Saturday 21 September 2019

Hist fic Saturday ~ Blog Tour ~ Plenty Under the Counter by Kathleen Hewitt

On Hist Fic Saturday 

I'm thrilled to be hosting today's stop on this Blog Tour

In September 2019, to mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, IWM will launch a wonderful new series with four novels from their archives all set during the Second World War – Imperial War Museums Wartime Classics. 

Originally published to considerable acclaim, these titles were written either during or just after the Second World War and are currently out of print. Each novel is written directly from the author’s own experience and takes the reader right into the heart of the conflict. They all capture the awful absurdity of war and the trauma and chaos of battle as well as some of the fierce loyalties and black humour that can emerge in extraordinary circumstances. 

Living through a time of great upheaval, as we are today, each wartime story brings the reality of war alive in a vivid and profoundly moving way and is a timely reminder of what the previous generations experienced. 

The remarkable IWM Library has an outstanding literary collection and was an integral part of Imperial War Museums from its very beginnings. Alan Jeffreys, (Senior Curator, Second World War, Imperial War Museums) searched the library collection to come up with these four launch titles, all of which deserve a new and wider audience. He has written an introduction to each novel that sets them in context and gives the wider historical background and says, ‘Researching the Wartime Classics has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on in my years at IWM. It’s been very exciting rediscovering these fantastic novels and helping to bring them to the wider readership they so deserve’

Wartime Classics
26 September 2019

My thanks to the IWM, Angela Martin, and Random Things Tours for my copy of this book
and the opportunity to be part of this Blog Tour

Plenty Under the Counter by Kathleen Hewitt – a murder mystery about opportunism and the black market set against the backdrop of London during the Blitz. ‘With a dead body on the first page and a debonair RAF pilot as the sleuth, this stylish whodunit takes you straight back to Blitzed London and murder most foul. Several plausible suspects, a femme fatale, witty dialogue, memorable scenes and unexpected twists – it boasts everything a great whodunit should have, and more. Andrew Roberts.

My thoughts about it..

WW2 Flight-Lieutenant David Heron is recuperating after a war time injury and has chosen to spend his convalescence in his favourite boarding house in London. When he is rudely awakened with the strange news that the body of a man has been found in the garden everyone in Mrs Meake’s boarding house is immediately under suspicion. David, however, is determined to track down the perpetrator of this heinous crime even though it takes him into some very dangerous situations.

What then follows is an interesting whodunit which is very much in the style of the golden age of sleuthing. The characters take charge from the very start and whilst Flight-Lieutenant Heron is a suave and sophisticated sleuth, he is also very much an old fashioned gentleman, and his considered approach to crime investigation is a real breath of fresh air. However, his air of affability and general bonhomie is about to be tested to the limit as he delves further and further into the clandestine world of the black market.

Plenty Under the Counter is filled with twists, turns and numerous red herrings and is a fascinating snap shot of what it was like to live in wartime London. Written in 1948, there is a definite air of authenticity about it, particularly as the author is using her own experience of living in London during the war years, bringing a real sense of originality to what is, after all, quite a complex murder/mystery.

Plenty Under the Counter is a fascinating addition to the IWM Wartime Classic Collection and will, I’m sure, appeal to those readers who enjoy a good old fashioned crime novel. 

About the Author

Kathleen Hewitt was a British author and playwright who wrote more than 20 novels in her lifetime. She was part of an artistic set in 1930’s London which included Olga Lehman and the poet Roy Campbell.

Twitter @I_W_M #wartimeclassics




  1. Thanks so much for this blog tour support Jo x

    1. My pleasure. It's great to be involved with this series of wartime classics.


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