Collected Novels Volume Four
From exuberant comedy to edge-of-your-seat intrigue, a trio of novels from “a superb storyteller” (The New York Times).
These three novels—ranging from a journey of transformation with a larger-than-life aunt to dark tales of international intrigue—beautifully illustrate the myriad ways in which the acclaimed British author “had wit and grace and character and story and a transcendent universal compassion that places him for all time in the ranks of world literature” (John le Carré).
Travels with my Aunt: Now that dullish London bank manager Henry Pulling has retired with an agreeable pension, he plans to spend more time weeding his dahlias. Then, for the first time in fifty years, he sees his aunt Augusta at his mother’s funeral. Charging into her seventies with florid abandon, Augusta insists that Henry abandon his garden, follow her, and hold on tight. She whisks her nephew out of Brighton and onto the Orient Express bound for Paris and Istanbul, then on to Paraguay, and down the rabbit hole of her past, which swarms with swindlers, smugglers, war criminals, and rather unconventional lovers. With each new stop, Henry discovers not only more about his aunt and her secrets but also about himself.
“Cheerfully irreverent.” —The Guardian
The Confidential Agent: In prewar England, D., a professor of Romance literature, has arrived in Dover on an important mission to buy coal for his country, one torn by civil war. With it, there’s a chance to defeat fascist influences. Without it, the loyalists will fail. When D. strikes up a romance with the estranged but solicitous daughter of a powerful coal-mining magnate, everything appears to be in his favor—if not for a counteragent who has come to England with the intent of sabotaging every move he makes. Accused of forgery and theft, and roped into a charge of murder, D. becomes a hunted man, hemmed in at every turn by an ever-tightening net of intrigue and double cross.
“[A] magnificent tour-de-force among tales of international intrigue.” —The New York Times
The Ministry of Fear: On a peaceful Sunday afternoon, Arthur Rowe comes upon a charity fete where he wins a game of chance. If only this were an ordinary day. Britain is under threat by Germany, and the air raid sirens that bring the bazaar to a halt expose Rowe as no ordinary man. Recently released from a psychiatric prison for the mercy killing of his wife, he is burdened by guilt, and now, in possession of a seemingly innocuous prize, on the run from Nazi spies who want him dead. Pursued on a dark odyssey through the bombed-out streets of London, there isn’t a soul he can trust, not even himself. Because amnesiac Arthur Rowe doesn’t even know who he really is.
“[A] master thriller.” —Time