RARA-AVIS: Re: Hall, Hamilton, Smith

From: Jack Jones ( spynovelfan@yahoo.co.uk)
Date: 27 May 2002

 From: JIM DOHERTY < jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Reading list
> Eric,
> My own take on your reading list below:
> > Adam Hall - The Quiller Memorandum
> The first (and probably best) entry in my all-time
> favorite spy series, it won the Edgar for Best
> Mystery
> Novel and a French award in the same category.

I'm amazed at how many people here like this series - so few people seem to have. Elleston Trevor, the man who was Adam Hall, was extraordinarily prolific - there are 19 in the Quiller series. My favourites are the ones right after Memorandum: The Ninth Directive, The Tango Briefing and The Warsaw Document. Like the Helm series, they tended to get more blockbuster as they went along. There's a heap of information on Trevor and his career at www.quiller.net, and there's a very active discussion group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/quiller - Trevor's son has posted a few times in the last month.
> > Donald Hamilton - The Ambushers
> > The Ravagers
> If Quiller's number one in my estimation, he only
> beat
> Matt Helm by a nose. I've thoroughly enjoyed every
> Helm I've read, though the earlier, tighter,
> pre-1976
> novels are more satsfying to me than the later,
> longer
> entries that seem to be self-consciously breaking
> for
> the "Ludlum blackbuster" category.

I agree entirely with this assessment. Randy may already have plugged his Helm discussion group, but it deserves another, and I know there are a lot of Hamilton fans here. It's at:


Both these groups operate on much the same lines as this, but it can be a lot of fun to discuss one writer in detail with other fans.

> > Martin Cruz Smith - Gorky Park
> Liked it. Didn't love it. It won the British Crime
> Writers Golden Dagger bor Best Novel.

The next novel, Polar Star, is my favourite of the series: Renko on a trawler in the Bering Straits. Smith has, incidentally, finished his latest novel, set in pre-war Tokyo - it''s called December 6 . When I spoke to him on the phone a month or so ago, he was just sitting down to start work on the fifth Renko novel, which will be set in Moscow again. Jeremy

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