORNEY WHO IS NOT IN THE SPY BUSINESS AND BECOMES A UNWILLING PARTICIPANT TO VERY INTERESTING MYSTE ...more
Thomas Burchfield
"
The Schirmer Inheritance (Knopf; 1953) is the second novel Eric Ambler wrote after he returned to fiction writing following his service in World War II. His previous novel, Judgment on Deltchev mirrored—brilliantly, I thought--the collapse of Ambler’s Marxist idealism and passion for politics after the scouring betrayal by Soviet collaboration with the Nazis and the subsequent Communist tyranny. Deltchev was an angry novel written by a bitten and burnt soul."

You can read the rest of my review a
...more
William S.
As a thriller, this is just about perfect. As a beach read, it IS perfect! The first half of the book is absolutely stunning. The second half is highly imaginative, with forays into the poitics of Greece and Yugoslavia diuring the Greek Civil War that I didn't know, and I served in Athens at the Embassy! Perfect for the summer. I was sorry when it ended. I lent it to a friend, a cancer patient, who told me the story was so good that it took her away from her surroundings for several weeks. I can ...more
Charles Hurt
interesting twist on espionage plot
Al
Different from other Amblers I have read, in that it takes place after WWII and the protagonist is an American. The plot (a young American lawyer is sent to Europe to search for a possible German heir to a U.S. fortune) isn't much, but much of it is set in Greece and deals with the German occupation and the post-occupation political struggles, which is very interesting. As usual, Ambler writes well and moves the story along. There were some character surprises along the way, which added to the ...more
Mary-alice Frank
If you enjoy old time espionage books, you will enjoy Eric Ambler, who is most known for Coffin for Demetrious. Ambler's ordinary characters find themselves in the middle of intense espionage activities, often at their peril. His focus is the WWII era.
The Shirmer Inheritance focuses on the role of Greece in the war its the freemdom fighters and the communists ( something that most WWII books do not focus on). Many twists.
Cloudbuster
Ambler è un classico della letteratura investigativa. I suoi romanzi sono sempre scritti con grande eleganza e precisione, senza eccedere mai nei toni e dando largo spazio all'umanità dei personaggi.
In più c'è questa sua predilezione per l'Europa balcanica di inizio secolo che mi intriga molto.
Ogni tanto mi piace ritornare ai suoi libri per respirare le atmosfere all'Orient-Express.
Nick
Αυτό το βιβλίο περίηλθε στην προσοχή μου τελείως τυχαία. Για την ακρίβεια η αδερφή μου το έπιασε τυχαία από τον πάγκο με άλλα βιβλία και το αγοράσαμε λόγω της αναφοράς του στη Φλώρινα. Είναι ένα εξαιρετικο πολιτικό θρίλερ με βαθιά γνώση των γεγονότων που περιγράφει και χαρακτήρες απόλυτα ρεαλιστικούς.... Σίγουρα θέλω να διαβάσω κι άλλα βιβλία από το συγκεκριμένο συγγραφέα...
J.
Haven't read in too long, will revisit.
Peregrina651
This is the third title I've read by Eric Ambler and it is very well done. It was written in the post-WWII period and gives an interesting glimpse into that period of time.

Also kudos to the recorded books narrator who did a very good job with the various accents and characterizations.
Linda
Schirmer, a Prussian cavalry sergeant, deserts during a battle with Napoleon's army. 140 years later, the search for an heir to a fortune is complicated by Schirmer's actions.

(Working from a list of books I read years ago.)
Fredrick Danysh
Former bomber pilot and lawyer George Carey gets an assignment from his law firm that calls for him to call on his military experience to survives he discovers information about a former Greek guerrilla fighter and Napoleon.
Mark Abukoff
I think that Eric Ambler could chronicle eating his breakfast and make it interesting. His characters are so well written that they seem real, and the books almost seem non-fiction. Very good. Not disappointed at all.
Qt
I'm sure this book deserves better than two stars, but as I recall, I just could not get into it and didn't care for the ending. Maybe it was my mood, though, as I really liked other Eric Ambler books.
Josh Hamacher
I very much enjoyed this book. This was my first exposure to Ambler and I was quite impressed. He's an excellent storyteller; it was easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and lose track of time.
Christy
George, an attorney, has to research an inheirtance to prove if there are any living heirs. He travels to Europe to do research and stumbles into a scandal.
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26006
Eric Ambler began his writing career in the early 1930s, and quickly established a reputation as a thriller writer of extraordinary depth and originality. He is often credited as the inventor of the modern political thriller and John Le Carre once described him as 'the source on which we all draw.'

Ambler began his working life at an engineering firm, then as a copywriter at an advertising agency,
...more
More about Eric Ambler...
A Coffin for Dimitrios Epitaph for a Spy Journey Into Fear Cause for Alarm The Light of Day

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