Tuesday, November 11, 2014

THE WAR LIST (A-C) (updated 5/15/2016)

A-C     D-K     L-R     S-Z

British women writing about war, 1910-1960

I've been working on this list off and on for the past several months—at least since I finished my Mystery List—but it just kept getting delayed. Then, when we got back from our trip, I realized that Veterans / Armistice / Remembrance Day was looming just around the corner, and I was determined that I would get the first part of the list ready for a timely posting in honor of that day—especially meaningful this year, as it's the centenary of the beginning of World War I. So I've been working quite frantically to get this list polished up to start sharing it with you today.

I've always had a particular fascination for "home front lit" or "blitz lit," as it has been called. Tales of battle and bravery certainly have their place, as well, but somehow I've always related more to stories of day-to-day life carrying on in times of war. Probably my fascination—starting a few years ago—with World War II fiction by women was a big part of the genesis of this blog, and ever since the idea of genre lists first came to me, I've wanted to do a list bringing together all the women from my Overwhelming List who published significant work dealing with World War I and/or World War II.

A simple concept, but man, what a lot of work it has involved! I thought I already knew a fair amount about this topic and its major works, even if I hadn't read all of them, but reviewing my full list of nearly 1,100 authors (soon to be around 1,400—ahem!) and trying to delve more deeply into the work of many that I knew little or nothing about, proved a more time-consuming process than I'd anticipated, and involved lots of additional research. But what fun it has been too, and no doubt some reviews coming up in the next year will reflect some of the works I didn't know existed before starting this list.

But therein also lies the source of my disclaimer and my request for assistance from you brilliant readers with your wide-ranging taste in books. The fact remains that there are a good many authors on my list about which I know so little, and about whom so little information is available online or from any sources I've unearthed, that I have no way of knowing if they published war-themed writings or not.

Add to that the fact that, just as this post "went to press," as it were, I discovered the horrific fact that I had neglected to include probably my most-read author of all time, Agatha Christie—to be fair, she is more well-known for having avoided the war in her fiction than for writing about it, but the fact is she did address it in a couple of her books—and I shudder to think what other authors might belong on the list that are currently missing from it.

So, please, please, please, if you notice any glaring omissions, either of an author who fits my list but isn't included, or of specific works by an author who is included that I've failed to mention, do comment or email me to let me know. This will be a sort of mutual work-in-progress, as we pool our knowledge.

I'm splitting the list into four parts, so that none of the pieces are completely overwhelming. Once all the pieces have been posted, I'll include links back and forth between the posts for ease of navigation, as I did with the Mystery List.

This list includes brilliant novelists, trailblazing journalists, and entertaining genre writers, authors who explored the depths of war's despair and those who strived cheerfully to maintain morale and lift the spirits, and they are an amazing group of women, many of whom deserve more attention than they've received. Even as we honor all of the men and women who have served in military posts (and some of the women listed here did that as well), I think it's also appropriate to remember and honor those who performed the service of documenting the realities of wartime life—often, in the case of women writers, the day-to-day realities, the stresses and strains that women faced in fighting to hold everything together, raise children, perform important war work, and preserve the normal standards of life and culture while their fathers, husbands, brothers, friends, or lovers were away fighting in more literal ways. All too often this documentation—which might even show most clearly of all the ongoing costs of war once the guns have fallen silent—tends to get lost in favor of the more dramatic and usually more male-oriented tales of heroism in battle.

Although it has its detractors, I personally felt, coming upon the Women of
World War II memorial unexpectedly, that it was very powerful and far
more evocative than most memorials. What do you think?

Or at least that's my two-cents' (or tuppence?) worth.

At any rate, I hope you enjoy the list and find lots of interesting new works to explore.

HELEN PEARL ADAM (1882-1957)
(née Humphrey)
Journalist and diarist who served as editor for Jean Rhys's first novel; Adam's diary of her World War I experiences were published as Paris Sees It Through (1919); she also published a cookbook cleverly entitled Kitchen Ranging: A Book of Dish-cover-y (1928).

RUTH [AUGUSTA] ADAM (1907-1977)
(née King)
Author of socially conscious novels including I'm Not Complaining (1938, reprinted by Virago in the 1980s), the humorous novel A House in the Country (1957), about a group of friends living together in a former manor house, and the important historical survey A Woman’s Place, 1910-1975 (1975, reprinted by Persephone). Several of her novels deal with war. Her debut, War on Saturday Week (1937), follows a group of siblings from childhood during World War I to the outbreak of World War II (only a fear at the time the novel was published, but it must have seemed inevitable). Her third novel, There Needs No Ghost (1939), humorously contrasts the reactions of villagers and Bloomsburyites to the Munich Crisis. During World War II, Adam experimented with a mystery novel, Murder in the Home Guard (1942), which, if not entirely successful as a novel, is a remarkable portrait of wartime concerns in an English village. The aforementioned A Woman's Place also fascinatingly covers women's roles in both World Wars, as well as in both postwar periods, and A House in the Country is also grounded somewhat in the World War II period, as Adam describes how she and her friends fantasized about country living during air raids. From 1944-1976, Adam wrote a women's page for the Church of England Newspaper, and her perspective as a Christian socialist feminist was undoubtedly surprising on occasion for that readership, but apparently popular, as she continued for more than three decades. She apparently sometimes wrote about wartime and postwar concerns in those pages, and I'd love to get my hands on a few of them. Adam's postwar novels are Set to Partners (1947), So Sweet a Changeling (1954), Fetch Her Away (1954), and Look Who's Talking (1960), as well as two girls' school stories, discussed here.

MRS. A. E. ALDINGTON (1872-1954)
(pseudonym of Jessie May Aldington, née Godfrey
Mother of novelist Richard Aldington and innkeeper at the Mermaid Inn in Rye; author of several novels of Kentish village life, including Love Letters That Caused a Divorce (1905), A Man of Kent (1913), and The King Called Love (1913). Presumably her Love Letters to a Soldier (1915) deals at least peripherally with World War I.

ROSE ALLATINI (1890-1980)
(aka R. Allatini, aka A. T. Fitzroy, aka Eunice Buckley, aka Lucian Wainwright, aka Mrs. Cyril Scott)
Prolific novelist of social issues, best known for her pacifist World War I novel Despised and Rejected (1918), also an early sympathetic portrayal of homosexuality. Her 1919 novel Payment also deals centrally with the war, tracing a young man from boyhood through his brutal death on the battlefield. Family from Vienna (1941, published as Eunice Buckley) is set during and after the Anschluss and traces the conflicts of an assimilated Jewish family in London who take in refugee relatives from Austria. Destination Unknown (1942)—dedicated, incidentally, to another author on my Overwhelming List, Constance Holme—also deals with a large Jewish family in London, some of whom are refugees now working as domestic helpers, and Blue Danube (1943) traces a Jewish family over several generations, ending in London during World War II. Allatini was quite prolific, so other of her works might also deal with one or both world wars.

