‘THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS’ by John Buchan

Fine japes, what? Bally Jerry picking a bunfight, Yankee spook rumbles the game and tells our man. Seppo ends up tits-up pearside with a dagger in his gusset; framed!
Chap ends up jollying orf to Jockland chased by the rozzers.
Mmeeeooooowww! What?! That’s not the RAF!
Bally Jerries again!
Escape!
Gent pops orf home for tea and medals, finds the Sausage-eaters playing at being chaps, but you can’t be a chap if you’re a Hun can you? No you can’t! Poo-poo that notion, chum.
Spring the Jerries inflagrante for king and country, HOORAH!
World War One breaks out anyway.

The pre WWI spy thriller that started all spy thrillers, written by a chap who ended up being the Governor-General of Canada. A good short read even if only from a literary history point of view.
8 out of 10.

Jonathan Corfe

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