After the success of “The Mystery Of The Peacock’s Eye“, I’ve invested in a couple of other books by the mysterious Brian Flynn, namely The Case Of The Black Twenty-Two and the almost Rhode-esquely titled “Reverse The Charges”.
It’s the first one that I’m interested in. When it arrived, it baffled me as it’s a paperback reprint, courtesy of never-before-seen-by-me Withy Grove Press Ltd, London and Manchester, under the title A Cherry Tree Book. And it’s only 95 pages long. Now the font is pretty small, putting the word count at approximately 40 000 to 45 000, but the reference on OpenLibrary gives the page count at 295 pages.
So the obvious question – have I got an abridged edition or has the font been shrunk so much that I’ve got a full (if short) book? This is the sole entry for Flynn on the Internet Archive, but apparently it can’t be downloaded due to a problem with the content. Whether that’s during to the Black Twenty-Two being something unspeakably racist or just that the file in question is corrupted, who knows?
Other info from the book itself:
This is book 174 in the Cherry Tree Book range.
From the inside cover: “Collecting salvage, digging and saving for Victory, are efforts by the youngsters that deserve every encouragement. And since there simply can’t be enough Mars Bars to go round, you will want to put those you do get to good use. So let the kiddies know that, from now on, Mars are strictly reserved for work warranting the award of a MB (Mars (For Merit) Bar).” No idea of the mechanics of bribing children with sickly chocolate during wartime, but that does date the reprint to the Second World War – there’s no other date given.
From the back cover: “Make Delicious Ovaltine your daily beverage for Energy, Sound Nerves and Fitness for Service”. Because apparently in wartime, the drink that in the UK is generally associated with going to sleep was apparently recommended for the armed forces…
There’s also, rather fascinatingly, an advert for The Pelman Course, a course that comes in a book, designed to alleviate stress, which is half-price for service men. And adverts for the oddly named OK Sauce – “How’s the sauce? Well, it’s OK, I guess” – and Zubes Cough Cure – pleasant to taste and suitably for children, apparently.
But there’s no clear publication date – it’s possible that a title page may have come loose but the binding is pretty firm.
So, can anyone help with this? Is it abridged or is it the full book? I’m going to read it anyway, but any info would be useful.