Cork and the Serpent - Macdonald HastingsLondon: Michael Joseph, 1955, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little wear to the edges of the dust wrapper with a couple of short, closed, tears to the head of the upper panel. Previous owners' note to the first blank. The contents complete, clean and tight otherwise.
From the cover: “It was perhaps the only time in his adventurous career that Mr Montague Cork, Managing Director and General Manager of the Anchor Insurance Company Limited, failed to tell his wife the whole story. No wonder. In the more than thirty years that he had been married to Phoebe it was the one occasion that he came under the spell of a bad woman.
He wasn’t the only one. The mysterious Charlotte — ‘Champagne Charlie’ as they called her — had an Indian maharajah, a big game hunter, a racing trainer, a palace equerry, an archaeologist and an eccentric peer in her coils before Mr Cork himself (with a diamond brooch in his pocket which two people had laid claim to) arrived on the scene to make enquiries on behalf of his company.
In Cork on the Water the setting was a salmon river in the Scottish Highlands. In Cork in Bottle the ‘greatest insurance man in the City of London’ exposed a double murder in a blizzard on the mud-flats of East Anglia. This time, Cork is on the trail at Little Newmarket on the Berkshire Downs.
Once again, as he tells his exciting tale, Macdonald Hastings evokes the authentic atmosphere of the countryside. Here is the country house party, the members’ enclosure at the race course, and the thud of the horses’ hooves on the training gallops over the chalk-lands of the Downs.
Mr Cork’s new adventure begins when he is accosted in Mayfair on his way to a banquet by a girl wearing a horseshoe brooch which he recognizes as stolen property. The trail of the missing brooch winds through the downland countryside and arrives at its exciting ending during a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.”