ALICE MAUD ALLEN (dates unknown)
(aka Allen Havens, née Bowers?)
More research needed; author of at least four novels, including the World War I themed Silhouette (1923) and The Trap (1931), the latter published by the Woolves; other titles include Baxters o' the Moor (1922), One Tree (1926), and a biography of Sophy Sanger (1958). Silhouette is set at a postwar "Working Women's Conference" at which members debate pacifism, war work, and other war-related issues. The Trap is similarly intellectual in approach, revisiting the war from the perspective of a large array of characters from all walks of life.

(aka Maxwell March, née Hughes)
Prominent "Golden Age" mystery writer, best known for her series featuring detective Albert Campion, of which The Tiger in the Smoke (1952) is often considered her best. Among her wartime mysteries are Black Plumes (1940), Traitor's Purse (1941), and Coroner's Pidgin (1945). She also wrote one non-mystery novel, Dance of the Years (1943, aka The Galantrys), a historical family story based on Allingham's own family history. She also published The Oaken Heart (1941), a more or less autobiographical account of village life in the early war years. Reportedly, Allingham wrote the book to show Americans the impacts of the war on English life, but it proved considerably more successful at home than in the U.S. and is even now in print in the U.K. from Golden Duck.

(née Bruce, later married name Paget)
The author of several entertaining humorous memoirs as well as the Brownies series of children's fiction (1960-1977), Anderson also wrote one of my favorite memoirs of the lighter side of World War II. Spam Tomorrow (1956) is about her own and her husband's adventures in wartime, and is long, long overdue for a reprint. Anderson's other memoirs include Our Square (1957), Beware of Children (1958), Daughter of Divinity (1960), and The Flo Affair (1963).

(aka Diana Gordon, aka Joanna Marcus, aka Lucilla Crichton)
Prolific author of hospital romances and of No Time for Romance (1977), a fascinating and entertaining memoir about nursing in London during World War II, heavily relied upon by Ian McEwan in writing Atonement. In her memoir, Andrews describes how she had to tone down the content of her first novel, The Print Petticoat (1954), because she described wartime scenes too vividly for audiences trying to forget the war. But several decades later, Andrews finally got to use her wartime experiences as historical background in novels like One Night in London (1979) and Frontline 1940 (1990).

More research needed; journalist, historian, and author of at least two novels, Anything Can Happen (1942)—which, according to contemporary reviews, is about a domestic servant conscripted into work in a munitions factory—and Under One Roof (1943), about which I've sadly been unable to find any meaningful details.

BETTY ARMITAGE (dates unknown)
Diarist whose record of life in rural Norfolk during World War II was found in a shed and published in 2002 as Betty's Wartime Diary 1939-1945; Armitage had been a theatrical dresser and seamstress prior to the war.

HELEN ASHTON (1891-1959)
(married name Jordan)
A prolific novelist from her 1913 debit, Pierrot in Town, which deals with bohemian life, until just before her death, Ashton later wrote several popular hospital dramas, including Doctor Serocold (1930) and Hornets' Nest (1935), as well as Bricks and Mortar (1932, reprinted by Persephone), about an architect. A Background for Caroline (1928) makes use of some of Ashton's experiences nursing in France during World War I. According to Kirkus, Tadpole Hall (1941) is the story of "gentle, retiring Colonel Heron and his home, Tadpole Hall, the leisurely tradition they both represent and the incursions which war brings." And Yeoman's Hospital (1944) is a melodrama set at a village hospital, but I found it entertaining and its portrayals of the war effective. The Half-Crown House (1956) effectively uses the scars and aftereffects of war in its tale of a family struggling to maintain its estate.

ALICE ASKEW (1874-1917)
(née Leake)
Novelist who co-authored—with her husband Claude—an astonishing number of popular novels, including Helen of the Moor (1911) and Gilded London (1914). During World War I, they worked together in a British field hospital in Serbia, but still found time to publish a bewildering array of novels. Information on many of these is hard to come by, but The Tocsin: A Romance of the Great War (1915) presumably deals with wartime themes, and Nurse! (1916), described by Sharon Ouditt in her incredibly useful Women Writers of the First World War, sounds like a classic melodrama of the clash between a good girl and a bad one, with the dramatic backdrop of war. In The Stricken Land: Serbia as We Saw It (1916), the Askews described their experiences with the Serbian army when it made its 'Great Retreat' from Prishtina to Alessio. Sadly, they were both killed in 1917 when their ship was torpedoed by a German submarine.

(née Charteris)
Daughter-in-law of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, best remembered now for her Diaries 1915-1918 (1968), an important and much-enjoyed addition to World War I literature, which combines her attention to her own personal life with her unique proximity to the corridors of power at a volatile period. Asquith is less known for her two novels, which were not particularly well-regarded in their time. The Spring House (1936) is set during World War I, dealing with a woman separated from her husband who finds her emotions drifting elsewhere. One Sparkling Wave (1943), though written during World War II, seems to have no particular wartime focus.

MARGOT ASQUITH (1864-1945)
(née Tennant)
Memoirist known for her Autobiography (Volume 1, 1920; Volume 2, 1922), based on her diaries, including those covering World War I when her husband was Prime Minister. More recently, her diaries themselves have begun to appear, with her Great War Diary appearing in 2014. Asquith also wrote a single novel, the semi-autobiographical Olivia (1928).

THOMASINA ATKINS (dates unknown)
(pseudonym of "Private [W.A.A.C.] on Active Service"; real identity unknown)
Author of The Letters of Thomasina Atkins (1918), a lively and entertaining record of World War I as witnessed by a W.A.A.C. stationed in France. As far as I've been able to determine, her true identity has never been discovered (the pseudonym feminizes the generic term for a male soldier).

