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The Lifeline

UK Publisher: Muswell Press

Mark Chalmers, 36, dark haired, athletic, keen on skiing and winter sports, speaks fluent French and German and has a taste for wine, food and women. Sounds familiar? It is 1938, pre the Munich Agreement and post Anschluss. Chalmers, a master at Eton, is recruited by an old friend at the Foreign Office and introduced to his boss ‘B’. Chalmers reluctantly agrees to take on a hazardous mission for British Intelligence – to parachute into Nazi-occupied Austria and pass on information to a British agent. In case of trouble he is given a suicide pill. Chalmers has no intention of committing himself beyond this one job but once he reaches his destination, he finds himself sucked into the cause fighting fascism with the Austrian-German Underground – until there is no turning back.


‘Try the latest James Bond spin-off…reissued 1946 adventure by Phyllis Bottome, a mentor to Ian Fleming. A well-wrought period piece that Fleming completists will enjoy.’ – The Times

‘A thriller of a highly diverting and original kind, long overdue a new lease of life’ – Sunday Post

‘British novelist Phyllis Bottome is almost forgotten, but Bond fans owe her a debt …The Lifeline is still a cracking read.’ – Financial Times

‘A fascinating reissue of a 1946 spy thriller but also a possible, hitherto ignored major inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Fascinating stuff but, regardless, The Lifeline proves a jolly good read’ – Maxim Jakubowski; Crime Time


Phyllis Bottome (1884-1963) was a British novelist and short story writer whose novel, The Lifeline, is believed to have been the inspiration...