The internal chronology differs from the publication order in these books (even ignoring flash-back sequences). In general, when in doubt, I advise reading a series of books in publication order, because that's the order the people who made them popular in the first place read them, and it's the order the author planned them in. There can be reasons to do otherwise, but my rule is to do it only for good reasons.
As long as I'm working on this, I'm going to put in major character appearances and such details, to make it easier to find things. I've very much liked charts like that I found on the web for other series. The character list isn't complete; I'm listing those who have significant screen-time, or about whom something important is revealed. Though when in doubt I tend towards inclusivity.
The first character listed is the viewpoint character, at least if the book is structured that way. Some of these books have characters that never appear; people that are talked about in every chapter, but always in the past. I tend to include those names, too, so you'll find them if that's what you remember.
The plot summary is supposed to be enough to find which book some remembered major event happens in; sorry, can't cover all the important but minor events! It's not especially slanted to sell the books; this is for people who already like them, trying to find the one with a particular story in it.
Many of the books have precise datings in them, or references in later books given them a precise year. All the explicit ones end up being the year before the copyright (there must be some luck involved in this). So I'm arbitrarily assigning all the books to the year before they were copyrighted unless there's evidence to the contrary. This is my starting point for the early dating. (In October Men Boselli says the shopkeeper died while Panin was in England in 1969, so that pegs The Labyrinth Makers.)
I originally read them in random order as I found them, which lead me to thinking of them as a mass of funny time with a few historical notes included. We'll see what more careful consideration yields.
I've written booknotes on the Price books the various times I've read them.
The plot summaries here contain spoilers!
I think I should separate the chronology information from the book information, because one is also for beginners, and the other definitely isn't. Sorry! After I get this all assembled, I'll refactor it. And maybe flop it around so you can list it in either order, too
Okay, I've actually made it through -- all the books are filled in to some extent, anyway. If you think I'm missing something important, drop me email! Last modified Wednesday, 28-Apr-2010 08:48:28 PDT.
|Title||Publication Date||Characters||Internal Chronology|
|The Labyrinth Makers||1970||David Audley, Nikolai Panin, John Steerforth, Faith Steerforth, Hugh Roskill, Jake Shapiro||1969|
|A DC-3 ("Dakota") that crashed during WWII comes to light, and the Russians are far too interested. Panin shows up. Audley meets his future wife Faith. The WWII mystery is intercut with a Trojan mystery. Audley has been expected to perform miracles "since May '67". He's kicked out of the Middle East section. Visit to the Old House.|
|The Alamut Ambush||1971||Hugh Roskill, Allan Jenkins, David Audley, Jake Shapiro, Colonel Razzak||1970|
|Jenkins is blown up investigating Dai Lewellyn's car, which was stolen in peculiar circumstances. They find Jenkins was in fact the target, because he had seen a contact between Shapiro and Razzak. The Ryle Foundation seems to be being used by Hassan. Hassan plans to start a major new assassination group to prevent peace in the middle east; Shapiro and Razzak collaborate to stop it, and have to get Roskill and Audley to not stop them. Hassan's cleverly hidden kickoff meeting is blown out of the sky with all hands. Roskill will lose flying status because of wounds. Audley refers to having been kicked out of the mideast group in the last year. Clinton is in charge.|
|Colonel Butler's Wolf||1972||Jack Butler, David Audley, Richardson, Neil Smith/Paul Zoshchenko, Dan McLachlan, Polly Epton||1971|
|Are the Russians infiltrating sleepers into the top universities? Was Neil Smith one of them? Did he die by accident? Butler investigates among the student body, and the old friend from Eden Hall turns out to be the primary agent. Archaeology and Hadrian's Wall are studied at the Castlefields center. The Epton's continue to hold the wall.|
|October Men||1973||Pietro Boselli, Peter Richardson, David Audley, General Raffaele Montuori, George "The Bastard" Ruelle, Armando Villari, Mr. & Mrs. Clark, Richard von Hotzendorf ("Little Bird"), Eugenio Narva||1972|
|Audley's off to Rome unexpectedly -- and without telling his bosses what he's up to. Mr. Clark shoots a burglar in Audley's house, which is when they notice the family is gone. The symptoms fit a defection, and Audley has enemies of course. Then two more people die in Rome, General Montuori calls Sir Frederick, and Richardson is dispatched to Rome. What Audley was tracking down is where Little Bird got the information he sold Narva on North Sea oil, which nobody could have had at that time so far as anybody knows. Turns out the information was faked, Little Bird planned his own death to make it believable, and his main payoff was Narva getting his family out of East Germany. So no present profit to anybody. Audley handling the Zoshchenko matter is referred to as "months ago".|
|Other Paths to Glory||1974||Paul Mitchell / Captain Lefevre, David Audley, Colonel Butler, Charles Emerson, Nikki MacMahon, Ted Ollivier||1973|
|Audley gets a map fragment from a friend, with Emerson's name on it. Emerson is killed before Audley can get to him. Mitchell has worked with Emerson and is a student of WWI also. Mitchell is nearly killed on the way home after talking to Audley. So Audley takes Lefevre to France to work out what's going on, and ends up spoiling Ollivier's plot to blow up a secret international summit using leftover WWI explosives in an old tunnel system. Mitchell is recruited into the department.|
