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TOMMY HAMBLEDON

english_suspense_195901 english_suspense_195812 english_suspense_195811 suspense_uk_196007 suspense_uk_195904 suspense_uk_196005 suspense_uk_196006 suspense_uk_196004 suspense_uk_195907 Hambledon_Tommy24 english_suspense_195902 ellery_queens_mystery_194605
 
Full Name: Tommy Hambledon
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Manning Coles
Time Span: 1940 - 1961

ABOUT THE SERIES

Tommy Hambledon is an agent for British Intelligence.

The history behind the Hambledon series is as interesting as the series itself, and that is saying something. Around 1936, a former British Army Intelligence officer, named Cyril Henry Coles, was chatting with his neighbor, Adelaide Francis Manning and began to reminisce about some of his adventures during the First World War. Manning, being an author, was intrigued and wanted to know more. Soon the idea presented itself that they combine his experience, her writing skills, and both their imaginations to create an Intelligence agent. Initially he bore considerable resemblance to Coles but as they quickly updated the storyline and brought him into current events.

Tommy Hambledon starts out as a teacher of languages in a prestigious boys' school in England. He also works part-time for British Intelligence due to his knowledge of foreign languages and his expertise in German affairs. When the hostilities of World War I commence, Hambledon takes a leave of absence to join with several others to help fight the Kaiser. Near the end of the war, he died tragically by drowning in the ocean.

Nearly twenty years later, as Nazi Germany was starting on its frightening road to trouble, Hambledon resurfaces, the victim of an elongated period of amnesia. Incredibly, he had attained the post of Chief of the Nazi Police. Remembering who he really is, he asks his own bosses if he might be of help.

Hambledon is very much a man in the Buchanesque mode, a thinking man of action with the breeding necessary to take High Tea before putting the butter knife between your ribs.

BOOKS

Number of Books:26
First Appearance:1940
Last Appearance:1961

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:12
First Appearance:1946
Last Appearance:1960

1 Handcuffs Don't Hold Ghosts Handcuffs Don't Hold Ghosts
novella
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1946

Published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine May 1946 - Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

2 Buyer Collects Buyer Collects
short story
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1958

Published in Suspense (UK) Nov 1958 - Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

3 Handle With Care Handle With Care
short story
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1958

Published in Suspense (UK) Dec 1958
[plot unknown]

4 Johnny the Dip Johnny the Dip
short story - aka The Dip
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1959

Published in Suspense (UK) Jan 1959 - Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

5 Two's Company Two's Company
short story
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1959

Published in Suspense (UK) Feb 1959
[plot unknown]

6 The Case of the Six Indignant Footmen The Case of the Six Indignant Footmen
short story
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1959

Published in Suspense (UK) Apr 1959 - Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

7 Here Lies - Here Lies -
short story
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1959

Published in Suspense (UK) Jul 1959 - Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

8 Holiday Romantic Holiday Romantic
short story
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1959

Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

9 It Pays To Be Honest It Pays To Be Honest
short story
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1960

Published in Suspense (UK) Apr 1960 - Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

10 Nothing To Declare Nothing To Declare
short story - possibly aka All That Glitters
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1960

Possibly published in Suspense (UK) May 1960 - Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

11 Out Of Luck Out Of Luck
short story
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1960

Published in Suspense (UK) Jun 1960 - Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

12 Angel On My Foot Angel On My Foot
short story
Written by Manning Coles
Copyright: 1960

Published in Suspense (UK) Jul 1960 - Collected in Nothing To Declare
[plot unknown]

MY COMMENTS

Tommy Hambledon is definitely his own man. That being said, he also represents an interesting bridge between the fictional agents of the pre-WWII era, like those written by Buchan and Ambler, and those of the post-war era, like Bond and Fedora. He can come across highly refined, almost to the verge of being foppish, and then he can pull a pistol from a coat pocket (never a shoulder holster) and dash out across the moors in pursuit of miscreants.

I really like Hambledon. There is a lot of similarity between him and the LeCarre creation, George Smiley, in that both are highly intelligent, thinking agents. Hambledon, however, is often anxious to get out amongst the perils himself while Smiley knows the wisdom of sending others. In addition, the adventures that Hambledon gets involved in are often more of a mystery than a shoot-it-out.

The writing style of Manning Coles is quick and easy to enjoy but the setting of scenes never suffer. It is 'ever-so' British but a delight to this American palette.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

Your Average Grade:   A+

YOUR OPINIONS

Hayford Peirce A+ 11/13/2014 4:44:42 PM

Still my favorite series, and one of my very most favorite heroes. Your list of titles has three errors that I can see: The correct titles are: SEARCH FOR A SULTAN; BIRDWATCHERS QUARRY; AND CONCRETE CRIME. Cheers!


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