When Colonel Henry Talbot summons Bulldog Drummond and Ronald Standish, it is to inform them of the mysterious death of one of their colleagues – Jimmy Latimer. At the time of his death, he was on a big job, and was travelling on a boat to Newhaven when he died. But there was no sign of any wound, no trace of any weapon when they found him in his cabin. What strikes Drummond and Standish is why millionaire, Charles Burton, would have been travelling on the same boat – arguably the most uncomfortable crossing he could choose and very out-of-character.
Author biography:Sapper Sapper' is the pen name of Herman Cyril McNeile, born in 1888 at the Naval Prison in Bodmin, Cornwall, where his father was Governor. He served in the Royal Engineers (popularly known as ‘sappers’) from 1907-19, being awarded the Military Cross during World War 1.
McNeile started writing in France, adopting the pen name because serving officers were not allowed to write under their own names. When his first stories, about life in the trenches, were published in 1915 they were an enormous success. But it was his first thriller, ‘Bulldog Drummond’ (1920) that launched him as one of the most popular novelists of his generation. It had several amazingly successful sequels, including ‘The Black Gang’, ‘The Third Round’ and ‘The Final Count’.
Another great success was ‘Jim Maitland’, featuring a footloose English sahib in foreign lands.
Sapper published nearly thirty books in total, and a vast public mourned his death in 1937, at the early age of forty-eight. There are several feature films of his work.