Crime, Mystery, Adventure, Thrills – all to be found in Nicholas Monsarrat’s short story collection commencing with ‘The Ship that Died of Shame’, where a former Navy gunboat is used for smuggling by ex-servicemen down on their luck in post-war society. In ‘The Reconciliation’ a husband employs private detectives, but then changes his mind about a divorce once their findings are revealed; and in ‘Licensed to Kill’ a honeymoon soon turns into a manhunt when a former Royal Marine Commando employs the tricks of his trade. A further seven stories complete a volume which contains much to satisfy the reader, with many twists and turns and hard hitting drama.
The Author: Nicholas Monsarrat was born in Liverpool, the son of a distinguished surgeon. He was educated at Winchester and then at Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied law. However, his subsequent career as a solicitor encountered a swift end when he decided to leave Liverpool for London, with a half-finished manuscript under his arm and £40 in his pocket.
The first of his books to attract attention was the largely autobiographical ‘This is the Schoolroom’. It is a largely autobiographical 'coming of age' novel dealing with the end of college life, the 'Hungry Thirties', and the Spanish Civil War. During World War Two he joined the Royal Navy and served in corvettes. His war experience provided the framework for the novel ‘HMS Marlborough will enter Harbour’, and one of his best known books. ‘The Cruel Sea’ was made into a classic film starring Jack Hawkins. After the war he became a director of the UK Information Service, first in Johannesburg, then in Ottawa.
Established as a sought after writer who was also highly regarded by critics, Monsarrat’s career eventually concluded with his epic ‘The Master Mariner’, a novel on seafaring life from Napoleonic times to the present.
Well known for his concise story telling and tense narrative, he became one of the most successful novelists of the twentieth century, whose rich and varied collection bears the hallmarks of a truly gifted master of his craft.
‘A professional who gives us our money’s worth. The entertainment value is high’- Daily Telegraph