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A Toast to Tomorrow

by Manning Coles

Series: Tommy Hambledon (2)

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1087251,623 (4.43)16
Book Sense March 2008 Notable Book Pick. Joseph Goebbels is fuming. It's the mid-1930s and the Nazi Minister of Propoganda has a nice little racket going. He and his cohorts are allowing Jews to slip out of Germany in return for 80 percent of their assets. But longtime Nazi party member Klaus Lehmann, the Chief of the German Police, is too much of a prig to let him get away with it. And given that Lehman was one of Hitler's earliest supporters, he's virtually untouchable. In the meantime, British Intelligence is going around in circles. Someone in Germany is sending them messages in a code that hasn't been used since World War I. When it was first published in 1941 in the U.S., A Toast to Tomorrow, along with its predecessor, Drink to Yesterday, was heralded by famed critic Anthony Boucher as a single long and magnificent novel of drama, intrigue and humor.… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
4.5 stars
Not your typical WW2 spy thriller! Though there are some suspenseful moments (especially towards the end), this absorbing espionage novel (written in 1940) doesn't have gadgets or seduction scenes or even very many adventures so if that is what you are looking for, keep on searching. What it does have is a man living in Germany sending intelligence to Britain.

Some of the attitudes he espouses (particularly about Jews and blacks) may bother some readers but despite making me cringe, I think that they make him a more believable, fully rounded character. He is not a knight in shining armor but a real person with some great strengths but also some terrible flaws. This is my first Manning Coles book as I mistakenly thought it was the first in the series -- it won't be my last! ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
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? ( )
  SeriousGrace | Nov 10, 2016 |
Not your typical WW2 spy thriller! Though there are some suspenseful moments (especially towards the end), this absorbing espionage novel (written in 1940) doesn't have gadgets or seduction scenes or even very many adventures so if that is what you are looking for, keep on searching. What it does have is a man living in Germany sending intelligence to Britain.

Some of the attitudes he espouses (particularly about Jews and blacks) may bother some readers but despite making me cringe, I think that they make him a more believable, fully rounded character. He is not a knight in shining armor but a real person with some great strengths but also some terrible flaws. This is my first Manning Coles book as I mistakenly thought it was the first in the series -- it won't be my last! ( )
  leslie.98 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Manning Coles pseud. för Adelaide Francis Oke Manning and Cyril Henry Coles . Vol 2 A Drink to Yesterday.
  kitchengardenbooks | Apr 3, 2015 |
A fairly close sequel to Drink to Yesterday --they stand together a being much more serious than many of the Hambledon stories. Hambledon (who apparently died in Drink to Yesterday) turns out to have suffered amnesia due to a head wound. He believes himself to be a German and lives through the Weimar era (very vividly described) and joins the Nazi Party, rising to be police chief --he regains his memory on seeing the Reichstag fire and resumes work as a British agent. Highly improbable as this storyline appears, it does give a sympathetic account of German conditions and helps a reader understand how many Germans could support the Nazis. The story also includes several characters who continue in the series, notably Reck the radio man and Charles Denton, a younger British agent whom Hambledon saves. ( )
  antiquary | Aug 6, 2013 |
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Book Sense March 2008 Notable Book Pick. Joseph Goebbels is fuming. It's the mid-1930s and the Nazi Minister of Propoganda has a nice little racket going. He and his cohorts are allowing Jews to slip out of Germany in return for 80 percent of their assets. But longtime Nazi party member Klaus Lehmann, the Chief of the German Police, is too much of a prig to let him get away with it. And given that Lehman was one of Hitler's earliest supporters, he's virtually untouchable. In the meantime, British Intelligence is going around in circles. Someone in Germany is sending them messages in a code that hasn't been used since World War I. When it was first published in 1941 in the U.S., A Toast to Tomorrow, along with its predecessor, Drink to Yesterday, was heralded by famed critic Anthony Boucher as a single long and magnificent novel of drama, intrigue and humor.

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