Manning Coles

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First American book club edition of the first Tommy Hambledon adventure

Manning Coles was the pseudonym of two British writers, Adelaide Frances Oke Manning (1891-1959) and Cyril Henry Coles (1899-1965), who wrote many spy thrillers from the early 40s through the early 60s. The fictional protagonist in 26 of their books was Thomas Elphinstone Hambledon, usually called Tommy Hambledon, who works for the Foreign Office.

Manning and Coles were neighbors in East Meon, Hampshire. Coles worked for British Intelligence in both the World Wars. Manning worked for the War Office during World War I. Their first books were fairly realistic and with a touch of grimness; their postwar books perhaps suffered from an excess of lightheartedness and whimsy. They also wrote a number of humorous novels about modern-day ghosts, some of them involving ghostly cousins named Charles and James Latimer. These novels were published in England under the pseudonym of Francis Gaite but released in the United States under the Manning Coles byline.

Tommy Hambledon novels

  • Drink to Yesterday, 1940
  • Pray Silence, 1940 (American title: A Toast for Tomorrow)
  • They Tell No Tales, 1941
  • Without Lawful Authority, 1943
  • Green Hazard, 1945
  • The Fifth Man, 1946
  • Let the Tiger Die, 1947
  • A Brother for Hugh, 1947 (American title: With Intent to Deceive)
  • Among Those Absent, 1948
  • Diamonds to Amsterdam, 1949
  • Not Negotiable, 1949
  • Dangerous by Nature, 1950
  • Now or Never, 1951
  • Alias Uncle Hugo, 1952 (British title: Operation Manhunt, 1953)
  • Night Train to Paris, 1952
  • A Knife for the Juggler, 1953 (revised American edition, 1964; also published as The Vengeance Man, 1967)
  • Not for Export, 1954 (American title: All That Glitters; also published as The Mystery of the Stolen Plans, 1960)
  • The Man in the Green Hat, 1955
  • The Basle Express, 1956
  • Birdwatcher's Quarry, 1956 (British title: The Three Beans, 1957)
  • Death of an Ambassador, 1957
  • No Entry, 1958
  • Crime in Concrete, 1960 (American title: Concrete Crime)
  • Search for a Sultan, 1961 (by Coles and Tom Hammerton)
  • The House at Pluck's Gutter, 1963 (by Coles and Tom Hammerton)

Tommy Hambledon short story collection

  • Nothing to Declare, 1960

Novels without Tommy Hambledon

  • Half-Valdez, 1939 (by Manning alone)
  • This Fortress, 1942

Ghost novels under the Francis Gaite byline

  • Great Caesar's Ghost (juvenile), 1943 (British title: The Emperor's Bracelet, 1947)
  • Brief Candles (The Latimers), 1954
  • Happy Returns (The Latimers), 1955 (British title: A Family Matter, 1956)
  • The Far Traveler, 1956
  • Come and Go (The Latimers), 1958
  • Duty Free, 1959 (non-ghost novel)

Uncollected short story

"Death Keeps a Secret", 1960 (in The Mystery Bedside Book, edited by John Creasey)

See also