This note was last modified Saturday, 20-Dec-2014 13:41:33 PST.
This note contains spoilers for the series.
These are espionage books, or something; not precisely mysteries. Whatever they are, they're just wonderful. They're highly intellectual, not primarily action-oriented. They're not particularly violent, though a certain number of people do get killed on stage. There's usually a historical tie-in of some sort, from Troy to WWII; it's usually being used by one side to try to distract or confuse the other side in the pursuit of the real problem, and it's often not clear until the end, if then, just who was using it on whom, either. They also comprise the entire fiction output of the author, Anthony Price.
Nice technical thing: All these books take place in and around an (imaginary, I believe) department of British Intelligence (which, at least in these books, isn't an oxymoron). They have lots of characters in common. There's one character, Dr. David Audley, who appears in all of them. But he's not the central or viewpoint character in all of the books, and people who are the central character in some of the books are not immortal, even in their own books (not too big a spoiler, I think). It's also very interesting seeing the same characters from different viewpoints.
"Proper" reading order is an interesting question. The books were published, and presumably written, in an order different from their internal chronology. I'm working on a chronology paper with plot summary, information on characters in the book, and such, too. (last updated Wednesday, 28-Apr-2010 08:48:28 PDT).
I was turned on to these books by John M. Ford, whose own The Scholars of Night shows some Price influence.
I've got booknotes on Price's books.
The first two books make a very good starting point.
The Labyrinth Makers
A crashed transport aircraft from WWII comes beck to light, and the strange interest the Russians showed when it was lost also reappears.
The Alamut Ambush
Soldier No More
Other Paths to Glory
The Old Vengeful
I have a special fondness for these, usually because they have unusual features.
Our Man in Camelot
A dentist with the US Air Force with CIA connections is caught in an investigation. A colleague who flew reconnaissance planes was looking for evidence of the existence of King Arthur -- or maybe for something else.
This features Oliver St. John Latimer, Audley's opponent in the department, as the viewpoint character and main protagonist. It also takes place in the southern US. Altogether unusual, and quite interesting.