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


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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