Today I would like to welcome you all on my stop of the Blog Tour for Sexton Blake and the Great War by Mark Hodder and I would like to share an extract from the book, with all of you. Please do show some love to all the wonderful book bloggers on this blog tour by following and sharing their work. 🙂
Genre: Crime, Thriller & Mystery Anthologies
Release date: 16 04 2020
Price*: Kindle £5.99 (GBP)/ Paperback £8.99 (GBP)
Kindle $6.99 (USD)/ Paperback $11.99 (USD)
Pages: ~ 430
You can get this book here:
Description of the book: As brilliant as Sherlock Holmes. As daring as James Bond. Sexton Blake, the adventuring detective, is back! This first volume of a new series reinstates one of literatures greatest detectives – back in print for the first time in decades!
For nearly a century, Sexton Blake was the most written about a character in British fiction. He starred in approximately four thousand stories by nearly two hundred authors. A cross between Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones, he was a publishing phenomenon, read by young and old alike.
This collection is comprised of three stories from UNION JACK magazine dating from World War 1 and the lead up to it:
THE CASE OF THE NAVAL MANOEUVRES by Norman Goddard (1908).
Sexton Blake catches the Kaiser spying on British naval manoeuvres, dangles from a Zeppelin, impersonates a German soldier, fights the Kaiser on top of a train, is thrown into the Thames by Anarchists, and forces the German Emperor into a confrontation with the British Prime Minister.
ON WAR SERVICE by Cecil Hayter (1916).
Sexton Blake ventures into occupied Holland to deliver a vital despatch to a secret agent, fights enemy spies, escapes from a burning house, is pursued by the German cavalry, disguises himself as a simple labourer, captures and impersonates enemy agents, faces a firing squad, and makes a daring escape through a secret tunnel.
PRIVATE TINKER — A.S.C. by William Murray Graydon (1915).
Tinker makes a mistake, joins up under an assumed name, is sent to the front line, evades enemy troops, and is blown up. Blake enters a battle zone and gets shot. Tinker flies a reconnaissance mission, crash-lands behind enemy lines, causes an enemy supply train to crash into a German troop carrier, liberates French prisoners, rescues a colonel, foils attempted sabotage, and is declared a hero.
Sexton Blake knew now that this ship was no British ship, but the airship of a rival—if not mildly hostile—country, and he hesitated as to whether he should continue his climb, or slide down the rope and hang there until a chance of escaping either by sea or land presented itself to him.
He looked down, and as he did so the flashlights of the ships of war stretched out their great arms of light again, and he realised what a distance he was up, that no one aboard the ships could possibly catch so much as a glimpse of the airship.
His mind was made up. He would learn more fully what the men above him were doing. Probably he would be captured, but there were ways of escape, and—
Sexton Blake started to climb upwards again, resting as before, until his fingers gripped the thin aluminium rails that formed the bottom of the car of the airship. He raised himself still higher, gripped the edge of the car, and pulled himself upwards.
A startled, angry cry in German reached his ears, powerful hands gripped him, and he was dragged into the car.
The car swayed violently as the detective was hoisted into it, and a voice from the forward end of it, a voice that Sexton Blake seemed to recognise, called out for them to be more careful.
Ten men were in the car, not counting the one who was steering and the one who was controlling the engines.
They came crowding forward now, all save one, who remained in the front of the car, a military cloak drawn tightly round him.
“Who is the spy?” this man demanded, in German.
And again Sexton Blake fancied that he had heard the sharp, commanding tones of the voice before.
A big man, with a certain tone of authority, faced the detective, as the latter clambered to his feet.
“How did you get here?” he growled.
Sexton Blake smiled coolly, and waved a hand to where the guide-rope trailed down.
“By that,” he answered.
“Yes,” the German agreed, thrusting his face closer. “But why did you do it?”
“Not for fun, I can assure you,” Sexton Blake replied, holding up his hands to show how the climb had torn the skin on them. “I was standing on the edge of the cliffs when your rope struck me. I had to grip it to save myself from being flung over into the sea. And then—why, what else could I do but clamber up?”
“So?” the German growled doubtfully.
“That is the truth?” the man in the bows demanded.
“Why, yes, your Majesty!” Sexton Blake answered.
A sharp cry broke from the man in the bows, and he flung his cloak from him with an impatient gesture.
“How do you know me?” he asked sharply.
“Yours is a voice to remember, sire!” the detective answered coolly.
The man in the bows rose and came forward along the swinging car, and even in the darkness it was possible to make out the martial visage and upturned moustache of one of the greatest rulers that Germany has ever known—Wilhelm II.
“Who are you?” he asked sternly.
Sexton Blake bowed, and there was a hard little smile on his lips.
“Once I worked for your Majesty,” he answered, “twice—the regret is mine—against you.”
“Sexton Blake!” the Kaiser ejaculated.
“Precisely,” the detective agreed; “and I am sorry that I cannot add, at your service!”
About the author: Mark Hodder is the author of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel The Strange Affair Of Spring Heeled Jack and its seven sequels, and of the first officially sanctioned Sexton Blake novel to have been published in nearly half a century (he created and maintains BLAKIANA: The Sexton Blake Resource). He also writes short stories, flash fiction and vignettes. Mark was born in the UK. He has worked as a commercial radio scriptwriter, a freelance copywriter, and as a web content producer for the BBC.
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com on the current date. The price might change at the time of your purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.