taunt_john_bk_tsot taunt_john_bk_ait
Full Name: John Taunt
Nationality: British
Organization: None
Occupation Adventurer

Creator: W. H. Murray
Time Span: 1959 - 1960


John Taunt is an adventurer.

By that I mean that he loves adventure and doing things that the 'normal' person would not ordinarily do. One of his major loves is sailing which lots of people enjoy regularly but he loves to do it in rough seas by himself, something that is still popular I am sure but with a whole lot less participants. And he loves climbing mountains. Suddenly the number of people like him - braving the uncaring waves or the unforgiving heights - drops to a very low number.

Normally (an adverb strangely out of place when talking about Taunt's "hobbies") neither of these activities would qualify anyone for membership in this compendium. Such is not the case for Taunt because his love of and knowledge in mountaineering will take him to places where the mountains will provide a backdrop for major intrigue.

In the first recorded adventure, it is to the majestic Himalayas that Taunt will be drawn, especially in Chinese-controlled Tibet where a white man is, in the late 1950s, very much a suspect just for being there.

In the second escapade, Taunt will find himself pulled into the less severe though still quite dangerous Troodos Mountains on Cyprus, a land 'controlled' by one man but fought for by several others, each with the backing of either Britain or Greece or Turkey, with interests reaching into the Levant to the East.

Joining Taunt on his adventures, in fact bringing the first one to him, is the interesting and almost as thrill-seeking as Taunt, Maureen. She will start out a woman with a problem to help with and turn into someone to help with any problem.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1959
Last Appearance:1960

1 Appointment In Tibet Appointment In Tibet
aka Five Frontiers
Written by W. H. Murray
Copyright: 1959

The young woman came to John Taunt asking for help finding her fiancé who vanished in the frontier of Tibet. She also brought with her evidence of a plan by the Soviet Union to control the planet. It would put Taunt on an adventure taking him to the Hebrides, the Pyrenees, and then the Himalayas.

2 The Spurs Of Troodos The Spurs Of Troodos
Written by W. H. Murray
Copyright: 1960

The man known as Savock was thought dead but evidence point to the contrary and it sends John Taunt and his new wife, Maureen, on another adventure to stop the man's plan for Western destruction. That will take them from Scotland to Paris and then Rome and finally to the rugged mountains of the Troodos on the island of Cyprus.


I was drawn to this short series by two things.

The first was a fascination with mountain climbing spy stories having adored The Eiger Sanction (book and movie) - note that I do not use the word love here because I have no love of heights, ever.

The second is because a dozen years after the second book came out, I was stationed in Cyprus and had visited the Troodos Mountains where the exciting parts of the book took place. Unfortunately, by the time I read it, most of my memory had faded to the point where it didn't matter. Oh, well!

These are mountain climbing stories with spy stuff put into them, not the other way around. They are still pretty good tales, especially if you like travel and mountaineering.


My Grade: B


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