ALISTER WOODHEAD

 
Full Name: Alister Woodhead
Nationality: British
Organization: Ministry of Scientific Research
Occupation Agent

Creator: Eileen Helen Clements
Time Span: 1939 - 1963
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Alister Woodhead is an agent for the Ministry of Scientific Research.
       In that role he is responsible for helping make sure the secret work done by the various high security laboratories remain secret, a job normally of a preventative than reactionary nature. For Woodhead, though it is often the latter as he is the one called with the door is found left open, not the one seeing the door is normally closed.
       Prior to the series, Woodhead had, apparently, a very interesting and well traveled youth having lived for a time in Manchuria and other exotic areas of the Far East. Then came university and a degree and love.
       When the series begins, Woodhead was a newlywed, just married to the young and lovely Elizabeth and building their home in Surrey. The War intrudes and Woodhead is called for duty. His experience and his training sees him assigned to a highly secret detachment responsible for fighting the enemies who made it to England. Numerous adventures occur during this service, only two of which are recorded, resulting in Woodhead reaching the rank of Squadron-Leader with more than his share of medals and commendations.
       After the war, able to return to his home again, Woodhead has to look for gainful employment now that his service is over. He chooses the Ministry where he is promised a quiet time devoid of the action and danger he had seen in the War. He gets the job but doesn't get the quiet.
       As time goes along, Woodhead and his family age naturally and in an entertainly manner. Most importantly to this aging process is the way that Woodhead becomes a fair degree of a curmudgeon, annoyed with any job that takes him out of the country and not too happy with any that keep him in the country. He has a fair number of mannerisms which make him entertaining, not the least of which is his basic desire to not have much to do with other people. He isn't anti-social so much as just not that friendly. Deliciously so.

BOOKS

Number of Books:13
First Appearance:1939
Last Appearance:1963

1 Let Him Die Let Him Die
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1939

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2 Cherry Harvest Cherry Harvest
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1944

An amusing tale of mystery concerning a strange assortment of people heading to a country estate where they will be living during the duration of WWII but they have a lot of adjusting to do with each other and then there is the matter of the dead body.

3 Berry Green Berry Green
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1945

The pastoral village of Berry Green is abuzz with excitement over the visit by a famour actor who says he is doing research but might actually be a German spy looking for a lost bomb. Alister Woodhead is sent to investigate.

4 Weathercock Weathercock
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1949

During the War, the Woodheads allowed their dream house to be used by refugees as they traveled on assignment. Now with the War over, they find, among many other things, a library book with interesting sketches inside. Alister Woodhead uses this as an entry into the Ministry.

5 The Other Island The Other Island
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1955

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6 Discord In The Air Discord In The Air
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1955

The residents of the small English village did not take well to the aircraft engine testing facility newly placed in their region nor the man responsible for its arrival. When he turns up dead, however, it falls to Alister Woodhead to calm things down while getting to the truth.

7 Chair Lift Chair Lift
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1955

The disappearance of her husband, an employee of the Ministry of Scientific Research, while in Switzerland has his wife concerned and she insists someone investigate. That person is Alister Woodhead who hates the boring assignment not least because he really dislikes Switzerland.

8 Back In Daylight Back In Daylight
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1957

Looking forward to a vacation with his family in Brittany, Alister Woodhead's reputation for solving mysteries works against him as a damsel in distress' tale soon puts the family in the middle of trouble.

9 Uncommon Cold Uncommon Cold
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1958

The moorish hinterland is not the place Alister Woodhead is happy being sent and watching a young Soviet diplomat who might defect is not the job he was happy with. The results are not to his taste either.

10 High Tension High Tension
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1959

Standing in for a famous movie star during the filming of an action scene on a mountaintop makes Alister Woodhead the target of a murder attempt. The question of target is interesting. It is the actor or Woodhead?

11 Honey For The Marshal Honey For The Marshal
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1960

Just back from one assignment, Alister Woodhead is grumpy to be sent to play host to a communist VIP for the weekend. The location was poorly picked, though, as it presents all sorts of opportunities for bad things to happen.

12 A Note Of Enchantment A Note Of Enchantment
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1961

A young woman who once did clerical work for Alister Woodhead drowns while on her honeymoon and her family believe it was related to her work. Woodhead must prove it wasn't but evidence is misleading.

13 Let Or Hindrance Let Or Hindrance
Written by Eileen Helen Clements
Copyright: 1963

When a major player in the British Air Ministry disappeared on the Continent, Alister Woodhead is sent to bring him back. After finding him and getting as far as Calais, they are stopped by a storm and must wait, giving those after them a chance to catch up.

MY COMMENTS

       Ms. Clements gave us 13 delightful, incredibly interesting and entertaining adventures of Alister Woodhead. She does not have scantily clad women, bombs bursting everywhere, bullets flying constantly, super-spies or crazed evil scientists. She does have good stories about good mysteries with an espionage twist.
       It is fascinating that even as Bond was becoming the blueprint for the action spy, Woodhead stayed the course for a normal, rather dull agent just doing his job and keeping the country safe. The differences are massive.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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