RUBY M[ILDRED] AYRES (1883-1955)
(married name Pocock)
Bestselling author of well over 100 romantic novels published between the 1920s and 1950s. A bestseller in its day, Richard Chatterton, V.C. (1915) traces a wartime courtship. The Orlando Project said of it that "it is also an examination, albeit a shallow one, of ideals of masculinity." Its success led quickly to a sequel, The Long Lane to Happiness (1915), in which war is the backdrop to various melodramatic-sounding plotlines. Invalided Out (1919), a romance of a Captain invalided out of the army who finds conflicted romance with both a young girl who may be entrapping him and her step-sister, also seems to use the war as mere stage setting. Although Ayres continued publishing until after World War II, I haven't learned enough about her later work to know how much she wrote about the later war. Other titles include Wynne of Windwhistle (1926), Follow the Shadow (1936), Rosemary—For Forgetting (1941) and Love Comes Unseen (1943).

ENID BAGNOLD (1889-1981)
(married name Jones)
Novelist and playwright, ever famous for National Velvet (1935) and The Squire (1938, most recently reprinted by Persephone), a sensitive novel about motherhood. Bagnold's first published work was A Diary Without Dates (1917), about her experiences as a nurse in a London hospital during World War I. That publication promptly got her fired from nursing, after which she became a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse in France. Those experiences too found their way into print, in Bagnold's debut novel, The Happy Foreigner (1920), a vivid, vibrant, and distinctly modernist work. As for World War II-related writings, they sadly include "In Germany Today— Hitler's New Form of Democracy" (1938), an astonishingly ignorant article she published in the Sunday Times in which she effectively sang Hitler's praises and dismissed his oppression of the Jews as "too strange a problem for English minds." Interestingly, Bagnold apparently wrote a discussion of this controversy for her Autobiography (1969), but it was removed on the advice of her American publisher. One wonders if it still survives anywhere, as it would make fascinating reading to see how such a brilliant and sensitive writer would have rationalized such moronic beliefs three decades on. Known for taking an exceptionally long time over each novel, her final one, The Loved and Envied, only appeared in 1951. After that, she focused mainly on plays, at which she had both major successes and terrible failures. Her best-known dramatic work is 1951's The Chalk Garden, which ran in London for nearly two years.

MAY BALDWIN (1862-1950)
Important early girls' school author whose work often featured realistic international schools and reflects the evolution of girls' schools; titles include Two Schoolgirls of Florence (1910), The Girls' Eton (1911), A Riotous Term at St. Norbert's (1920), and The School in the Wilds (1925). According to a blurb on Goodreas, Phyllis McPhilemy: A School Story (1914) is "[a] British school story written and set during the First World War. Besides the descriptions of British school life, there are also depictions of the war and its problems."

MONICA BALDWIN (1893-1975)
Neice of PM Stanley Baldwin; Catholic nun who left the convent and wrote about her experiences in a bestselling memoir, I Leap Over the Wall: Contrasts and Impressions After Twenty-eight Years in a Convent (1949). The shock of her experiences back in the secular world is increased by the fact that her departure from the convent occurred in October of 1941, during one of the darkest periods of World War II. She followed her memoir with a novel, The Called and the Chosen (1957), and finally a travel book, Goose in the Jungle (1965).

(née Charlesworth, aka Brandon Roy)
Author of romantic novels with a Christian component, in which pristine female characters are often seen as the redeemers of men. In 1914, Barclay published My Heart's Right There, a sentimental novella about the unending courage of British soldiers. For her later wartime work, The White Ladies of Worcester (1917), Barclay took refuge from the war by using a medieval setting.

KITTY BARNE (1883-1961)
(full name Marion Catherine Barne, married name Streatfeild)
Playwright, novelist, and children's author. Her wartime fiction was particularly acclaimed, including Visitors from London (1940), about evacuees on a Sussex farm, We'll Meet in England (1942), about two children from Norway escaping to England by boat, and Musical Honours (1947), about a family dealing with the aftereffects of war, including rationing and the father's return from being a prisoner of war. Barne's adult novels, for better or worse, seem to be quite rare, but include such titles as Mother at Large (1938), While the Music Lasted (1943), Duet for Sisters (1947), and Vespa (1950).

(née Gaskell, second married name Wileman)
Author of two dozen humorous romances published from the 1900s to 1940s and characterized by, in OCEF's words, their "extraordinary cheerfulness"; titles include An Undressed Heroine (1916), Sally in a Service Flat (1934), and The Two Miss Speckles (1946). In A Girl for Sale (1920), a young girl "finds herself without a job after the Armistice and in desperation advertises in the newspaper for a new employer." Romance ensues. World War II-era titles include Paying Pests (1941), Mary Ann and Jane (1944), and The Two Miss Speckles (1946) likely have some home front component, though I don't have enough details about them to know how much.

E. M. BARRAUD (dates unknown)
Memoirist best known for her World War II memoir Set My Hand Upon the Plough (1945), about the Women's Land Army; she wrote one more memoir, Tail Corn (1948), about East Anglia, and Barraud: The Story of a Family (1967), a history of her own family.

NINA BAWDEN (1925-2012)
(née Mabey)
Prolific novelist and children's writer, best known for Carrie's War (1973), about the evacuation of a young girl and her brother to a Welsh village during World War II and the effect their stay has on her later life.  Bawden's novels for adults include Who Calls the Tune (1953), Devil by the Sea (1957), Tortoise by Candlelight (1963), and Afternoon of a Good Woman (1976).

PAT BEAUCHAMP (1892-1972)
(pseudonym of Catharine Marguerite Beauchamp Waddell, married name Washington, aka Anne Beaton)
Journalist, memoirist, and cookbook author; her memoir of nursing during World War I were published as Fanny Goes to War (1919) and reprinted as Fanny Went to War early in World War II. Eagles in Exile (1942) is her journalistic book on the Polish Army.

(pseudonym of Helen Mary Dorothea Bellingham)
Forgotten novelist whose early works have an element of fantasy combined with philosophy, while later works focus on relationships; her wartime novels, So Frail a Thing (1940), Shadows on the Wall (1941), Where the Treasure Is (1944), and There Were Three Men (1949), may be of interest, but details about them are hard to find.

