Woodsmoke by Francis Brett Young (1924)

Woodsmoke, Young’s tenth novel, is set in East Africa, where he served during the First World War. The prologue and epilogue are set then while the main story takes place a few years earlier. In the prologue an unnamed narrator meets Captain Antrim. Near their camp two skeletons are found in an old game pit, … Continue reading

The African Queen (1935), by C S Forester

The African Queen is a ripping yarn (one reason, by the way, for the success of the 1951 film).  Two ill-suited people struggle against incredible odds on an impossible quest, striking a blow for the right against imperial might.  But I think The African Queen, by C S Forester (1899-1966), is much more than a … Continue reading

Sanders of the River (1911) by Edgar Wallace

Book review by George Simmers. This book is made up of fourteen short stories, originally published in the penny magazine, The Weekly Tale-Teller. Wallace began as a journalist (including a stint as war correspondent in the Boer War) and had recently been to the Congo to report on the atrocities committed by the Belgians there. … Continue reading

Turning Wheels (1937) by Stuart Cloete

Book Review by Sylvia D. Between 1835 and the early 1840s some twelve to fourteen thousand Boers (Dutch/Afrikaans for “farmers”) who were descended from settlers who had come from western Europe (mainly from the Netherlands and north-west Germany and Huguenots from France) to settle in Cape Colony, migrated eastward and north-eastward – the Great Trek. … Continue reading

Green for Danger (1945) by Christianna Brand

Seven letters.  Old Mr Moon and young Dr Barnes, and Gervase Eden, surgeon, of Harley Street; Sister Marion Bates; Jane Woods and Esther Sanson and Frederica Linley, V.A.D.s.  Higgins shuffled the envelopes together impatiently, and wrapped them round with a piece of grubby tape and thrust them into his pocket, plodding on, wheeling his bicycle … Continue reading

Sister Anne Resigns (1931) by Josephine Elder

Book review by George Simmers: Josephine Elder is a pseudonym of Dr Olive Potter (1895 – 1988), one of the first female doctors to be trained at the London Hospital in Whitechapel. When she became a G.P. In Surrey, patients were slow in coming, so she started writing school stories for girls under the pseudonym … Continue reading

Uninvited Guests by Parr Cooper (1946)

This interesting novel is set around 1943/44 in a small settlement in rural India, which is dominated by an Army training camp. The soldiers, commanded by Colonel Davis, are awaiting orders to go overseas to fight, probably  in Burma. Apart from a number of officers and their families, the main characters are Dr Taussig, a … Continue reading