E. H. CLEMENTS – Cherry Harvest. Alister Woodhead #2. Hodder & Stoughton, UK, hardcover, 1943.  Messner, US, hardcover, 1944.

   Take a girls’ school in the heart of.the English countryside and place them in high summer during the last war.  Add a well observed selection of children and visiting parents, and three mysterious guests — vague Mr. Carey, quiet Miss Hartland and chatty Mr. Brent. One of them is a spy, and it is the author’s long enduring detective Alister Woodhead  whose job it is to find out which one.

   The book is not notable for its pace and action (though there  is a murder) and its attraction lies in the author’s ability to evoke  the English countryside. Those of you who like the idea of a quiet stroll down a country lane to an unknown destination will enjoy it.

– Reprinted from The Poison Pen, Volume 3, Number 5 (October 1980).


      The Alister Woodhead series —

Let Him Die. Hodder 1939
Cherry Harvest. Hodder 1943
Berry Green. Hodder 1945
Weathercock. Hodder 1949
Chair-Lift. Hodder 1955
Discord in the Air. Hodder 1955
The Other Island. Hodder 1956
Back in Daylight. Hodder 1957
Uncommon Cold. Hodder 1958
High Tension. Hodder 1959
Honey for the Marshal. Hodder 1960
A Note of Enchantment. Hodder 1961
Let or Hindrance. Hale 1963

Further Bio-Bibliographical Notes: Her initials perhaps helped disguise the fact that the author was female: her full name was Eileen Helen Clements Hunter (1905-1993). Besides the Woodhead series she has five standalone mysteries in Hubin. Only three of her books have been published in the US.

Added Later: I have found one other review of this title online, that on J. F. Norris’s “Pretty Sinister” blog. John goes into a lot more detail and even provides a photo image of the cover. John, I hope you don’t mind my appropriating it for Bob’s review.