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The Secret Vanguard | [Michael Innes]

The Secret Vanguard

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 afterwards, he is found dead in the library with a copy of Dante's Purgatory open before him.
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Publisher's Summary

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 afterwards, he is found dead in the library with a copy of Dante's Purgatory open before him.

©2012 Michael Innes (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What Members Say

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4.0 (11 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nancy J Tornado Alley OK 05-10-14
    Nancy J Tornado Alley OK 05-10-14 Member Since 2011

    Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    496
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    207
    110
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    168
    16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good World War II Espionage Tale"

    In "The Secret Vanguard," the 5th book in the Appleby series, Michael Innes starts the plot with a dead poet, then takes us on a wild ride around the English countryside as it was in 1940. Characters are kidnapped by strange foreigners, escapes are engineered, then escapees have to play desperate games of evasion, only to be caught again. As the story goes along, you are told that these bad guys are German agents, and if you stay alert, you will be told how all of this is tied to the murdered poet. The story is great fun, and reminds me a bit of "The Thirty-nine Steps" by John Buchan, which dealt with World War I spies in England.

    I enjoy Innes's literate writing, his plots and his characters, especially Inspector Appleby, who is ordered by the Government to join in the chase after the Germans. Matt Addis delivers his usual excellent narration in this story, performing in both educated and regional working class accents in a polished and effective manner.

    An excellent way to spend a day or two (or a long drive) listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Olson Washington, NC 07-07-13
    K. Olson Washington, NC 07-07-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    4
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    Story
    "Great spy tale"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Vanguard?

    Just like The 39 Steps, this tale takes average people and throws them into a nest of German spys. What fun! I love Innes' Appleby books - you never know what you're going to get - murdering academics, the classic manor mystery, or a spy thriller. They are so much of their time and yet timeless. Not to everyone's taste, but certainly to mine.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • D. S. Thalenberg
    England
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A period piece, and excellent"

    I have to say, first of all, that Michael Innes has always been one of my favourite mystery writers. Dorothy Sayers, Innes, Crispin and a few others, and I'm not so fond of Agatha Christie.

    There's a strong and intelligent heroine, a not-quite-stereotypical American and an intense spy story. The mystery isn't too mysterious, but once you're caught up in it, you don't really care.

    The reading is good, too, with the characters well-deliniated and the tension maintained. I recommend this highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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