Those Who Remain by Eileen Tremayne (1942)

Shuttling between London and the secluded village of ‘Eldbury’ in the early part of the Second World War, this novel concerns the plight of a single family as they retreat to the relative safety of the countryside, while outside events develop and gradually begin to impinge on their lives. References to the previous war, together … Continue reading

The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle (1942)

This novel was initially published as Uneasy Freehold. In 1944 it was made into a film titled The Uninvited and starring Ray Milland. At the beginning of the novel Roddy Fitzgerald and his sister, Pamela, tired of London life, are driving through Devon looking for a house to buy. They come upon Cliff End by … Continue reading

To All the Living by Monica Felton (1945)

This novel gives an account of the experience of a group of men and women working in a munitions factory (‘Blimpton’, near the town of Dustborough) during the Second World War. Felton supplies a detailed, not to say exhaustive picture of the innumerable challenges involved in managing such a site, intermingled with the inevitable and … Continue reading

The Cleft Stick (1937) by Walter Greenwood

Review by Sylvia D: The Cleft Stick is a collection of 15 short stories. Although the book wasn’t published until 1937, all but two of the stories were written between 1928 and 1931. As Greenwood says in the Preface, they ‘were the products of the ‘prentice hand’ – (p9). They are all set in the … Continue reading

Only Mugs Work (1938) by Walter Greenwood

Book Review by George S: Only Mugs Work is subtitled ‘A Soho Melodrama’, so Walter Greenwood is a long way from the Salford of Love on the Dole. The novel starts promisingly with a bustling description of Soho, centre of the theatre and film worlds by day, and by night something more sinister:

Death Goes on Skis by Nancy Spain (1949)

The writer, journalist and broadcaster, Nancy Spain, published several comic detective stories between 1945 and 1952, of which this is the fourth. It features her two recurring, (extremely) amateur detectives, Natasha Nevkorina, a Russian ex-ballet dancer, and Miriam Birdseye, a revue artist soon to star in a show called Absolutely the End.  Natasha is lovely … Continue reading