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The Secret Vanguard  (Sir John Appleby, #5)
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The Secret Vanguard (Sir John Appleby #5)

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Successful minor poet, Philip Ploss, lives a peaceful existence in ideal surroundings, until his life is upset when he hears verses erroneously quoted as his own. Soon afterward, he is found dead in the library with a copy of Dante's Purgatory open before him.
Published April 16th 2001 by House of Stratus (first published 1940)
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Edward Lengel
Self-consciously literate, but ultimately rather silly WWII suspense/propaganda novel. After a slow start, the action becomes breakneck, but never believable. The main characters fear nothing, exude insufferable British pluck, and quote obscure literature even as they dodge enemy bullets (and the German spies are all halfwits).
OK but not his best. Reminds me of Agatha Christie's spy novels which range from acceptable (N or M?) to dire. I suppose before John Le Carré, people had no idea what spies actually did.
To say I found this book confusing would be a massive understatement!
This book has a very complicated plot crammed into a very little space - confusing to say the least. Perhaps it's just that I'm not impressed with WWII propaganda novels.
I had pretty much no idea what was going on for most of this novel. Despite enjoying the style of Innes' writing and his characters, I felt it was too short for the complex plot it tried to contain.
Linda Chrisman
The chase through Oxford University's Bodlien University is worth the price of admission. Why, oh why aren't his book better known? A witty intelligent writer.
Michael Innes is always a great bet!
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Michael Innes was the pseudonym of John Innes MacKintosh (J.I.M.) Stewart (J.I.M. Stewart).

He was born in Edinburgh, and educated at Edinburgh Academy and Oriel College, Oxford. He was Lecturer in English at the University of Leeds from 1930-1935, and spent the succeeding ten years as Jury Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

He returned to the United Kingdom in 19
More about Michael Innes...

Other Books in the Series

Sir John Appleby (1 - 10 of 36 books)
  • Death at the President's Lodging (Sir John Appleby, #1)
  • Hamlet, Revenge! (Sir John Appleby, #2)
  • Lament For A Maker (Sir John Appleby, #3)
  • Stop Press  (Sir John Appleby, #4)
  • There Came Both Mist And Snow  (Sir John Appleby, #6)
  • Appleby On Ararat  (Sir John Appleby, #7)
  • The Daffodil Affair  (Sir John Appleby, #8)
  • The Weight Of The Evidence  (Sir John Appleby, #9)
  • Appleby's End  (Sir John Appleby, #10)
  • A Night Of Errors  (Sir John Appleby, #11)
Death at the President's Lodging (Sir John Appleby, #1) Hamlet, Revenge! (Sir John Appleby, #2) Appleby's End  (Sir John Appleby, #10) Lament For A Maker (Sir John Appleby, #3) The Daffodil Affair  (Sir John Appleby, #8)

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