JOSEPHINE BELL (1897-1987)
(pseudonym of Doris Bell Ball, née Collier)
Author of mysteries, often set in hospitals, which reflect her extensive experience as a doctor, including Murder in Hospital (1937) and Death in Retirement (1956), as well as mainstream novels such as The Bottom of the Well (1940) and Wonderful Mrs. Marriott (1948). War-themed works included the novel Martin Croft (1941), about a man wounded in World War I for whom Dunkirk is a healing experience, Death at the Medical Board (1944), and, presumably, Total War at Haverington (1947). Of Trouble at Wrekin Farm (1942) a contemporary review noted: "The appearance of the Home Guard in a detective story is a warning more deadly than any red sky at morning: like the line 'Won't you sit down' in a play, it is the sign manual of the mechanical, the obvious and the uninspired. Trouble at Wrekin Farm not only trots out the Home Guard, but also has a German 'plane land to take off a member of the Fifth Column who has obtained possession of a secret instrument. Luckily for us all, there are exceptions to every rule, and Miss Josephine Bell triumphantly retrieves this hopeless situation. Wrekin Farm is a quite credible place with a T.T. licence, a grass-drying plant, and land-girls, and it is run by a harassed producer-retailer whose troubles will win him the sympathy of all farmers (although his handling of his bull is open to a good deal of criticism)." Whether the critic intended me to be or not, I'm sold.

MARY HAYLEY BELL (1911-2005)
(married name Mills)
Playwright and novelist (and mother of Hayley Mills) known for stage hits Men in Shadow (1942) and Duet for Two Hands (1945); also author of at least two novels, including Whistle Down the Wind (1958), which was adapted for film and stage. Men in Shadow was a thriller about the French resistance.

(née Parker)
Poet whose work appeared regularly on the BBC in the 1950s; author of two novels, Shadowy Bricks (1932), about a young teacher at a progressive school, and Hath the Rain a Father? (1946), a novel about the losses of World War I, in which her brother was killed.

STELLA BENSON (1892-1933)
(married name Anderson)
Novelist and travel writer whose Tobit Transplanted (1930, aka The Far-Away Bride) deals with White Russians in Manchuria. Although rarely engaging head-on with the war—she creates a world all her own—both This Is the End (1917) and Living Alone (1919) address some of the issues and horrors of war.  The former, as well as Benson's debut novel, I Pose (1915), have been reprinted by Michael Walmer.

Humorist and novelist who published popular satirical works with Betty Askwith in the 1930s, as well as cynically funny novels such as Salad Days (1928), Which Way? (1931), Façade (1933), and Concert Pitch (1934). Sweethearts and Wives: Their Part in War (1942) was a short book illustrated with home front photographs, encouraging women to take up war work in support of the men who were fighting.

(married name Graham)
A longtime book critic for the Daily Telegraph, Berridge's collection Tell It to a Stranger (1947, orig. Selected Stories), which features several powerful stories with wartime settings, was reprinted by Persephone. Several more of her acclaimed novels, including Upon Several Occasions (1953) and Rose Under Glass (1961), have been reprinted by Faber Finds, but early novels such as House of Defence (1945) and Be Clean, Be Tidy (1949), which could include wartime themes, remain out of print.

(née Burton)
Memoirist known for The Past Is Myself (1968), about her marriage to a German Nazi-resister and their harrowing life in Nazi Germany, which inspired the TV drama Christabel (1988); after the TV version, demand from fans led Bielenberg to write a sequel, The Road Ahead (1992).

EILEEN BIGLAND (1898-1970)
(née Carstairs)
Novelist, travel writer, and author of biographies for young readers, Bigland's fiction includes the autobiographical Gingerbread House (1934) Alms for Oblivion (1937), and Tiger in the Heart (1940). You Can Never Look Back (1940) deals with themes of fascism in its tale of two fanatical people who fall in love.  After the war, Bigland published histories of the WRNS and the ATS (both 1946).

Author of four novels 1912-1938, as well as two plays; the novels are Dorothy Gayle (1912), The Enchanted Pen (1919), Alone in a Crowd (1931), and Lady Springmead (1938); her diary from World War II was independently published as "No Soldier": The 1942 Diary of Miss Editha Blaikley of Wren Cottage in 1992.

URSULA BLOOM (1892-1984)
(married names Denham-Cookes and Robinson, aka Sheila Burns, aka Mary Essex, aka Rachel Harvey, aka Lozania Prole, aka Deborah Mann, aka Sara Sloane)
Author of hundreds of popular, gently humorous novels of social life. Caravan for Three (1947) is apparently a wartime holiday adventure. Some of her other wartime works, such as Spring in September (1941), Time, Tide and I (1942), Robin in a Cage (1943), or The Amorous Bicycle (1944), may also deal with the war. Undoubtedly, however, her later memoir War Isn't Wonderful (1961) covers the war years. She also wrote a biography of Eva Braun called Hitler's Eva (1954).

(née Asquith)
Daughter of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith (and grandmother of actress Helena Bonham-Carter), best known for her biography, Winston Churchill as I Knew Him (1965), but her diaries, published in three volumes (1996-2000), are also important for her insider's view of tumultuous times.  The second volume, Champion Redoubtable, includes her entries on both World War I and World War II.

(married name Forbes-Dennis)
Novelist often focused on social or political issues. Several novels feature themes of war and its aftermath, including Old Wine (1924), set in post-World War I Austria, The Mortal Storm (1937), which warned about the rise of the Nazis and was made into a Hollywood propaganda piece in 1940, and the "blitz novels" London Pride (1941) and Without the Cup (1943, aka Survival). London Pride is an enjoyable portrayal of the Blitz through the eyes of a working class family, particularly the young son and a neighbor girl he befriends. Although sometimes veering towards sentimentality, Bottome doesn't shy away from the realities of war—the children in London Pride gleefully loot bombed-out houses, and the boy's mother wrestles believably with the issues of evacuation of children and the conflicting roles of women in the war effort. Bottome also focuses on the war in Mansion House of Liberty (1941, aka Formidable to Tyrants), described as "snapshots of England at war," and on the approach to war in The Life-Line (1946), set in Austria in 1938. She also wrote numerous periodical pieces on wartime themes, including one on the position of women in wartime. A biography of Bottome appeared in 2010, though sadly it does not seem to have led to any major reprints of her work.

(married name Cameron)
A major novelist whose The Heat of the Day (1948), once described as a Graham Greene thriller as written by Virginia Woolf, is one of the most famous and acclaimed novels dealing with the Blitz and wartime conditions in London (and is a worthy companion piece to Greene's own The End of the Affair). She also wrote several essays and stories dealing with wartime life, available in her Collected Impressions (1950) and Collected Stories (1980).

