Toast To TomorrowPosted: 2016/11/11
Coles, Manning. A Toast To Tomorrow. Boulder: Rue Morgue Press, 1940.
Reason read: to continue the series started in October in honor of Octoberfest.
Spoiler Alert: In the first installment of Manning Coles’s series the reader is to think Tommy Hambledon has drowned. However, on the cover of A Toast to Tomorrow it reads “The second Tommy Hambledon book” so you know he’s in it somehow. No mystery there.
The real mystery begins within a radio broadcast. Someone is sending Morse coded messages hidden in a drama; a code that hasn’t been used since World War I. British Intelligence knows something is amiss. But what? One of my favorite parts of Toast was the different ways key people heard the broadcast and how they reacted.
But, back to Tommy Hambledon. He washes ashore in Belgium with a nasty wound to the head and a chewed up face. He can’t remember his own name but can speak German fluently. His rescuers assume he is wounded German soldier and Hambledon agrees with that identity until his memory comes back: probably the best line to sum up A Toast to Tomorrow is uttered by Hambledon: “”I am the Deputy Chief on the German Police,” said the British Intelligence Agent” (p 48). The intensity of A Toast To Tomorrow comes from German officials slowly starting to question Hambledon. They can’t find evidence of him being a soldier, or even German. The more they question the more Tommy Hambledon is in danger of being exposed. He needs to run but the question is when is it too late?
Author fact: Adelaide Oke Manning died from throat cancer.
Book trivia: the English title for A Toast to Tomorrow is Pray Silence.
Book Lust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Intriguing Novels” (p 124).