Post-war, ex-soldiers become detectives — except for the racial stereotypes, which unfortunately were common in that era — this sounds like a fun (though rather silly) read.
An intriguing item in the Monash University online exhibit of detective fiction is number 63: The Big Heart, by John G. Brandon, described as the story of ‘a soldier, demobilized after the First World War, who finds work as a detective unravelling a blackmail plot.’
The book turns out to be one of the early-twenties thrillers that responded to the immense success of Sapper’s Bulldog Drummond by imitating it (Agatha Christie’s The Secret Adversary is another example.)
The similarities to Sapper’s bookare many: the plot is kicked off by a newspaper advertisement; the heroes are a group of ex-officers with a mighty appetite for beer; their womenfolk’s main function in the plot is to get kidnapped; the ex-soldiers apply skills learned in wartime to solve a peacetime problem; much play is made with the fact that one of them is excessively ugly (which doesn’t stop him from getting…
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