DOROTHY BOWERS (1902-1948)
Author of five acclaimed mysteries and inducted into the prestigious Detection Club shortly before her premature death from tuberculosis. Bowers' novels seem to be consistently set in their present time, which means that World War II is included in them as it begins and proceeds (unlike in most of Agatha Christie's novels of these years, for example, which seem to take place in an alternate, warless universe). Postscript to Poison (1938) takes place before the war begins, and Shadows Before (1939) is set just as the war is looming, but Deed Without a Name (1940) already features the "Phony War" in full swing. By the time of Bowers' most famous novel, Fear and Miss Betony (1941), which was named by James Sandoe as one of the best "Golden Age" mystery novels, the title character—a retired schoolmistress—is called to the aid of a former student to investigate suspicious doings at the school she runs, which has been evacuated to Dorset. Like many authors, Bowers fell silent for the rest of the war, and published only one more novel after, The Bells at Old Bailey (1947), which from what I can tell has no particular war-related theme. Bowers was mentioned in 2010 by Christopher Fowler as one of his unjustly Forgotten Authors, and Pretty Sinister enthusiastically reviewed Fear and Miss Betony in 2011.

(pseudonym of Mary Christianna Milne, married name Lewis, aka Mary Ann Ashe, aka Annabel Jones, aka Mary Roland, aka China Thomson)
Author of a series of mysteries featuring Inspector Cockrill. The most famous, Green for Danger (1944), is set in a hospital during World War II and is thick with the atmosphere of bombings and blackout. Heads You Lose (1942) is set in a snowed-in country house during the war, but apparently makes relatively little use of its wartime setting. After the war, Brand apparently returned to the thick of the war with Suddenly at His Residence (1946, aka The Crooked Wreath). The postwar feel of London also figures prominently in Death of Jezebel (1948)

ANGELA BRAZIL (1868-1947)
Writer of enormously popular girls' school stories, beginning with The Fortunes of Philippa (1906), often dealing with schoolgirls solving mild mysteries; others include The Girls of St. Cyprian's (1914), The Madcap of the School (1922), and An Exciting Term (1936). Her wartime works generally present war in the most idealized way, such as in The Luckiest Girl in the School (1916), A Patriotic Schoolgirl (1918), and For the School Colours (1918). During World War II, Brazil published The Mystery of the Moated Grange (1942) and The Secret of Border Castle (1943), both of which involve evacuated schools.

(pseudonym of Gladys Eleanor May Dyer)
Best known for her Chalet School books, of which she wrote nearly sixty, Brent-Dyer also published one romantic novel for adults, Jean of Storms, written in 1930 but not published in book form until 1996. Several of the Chalet School books were set during the war. The Chalet School in Exile (1940) and The Chalet School Goes to It (1941, reprinted as The Chalet School Goes to War), are the most famous, with Exile, which deals with the girls' encounters with Nazis and the school's escape from Austria, often being considered the single best entry in the series. The school relocates, rather ill-advisedly, to Guernsey, and in Goes to It the girls must again escape from the Nazis. The Highland Twins at the Chalet School (1942), Lavender Laughs in the Chalet School (1943), Gay From China at the Chalet School (1944), and Jo to the Rescue (1945) also take place in wartime. [Special thanks to Ruth for reminding me that Brent-Dyer belongs on this list and for providing details.]

ANN BRIDGE (1889-1974)
(pseudonym of Mary Ann Dolling O'Malley, née Sanders)
Novelist whose tales are often set in exotic locales, combining historical perspective, romance, and the excitement of travel, including Peking Picnic (1932), The Ginger Griffin (1934), Illyrian Spring (1935), Frontier Passage (1942), and The Dark Moment (1952). Her later novels A Place to Stand (1953) and The Tightening String (1962) take place in Hungary before and during World War II. The latter is based on what she perceived as terrible failures on the part of the British Red Cross during the war.

VERA BRITTAIN (1893-1980)
(married name Catlin)
Novelist and memoirist best known for Testament of Youth (1933), a devastating reflection on the ravages of World War I and her subsequent involvement with pacifism. Although her novels are less well-known, several reflect her attitudes toward both World Wars. The Dark Tide (1923), about two young women at Somerville College, was controversial for its thinly veiled portraits of Winifred Holtby and others at the school, and is to some extent also autobiographical in that the main character has returned traumatized from serving as a driver in the war. Also controversial was Honourable Estate (1936), which was set during the war and attempted to make clear Brittain's beliefs about feminism and pacifism, with distinctly mixed results as far as reviewers were concerned. Account Rendered (1945) and Born 1925 (1948) also deal with the scars of war and are pacifist in outlook. Brittain published numerous essays and works of non-fiction during World War II as well, passionately espousing her pacifist beliefs, often courting controversy in the process. According to Jenny Hartley, Brittain's pamphlet Seed of Chaos (1944) was "almost the only public protest against the obliteration bombing of German cities." In more recent years, Brittain's diaries and letters have begun to be published, including Chronicle of Youth: The War Diary, 1913-1917Testament of Youth is now a Penguin Classic, and most of Brittain's novels have been reprinted by Virago.

CAROL BROOKE (1924-????)
(pseudonym of Valerie Patricia Ramskill, née Roskams)
Author of 16 romantic novels 1947-1965; her debut, Light and Shade (1947), seems to be set during WWII; others include To Reach the Heights (1948), Devils' Justice (1948), The Changing Tide (1952), As Others See Us (1952), No Other Destiny (1955), Shadow of the Past (1960), This Day's Madness (1962), and Till All the Seas (1964).

(full name Dorothy Morris Fairlie Bruce)
Author of several series of stories for girls, including school stories.  Dimsie Carries On (1941), Toby at Tibbs Cross (1943), and Nancy Calls the Tune (1944), all follow her popular series characters into adulthood during World War II.  The latter two were reprinted in recent years by Girls Gone By, though both are out of print again now.

KATE MARY BRUCE (1897-1982)
(full name Katherine Mary Bruce, née Maugham)
Niece of Somerset Maugham and author of sixteen novels, which seem to be cheerful and humorous in themes. Apparently, The Chequer Board takes place immediately following WWI, and features a war widow's rise to fame as an actress. Presumably, Figures in Black-Out (1941) has a wartime setting, but I don't yet have any details. Other titles include Clipped Wings (1923), Duck's Back (1933), Men Are So Helpless (1938), and The Poodle Room (1954).

BRYHER (1894-1983)
(pseudonym of Annie Winifred Ellerman, married names McAlmon and Macpherson)
A mover and shaker in avant-garde culture in the modernist period, Bryher is known as the author of historical novels such as Roman Wall (1955), and of Development (1920) and Two Selves (1923), about a girl's dawning awareness of lesbianism. Her 1956 novel Beowulf is a highly enjoyable example of "blitz lit," which was enthusiastically reviewed at Leaves and Pages not long ago. It details the experiences of two women (perhaps not unlike Bryher and her partner, Hilda Doolittle, better known as H.D.) running a tea shop under harsh wartime constraints. Bryher also received acclaim for her memoirs—The Heart to Artemis (1962) is subtitled more generally "A Writer's Memoirs," but Days of Mars (1972) focuses specifically on the war years.

