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5.0 out of 5 stars A Toast to Manning Coles, and to Rue Morgue Press, September 3, 2011
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This review is from: A Toast to Tomorrow (Rue Morgue Vintage Mysteries) (Paperback)
A Toast To Tomorrow is a splendid book, filled with courage, gallantry, patriotism, suspense, action, splendid characters, and touches of humor. I first read it nearly 50 years ago, when the book was older than I was then, and I have loved it, and the series it began, ever since.

This is the first of the thrillers about Tommy Hambledon of British Military Intellegence, written by "Manning Coles". Adelaide Manning and Cyril Coles wrote these based on Coles's experiences in the intelligence service during WWI and after. This particular edition claims to have been written in 1914. No. It is set during WWI, which began in 1914. It was published and copyrighted in 1940, at the beginning of WWII, and the events told in the book must have been deeply resonant with British readers as they faced a horrific war ... again.

The entire series is splendid, with the exception of the very last one or two, published in the early 1960's, which were written by a ghost writer after Adelaide Manning died. That one completely misses the spirit of the characters and the writing, and tries to turn Tommy Hambledon into some sort of James Bond/Simon Templar character. Does. Not. Work.

I devoutly wish that these were available on Kindle -- they are not. They are virtually the only books that I will read in book format (cookbooks are the other exception), because I love them that much. I wish I could enlarge the print for my aging eyes, and not have to clutch the books in my now-arthritic hands, but such is life. It's bad enough that I am considering trying to scan and format these for my own private use.

Tom Schantz and Rue Morgue Press are re-issuing these, and doing a great job of it. Go and buy them now. Very good paper, clean copy, no fiddley little copy errors that I have noticed. Small type. Can't have everything. Just having them back in print is wonderful, because my ancient paperbacks have yellowed paper and failing bindings, and these will last for many years more. Try them. Buy them. You will not be sorry.
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