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  • Writer's pictureCarl Plummer Review 4 Star (4 out of 4)

4 star review from

Pelham on Parole, written by Carl Plummer, is a light-hearted espionage story that takes place as World War II looms above Great Britain. Using the first person, the witty main character, Pelham Hardimann, narrates his adventures as he struggles to get a mysterious suitcase safely transported to its destiny. At the beginning of the book, Hardimann gets released from jail to pursue a dangerous assignment commissioned personally by Winston Churchill. He is to trail a mysterious suitcase that supposedly caused the murder of a couple of men. Britain’s future hangs in the balance, for the suitcase’s contents are thought to be valuable military-grade technology to be used at the impending war. Identities and loyalties are fluid in this well-woven plot, and the book has several strengths. For starters, it has an assortment of well-developed characters. Our improbable hero is a lightweight lawbreaker with an elegant sense of humor, and I also liked Inspector Quill of The Yard, Constable Studely, Hammer, Milly, and Mrs. Glendower. Hammer is Churchill’s henchman but later is thought to be a German spy; Mrs. Glendower is initially a housekeeper but then a murder suspect. Similarly, I greatly enjoyed the plot. The experience of reading Pelham on Parole involves trying to make sense of an ambiguous situation, and this is what I enjoyed the most. It’s clear from the get-go that we’re here to get to the bottom of this mystery, and the journey is amusing and gripping. As the plot progresses, Pelham and his readers are astonished to learn each character’s true background and agenda. Bomb threats, plots to assassinate Winston Churchill, explosions, historical guns, deadly knitting needles, submarines, leaping from carriage to carriage on a train, and falling from the legendary RMS Queen Mary are examples of what our hero has to face. There are also interesting WWII details. I particularly liked reading about Britain’s fear of Germany’s Unterseeboot, which Churchill referred to as Hitler’s Grey Wolves, and the need to develop an efficient hunting and detection system for the British fleet. Finally, I gladly rate Pelham on Parole 4 out of 4 stars . There’s nothing I disliked in this lovely book, and it seems professionally edited. I would recommend it to readers who are fond of spy stories with a touch of humor. If you are a WWII enthusiast, you might also want to check this one out. If you don’t like to get lost in intricate plots, it may not be the best choice, though.

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