(née Turner)
Short story author and memoirist; her story collections include Wayside Lamps (1913), Wayside Neighbors (1914), and Cottage Pie (1931); The Cup of War (1915) is a short memoir of her World War I experiences, and Triumphant Over Pain (1923) seems to also deal with the war.

MARY BURCHELL (1904–1986)
(pseudonym of Ida Cook)
Mills & Boon romance novelist also known for working to rescue Jews from Germany in the 1930s; her novels often center around opera, and include Wife to Christopher (1936), Dare I Be Happy? (1943), and Choose the One You'll Marry (1960). The amazing story of Ida and her sister Louise and their wartime exploits (posing as shy, frumpy, but obsessed opera fans, they made multiple trips to Germany in the years before war broke out, smuggling valuables which enabled Jewish refugees to prove their financial resources to British authorities and thus be allowed to enter the country) are described in fascinating detail in her memoir, We Followed Our Stars (1950), which was reprinted in 2008 as Safe Passage. How it can not have been made into a movie thus far is a mystery.

(née Cade, aka Murray Constantine, aka Kay Burdekin)
Novelist whose concerns with feminism and pacifism often overlapped. Forgotten for decades, Burdekin has received renewed attention in recent years, particularly for Swastika Night (1937), a dystopian novel set after centuries of Nazi and Japanese rule of the world. In The Children's Country (1929), she tried to create a "non-sexist" children's story, while Quiet Ways (1930) is a pacifist novel. Other fiction includes The Burning Ring (1927), The Devil, Poor Devil! (1934), and The End of This Day's Business (written in the 1930s but not published until 1990).

Children’s author and illustrator. I have little enough informatin about her or her books, but it appears most of her work is for younger readers, with a few exceptions such as The Odd Little Girl (1932) and Captain Seal's Treasure Hunt (1933). Teddy, the Little Refugee Mouse (1942) seems to be one of the former, but it certainly sounds war-related.

HESTER BURTON (1913-2000)
(née Wood-Hill)
Teacher, assistant editor of the Oxford Junior Encyclopedia, and historical children’s novelist; best-known titles include The Great Gale (1960), set during the East Anglia floods, In Spite of All Terror (1968), set during WWII, and Thomas (1969), set during the Great Plague of London. According to the St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, In Spite of All Terror "evokes for us with a wonderful visual concreteness the outbreak of war in 1939, the evacuation of an East London school to the remoteness of the Oxfordshire countryside, the trauma of Dunkirk, the excitement of the Battle of Britain, and the anguish of the bombing of London in the autumn of 1940." Count me in!  Leaves and Pages also reviewed it in 2013.

SARAH CAMPION (1906-2002)
(pseudonym of Mary Rose Coulton, married name Alpers, aka Anna Flaxman)
Daughter of Cambridge historian G. G. Coulton, Coulton wrote more than a dozen novels, one of which, Mo Burdekin (1941), was reprinted in the 1990s; several of her works were set in New Zealand, to which country she immigrated in 1952. Others include If She Is Wise (1935), The Pommy Cow (1944), and Dr. Golightly (1946). Thirty Million Gas Masks (1937) is described as "a Near Future tale predictive of the coming catastrophe."

JOANNA CANNAN (1896-1961)
(married name Pullein-Thompson)
Novelist, mystery writer, and children’s author, known for Death at the Dog (1939), a mystery set early in World War II, High Table (1930), set at Oxford, and Princes in the Land (1938, a Persephone choice), about motherhood, as well as A Pony for Jean (1936), possibly the first girls’ “pony book.” Cannan's debut novel, The Misty Valley (1922), is in part concerned with the aftermath of World War I, though The Simple Pass On (1929, published in the U.S. as Orphan of Mars) is more centrally focused on the war—in particular on the fate of former soldiers a few years on. Rue Morgue Press reprinted Death at the Dog a few years ago. Although it's out of print again now, you can still read their informative article about Cannan here. Cannan was also the mother of children's authors Josephine, Diana, and Christine Pullein-Thompson and the sister of poet and novelist May Cannan.

ELIZABETH CARFRAE (?c1887-?1961)
(pseudonym of Margaret Wilson, later married name Cradock, née ?????, dates elsewhere incorrectly given as 1879-1968)
Author of romantic fiction for Mills & Boon, active from the 1920s to the 1960s; titles include Barbed Wire (1925), The Trivial Round (1930), Sunlight on the Hills (1934), Happy Families (1944), Sunshine in September (1955), and Brief Enchantment (1962). I don't have details about a lot of Carfrae's books is sparse, so it's difficult to know which of her works might make use of the war, but Elizabeth Maslen does mention that in The Lonely Road (1942), "the debate between pacifism and commitment to war are at the core of the romance," and Good Morning, Miss Morrison (1948), about a teacher in a girls' school, is, according to a bookseller blurb, in part about her choice between "a steady-Eddie type and a glamorous fighter pilot during wartime."

(married names Scruby and Akers)
A trailblazing journalist who covered some of the critical events of World War II, including D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, Carpenter also published an important memoir, No Woman's World: On the Campaign in Western Europe, 1944-45, published in 1946.

(married name McCorquodale)
Author of 700+ romance novels (!!) over 75+ years; her memoirs We Danced All Night (1970), about World War I, and The Years of Opportunity (1948), about World War II, are of interest; her heroines tended to be moral, but Cartland herself was famed for her bawdiness in interviews.

(née Pellatt, other married name Griffin)
Biographer and historical novelist whose titles include She Saw Them Go By (1933), Worlds Apart (1947), Ever Thine (1951), and Falling Stream (1954). During the war, she published Long Division (1943), a wartime tale in which, according to Jenny Hartley, the narrator "establishes and runs a preparatory school; teaching and caring for children prove absorbing and worthwhile. Married to a compulsive adulterer who eventually abandons her (his average proposal rate is one a month), the narrator learns to manage on her own, and sturdily refuses a marriage proposal from a rich and handsome widower because she suspects he will be dull." It doesn't sound completely promising, but bear in mind that the novel is also mentioned positively by Barbara Pym in her WWII diaries

(née Walsh, other married name Sykes)
Intriguing author of the 1940s and 1950s; Sleeping and Waking (1944) deals with women's lives in World War II (I wish I had more details, but I don't), while Future Imperfect (1946) is an early sci-fi tale of a world run by women. She also wrote two detective novels, Death Has Ten Thousand Doors (1951) and Rubies, Emeralds and Diamonds (1952), which feature Petunia Best, a former WAAF who sets up a detective agency with a former member of British intelligence. One hopes that Petunia's wartime experiences enter into the mysteries now and again, and that Chetwynd presented the details postwar life, but I don't know for sure. If she was interested in such details, This Day (1950) could also be interesting—it's described as telling "of one day in the lives of some ordinarly people living in London."

