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Fast Paced WWII Spy Story Delicious Fun

A Scream in Soho

A British Library Crime Classic

by John G Brandon

Poisoned Pen Press

Pub Date 02 Aug 2016


It is always interesting to read mysteries that have been long out of print. The British Library Crime Classics showcase the work of authors once popular who have long faded from public view. These hidden gems are delightful treats, not always substantial, but definitely fun to read.

A Scream in Soho is an entertaining pulp thriller as opposed to a whodunit, set in London during WWII. Amidst the darkness of a nightly blackout, a scream is heard. Blood and a stiletto are found - but no body. Detective Inspector McCarthy, known for his brilliance and eccentricity, is assigned the case. Swiftly more comes into play as plans are found missing, and the hunt for the spy ensues.

A Scream in Soho has a little bit of everything- German spies, glamorous aristocrats, Italian gangsters, a killer dwarf, a transvestite and plenty of murder. The action moves at a fast pace and Detective Inspector McCarthy is an engaging lead. While there is a lot of excitement, readers are always comfortably aware that the spies will fail and McCarthy will prevail.

If you like historical mysteries and want a taste of fun WWII pulp, A Scream in Soho will suit you to a "t".


I received a copy of A Scream in Soho from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



‘For a scream in the early hours of the morning in Soho, even from a female throat, to stop dead in his tracks a hard-boiled constable, it had to be something entirely out of the ordinary.’ Soho during the blackouts of the Second World War. When a piercing scream rends the air and a bloodied knife is found, Detective Inspector McCarthy is soon on the scene. He must move through the dark, seedy Soho underworld– peopled by Italian gangsters, cross-dressing German spies and glamorous Austrian aristocrats – as he attempts to unravel the connection between the mysterious Madame Rohner and the theft of secret anti-aircraft defence plans. This evocative and suspenseful London novel from the golden age of British detective fiction is now republished for the first time since the 1950s, with an introduction by the award-winning crime novelist Martin Edwards.

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