Mystery Books

Mystery Movies

  • Primal Fear

    Clever twists and a bona fide surprise ending make this an above-average courtroom thriller, tapping into the post-O.J. scrutiny o

  • Flight Plan
  • Lost Highway

    Haunting sexuality, ricochet action and fleeting, murderous shadows await you on a journey that begins and ends on the Lost Highwa

  • Contact (Snap Case)

    After an astronomer discovers communication emanating from the star Vega, she leads an international team in deciphering it, and t

  • The Next Three Days

    Life seems perfect for John Brennan until his wife, Lara, is arrested for a murder she says she didn’t commit. Three years into

  • More...

Mystery Authors

Book reviews - Drink To Yesterday

Drink To Yesterday


Author: Manning Coles
When Drink to Yesterday first appeared in Britain in 1940 and in the U.S. in 1941, it was immediately heralded as a departure from the fanciful spy-and-intrigue novels that preceded it. Gone were complicated passwords, deadly dames in black velvet, and dashing aristocratic secret agents. Here, instead, was what Howard Haycraft, the genre’s first historian, termed “a mood of subtle understatement,” calling Drink to Yesterday and its immediate sequel, A Toast to Tomorrow, “superior” examples of this revamped genre. Drink to Yesterday was based on the early life of one of its two collaborators, Cyril Henry Coles, who left school, lied about his age and enlisted as a teenager in the British army during World War I. He was transferred to intelligence when his remarkable aptitude for conversational German was noticed, and he became the youngest member of Britain’s Foreign Intelligence Office (later MI6). Like Bill Saunders of the book, Coles spent much of the rest of war working behind enemy lines. Coles and his collaborator, a Hampshire neighbor, Adelaide Oke Manning, chose to cast his story in the form of the novel so as not to run afoul of the Official Secrets Act. Grimmer than later books in the series, it’s also an ingenious circular story of murder, enlivened by the sardonic humor of Bill’s mentor, Tommy Hambledon.

US publication: 1940
Detective: n/a
Genre: n/a