(née Miller, other married name Mallowan, aka Mary Westmacott)
Bestselling novelist of all time, known for enormously popular and influential mystery novels, including The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), Murder on the Orient Express (1934), and And Then There Were None (1939), novels of domestic life as Mary Westmacott, and her bestselling Autobiography (1977). Christie notoriously avoided the war in most of her mysteries, but her debut, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) takes place during World War I, with Colonel Hastings on leave from the front and Poirot himself a Belgian refugee (thank you for reminding me of this, Susan!), and The Secret Adversary (1922) takes place after the war but centers around a young American woman who has survived the sinking of the Lusitania (thank you for mentioning that, Jerri!). Only one of Christie's World War II-era novels, the Tommy and Tuppence thriller N or M, actually takes place during World War II. Other wartime mysteries proceed as if the war isn't happening, though at least one later mystery does acknowledge the war in retrospect—Taken at the Flood (1948) begins with a flashback to Poirot at his club during an air raid. Christie's Mary Westmacott novel, Absent in the Spring (1944), takes place during the war, but is set far from wartime concerns. Both world wars are discussed in Christie's Autobiography.

(married name Hunter)
Author of nearly two dozen mystery thrillers from just before WWII until the 1960s; her titles include Let Him Die (1939), Perhaps a Little Danger (1942), Weathercock (1949), Over and Done With (1952), Discord in the Air (1955), Uncommon Cold (1958), and Honey for the Marshall (1960). Clements wrote at least three novels with wartime themes: Cherry Harvest (1943) is a mystery set at an evacuated girls' school during a half-term break; according to a contemporary review, in Berry Green (1945) "[t]he pastoral village of Berry Green is abuzz with excitement over the visit by a famour actor who says he is doing research but might actually be a German spy looking for a lost bomb"; and in Weathercock (1949), Clements' series detective and his wife return to the home they had lent to refugees during the war, to find a "library book with interesting sketches inside."

Author of school stories and other children's fiction; Sims and Clare note her tendency toward unrealistic "thriller plots"; titles include A Term at Crossways (1939), Holly House School (1947), The School in the Dell (1948), and The Merryfield Mystery (1960). Presumably A School Goes to Scotland (1944) has to do with a school evacuated due to the war?

JOAN COCKIN (1919-2014)
(pseudonym of Edith Joan Macintosh)
Trail-blazing diplomat, educational writer, and author of three well-received detective novels—Curiosity Killed the Cat (1947), Villainy at Vespers (1949), and Deadly Earnest (1952)—all featuring series character Inspector Cam. The first, according to classiccrimefiction.com, is set in a Cotswold village still haunted by the war in the form of the Ministry of Scientific Research, set up in wartime but lingering into peacetime.

MARGARET COLE (1893-1980)
(née Allen, aka M. I. Cole)
Politician, education advocate, and author of numerous mystery novels with her husband G. D. H. Cole, including Poison in the Garden Suburb (1929), Mrs Warrender's Profession (1938), Counterpoint Murder (1940), and Toper's End (1942). The last of these, at least, is set during World War II, and presumably so is Murder at the Munition Works (1940).

BARBARA COMYNS (1907-1992)
(pseudonym of Barbara Comyns Carr, née Bayley, first married name Pemberton)
Novelist known for her brilliant black comedies of childhood and youth, including Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead (1955), a hilariously morbid story of childhood in an unhinged English village, Our Spoons Came from Woolworth's (1950), and The Vet's Daughter (1959). Her late novel Mr. Fox (1987) is set during World War II and is based on her time, following the breakup of her first marriage, sharing a home with a disreputable man who inspired the title character. Several of her earlier postwar novels, in which she might have applied her wonderfully peculiar viewpoint to postwar conditions, are unfortunately set before the war.

JOAN CONQUEST (1883-1941)
(married name Cooke, aka Mrs. Leonard Cooke, aka Sister Martin-Nicholson)
Author of romance novels set in exotic locales, many of which featured supernatural themes of curses, spirits, etc., including Desert Love (1920) and its sequel Hawk of Egypt (1922), Crumbling Walls (1927), and Harem Love (1930); she had earlier published a WWI memoir, My Experiences on Three Fronts (1916) under her Sister Martin-Nicholson pseudonym.

DIANA COOPER (1892-1986)
(née Manners)
Wife of Duff Cooper; society hostess, actress, and memoirist, whose three volumes of memoirs—The Rainbow Comes and Goes (1958),The Light of Common Day (1959), and Trumpets from the Steep (1960)—are significant for their view of British upper crust life in both war and peace.

Prolific novelist, biographer, and children's author from the 1920s-1980s; novels include The Lighted Room (1925), The New House (1936), a poignant novel about a family moving house, reprinted by Persephone, and National Provincial (1938), a South Riding-esque bestseller about Leeds. Black Bethlehem (1947) was described by Kirkus as a set of three stories, two of them with the backdrop of World War II—one about an injured war hero adapting to home life, the other about a woman who takes in a shady refugee. Cooper returned to the war, though obliquely, with Fenny (1953), set before and after the war in Florence, which follows a young girl from her arrival in Italy as a governess through turbulent events both personal and political.

MONICA COSENS (1888-1973)
Playwright and children's author (mostly in collaboration with Brenda Girvin), probably best known today for her gung-ho World War I memoir, Lloyd George's Munition Girls (1916), which paints a humorous but significant portrait of one area of women's war experience.

MARCH COST (1897–1973)
(pseudonym of Margaret Mackie Morrison, aka Peggy Morrison)
Novelist known for A Man Called Luke (1933), about a physician who may be reincarnated; others include The Dark Star (1939) and The Hour Awaits (1952); under her real name, Morrison wrote lighter fare like Flying High (1943) and Wider Horizons (1952), about an air hostess who finds love. It's unclear whether Flying High is set during wartime or prewar, but Paid to Be Safe (1948), which she published under her real name in collaboration with Pamela Tulk-Hart, "follows the women of the Air Transport Auxiliary, where the glamour of flying is undeniable. But, as the book's epigraph quotes from the ATA Pilot's Reminder Book, 'Remember, you are paid to be safe, not brave.' Safety can be rather a dull virtue, and the women's lives turn out to be an odd blend of strenuous activity, flying jargon, bridge hands and romance" (Hartley).

Author of more than a dozen novels for girls from the 1930s to 1950s, including school stories and adventures; works include Torley Grange (1935), The Grenville Garrison (1940), Sally's Family (1946), At School with the Stanhopes (1951), and The Wild Lorings at School (1954). Her early tales The Denehurst Secret Service (1940) and Well Done Denehurst (1941) take place early in the war and involve German spies. Sally's Family, meanwhile, is an excellent evocation of the difficulties of returning to normal life in the immediate postwar period, as a family of orphaned children who have lived in different households during the war are reunited under the care of their eldest sister.

FANNY CRADOCK (1909-1994)
(pseudonym of Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey, aka Frances Dale)
Theatrical television chef and cookbook author who also wrote numerous novels under her own name and as Frances Dale; titles include Scorpion's Suicide (1942), Women Must Wait (1944), O Daughter of Babylon (1947), and a popular series beginning with The Lormes of Castle Rising (1975). Some of her Dale titles could have wartime settings, but certainly some of the later Castle Rising books deal with World War II.

(pseudonym of Richmal Crompton Lamburn)
Best known for Just William (1922) and dozens of subsequent books about a schoolboy's adventures, Crompton also wrote novels for adults, including Family Roundabout (1948), reprinted by Persephone, and Leadon Hill (1927) and Matty and the Dearingroydes (1956), reprinted by Greyladies. Mrs. Frensham Describes a Circle (1942)—also reprinted by Greyladies—is a very enjoyable tale of an older woman rediscovering her interest in life following her husband's death in a bombing raid. A series of William's war-related adventures was collected as William at War.

MARY CROSBIE (1876-1958)
(pseudonym of Muriel Maud D'Oyley)
Author of six novels from the 1900s to 1920s, including the intriguing There and Back Again (1927), about a mother returning to her husband and children after abandoning them years before—after which their world is again disrupted by the outbreak of World War I. Other works include Kinsmen's Clay (1910), Escapade (1917), and The Old Road (1929).

Children's author best known for her horse books including Silver Snaffles (1937, reprinted by Fidra), Four Rode Home (1951), and No Place For Ponies (1954). During World War II, Cumming worked first as a Land Girl and later in an anti-aircraft battery. She wrote about the former experience in Owls Castle Farm (1942), and in Silver Eagle Carries On (1940) a family-run riding school struggles with wartime limitations. Cummings' only other wartime publication—The Great Horses (1946)—was historical in nature.

A-C     D-K     L-R     S-Z


  1. I'm assuming you'll put Elinor M Brent-Dyer under D, then as she isn't here? Chalet School in Exile (1940) and Chalet School Goes to it (1941) are the ones people generally think of, as they deal with the escape from Austria (Exile) and from Guernsey (Goes to it) ... though Highland Twins (1942) Lavender Laughs (1943) Gay (1944) and Jo to the Rescue (1945) are all set in wartime situations.

    1. Aha, Ruth beat me to it....:-)

    2. There! You see what I mean? And I've read Exile, at least, and I still forgot her. I'll add her in when I do my next update. Meanwhile, let me know if there are any other school stories or girls' stories in general that I might be forgetting. So many were published during the war years, but it's not always easy to know what they're about.

  2. Oh, my goodness, already started trying to find some of these - a whole new realm of titles to explore - should I say thanks? I have actually read Bawden's "Carrie's War," back when I was a children's librarian, and learned that it received the "Phoenix Award," given for a book that did not receive a major contemporary award when originally published, but deserves to be awarded now. SO! "Black Plumes" is already on reserve! Tom

    1. Black Plumes was just picked up this afternoon - by me, and I am already on chapter 3 and liking it very much. ALAS, ALAS - I am beginning to see what happens now. This is already reminding me of a WWII Patricia Wentworh mystery "Silence in Court," which I should not recommend to you, Scott, as you have enough to read already. I will just say, I already see some parallels, in a good way, and that "Silence in Court" is my very faovrite non-Miss SIlver Wentworth! Tom

  3. Thanks so much for this, Scott! I will be taking notes as you go through your list. While looking for books in Toronto recently I was thrilled to find a copy of Noel Streatfeild's 'Beyond the Vicarage'; it was all very accidental. She's not an author I associate with war writings so the education will be very interesting.

    1. Thanks, Darlene! I've already found several oversights, including one of your favorites (if I recall correctly)--Ruth Adam, who certainly wrote a couple of works dealing with World War II. Mea culpa! Streatfeild is very interesting, but uneven in her adult work, I've found. Will look forward to a review of Beyond the Vicarage!

  4. Oh joy, Scott! Another overwhelming list for me to enjoy, or rather, another arrangement of the Big O/W List.

    I'll jump in and suggest that Agatha Christie wrote at least one other wartime book, her first. The Mysterious Affair at Styles was written during WWI, and published in 1920. It involves the murder of Mary Inglelthorp, who has been so generous in aiding refugees from Belgium. Capt Hastings, on sick leave from the Front, is staying at Styles as a guest of Mrs. Inglethorp's son, and runs into one of the Belgian refugees staying in the area, a retired police detective, Hercule Poirot. So I'd say it's a war book too.

    I'm going through my war bookshelves and see if there's anything else I can come up with.

    Carry on, Scott.

    1. Wonderful, Susan. It's been so long since I read Mysterious Affair that its war content had totally slipped my mind. Thanks for reminding me. Do let me know if you find anything else--I already know of several major oversights, so an expanded edition will have to follow before long.

  5. Well, The Secret Adversary is set post-WWI, but the flashbacks to the sinking of the Hindenburg (I think it was) certainly put it into WWI related fiction, in my view.

    And, of course, there are the post war works that deal with evacuated children who want revenge for unfortunate placements. I need to check to get my facts straight, but doesn't that include The Mouse Trap?

    1. I completely forgot about that war-related content too, Jerri. Thanks for reminding me. I'll add a mention of it when I revise the list soon (and add all the dozen or so other writers I stupidly overlooked).

  6. I forgot to sign, the above comment about Agatha Christie.


  7. It is my new life's ambition to get hold of Spam Tomorrow. Best title ever!

    1. It's a worthy ambition, Vicki. It's a very enjoyable, funny book and a great look at wartime life.


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