|Our Man in Camelot||1975||Mosby Singleton Sheldon III, Shirley Sheldon, David Audley, Harry Finsterwald, A1C Merriwether, Billy Bullitt||1974|
|An undercover assignment to locate Badon Hill, site of Arthur's most famous battle? People dying right and left? Everybody just trying to find out what's going on? No, it's the KGB (working for Nikolai Panin) trying to get the CIA pretty much kicked entirely out of Britain. By making everybody think that the site of Arthur's most famous battle has been buried under the runway extension at an American airbase, after the commanding general promised not to.|
|War Game||1976||David Audley, Charlie Ratcliffe, Paul Mitchell, Frances Fitzgibbon, Sergeant Digby||1975|
|Audley is brought in on what initially looks like a domestic political problem, which he finds not engaging, and not worth personal commitment. He eventually realizes that the CIA and the KGB are already involved, and implements a ruthlessly effective solution where Charlie kills himself by trying to betray his associates. The gold captured by Captain Parrott is traced and located in so many separate ways my head spins.|
|The '44 Vintage||1978||Jack Butler, David Audley, Major O'Conor, Colonel Clinton, Madelaine Boucard, Sergeant Winston, Sgt. Purvis, Taffy Jones||1944|
|Butler and Audley are detached from their respective regiments for duty with Chandos Force, which is a bit of a weird bird it seems. They've been working with partisans in Yugoslavia, behind the German lines, and are now being sent to recover valuable property of His Majesty. O'Conor tries to kill them three times, and thinks he's succeeded. Audley has decided they're the real Chandos Force and must complete the mission. In the end the mission is impossible for anybody; the property of great value is information, which has been destroyed by the river running through its hiding place. The date is given as 1944.|
|Tomorrow's Ghost||1979||Frances Fitzgibbon / Marilyn Francis, Paul Mitchell, Colonel Butler, Michael O'Leary, David Audley, Professor Crowe, Nanny Hooker, Rifleman Sands||1978|
|Fitzgibbon is pulled from the middle of an industrial espionage investigation to work on an Irish terrorist problem, run by Butler, which she's not cleared for and not needed or wanted on. There's internal politics, multi-layered itself, about who gets Clinton's job in the next year. Some of the people playing are collaborating with the Russians, to prevent an old problem from coming out. Butler is to be smeared with having murdered his wife, 9 years ago. Frances instead proves his alibi, and then just barely manages to prevent Mitchell's murder. Mitchell identifies the time as "late '70s".|
|The Hour of the Donkey||1980||Harry Bastable, William M. Willis ("Wimpy"), Nigel Audley||May 1940|
|The Prince Regent's Own South Downs Fusiliers, where Bastable, Willis, and Audley are officers, is part of the expeditionary force against the Germans in the spring of 1940. Bastable sees two British officers in conference with German officers and realized the information had to get to higher authority. He's seen, recognized as in PRO, and Willis' name is found from his binoculars which Bastable borrowed and lost. And Willis and Bastable are hunted by the SS. Bastable is about three steps behind most of the time, but Willis is half a step ahead.|
|Soldier No More||1981||David Roche, David Audley, Gillian Baker, Alexandre Perowne, Meriel Stephanides, William Willis, Etienne d'Auberon, Fred Clinton||1957|
|Captain Roche , who is a KGB double-agent, is pulled in to the just-forming "Research and Development" department by Fred Clinton to research and recruit David Audley, who they want back. Roche gets information from them, from the KGB, and from people he interviews, including Willis, Audley's schoolmaster and biological father. He recruits David (trivial since David wanted to come back anyway) and arranges a complex fraud with the KGB to make it look like d'Auberon handed over the secret papers Clinton wants. Which is what Clinton was hoping for, since he'd known about Roche's KGB work from the start. Algerian separatists attack the tower under the impression that the briefcase contains plans relating to them instead. The date 1957 is given explicitly in the book.|
|The Old Vengeful||1982||David Audley, Elizabeth Loftus, Paul Mitchell, Humphrey Aske, Cathy Audley||1981|
|Loftus is drawn into a situation rather the same way Mitchell was earlier. Mitchell saves her from a psychopath sent her way by criminal connections of her father's, and also notices a KGB man watching. Audley is behaving strangely, enthusiastically pursuing the interesting history of the 7th Vengeful. Turns out several independent threads have come together; her father was selling off jewelry that should have come to her from her mother, and the criminals wanted the rest of that, while the Russians wanted to keep Audley distracted from their real target, the new guided missile cruiser Shannon, which was almost the 13th Vengeful. And Audley wants them to believe he is distracted while their organization is quietly rolled up.|
|Gunner Kelly||1983||Colonel Butler, David Audley, Benedikt Schneider, Darren, Benjie, Gunner Kelly, Rebecca Maxwell-Smith||1982|
|Butler's youngest daughter Jane asks Audley to help a friend. Turns out the friend wants to trap and kill the man who murdered her grandfather. Kelly isn't who the outsiders think he is, and the people after him are the KGB. First hint of the "Debreczen list". The Old General's death date is given as 1982, confirming that the non-historical books are still set at the time they were written.|
|Sion Crossing||1984||Oliver St. John Latimer, David Audley, Paul Mitchell, Howard Morris, Winston Mulholland / Kingston, Lucy Cookridge||1983|
|Apparently by accident, Latimer rather than Audley is asked to help Senator Cookridge resolve a historical mystery. He heads off to Georgia, and Mitchell gets suspicious. It's a complex frame, set up by Macallan, who worked with Audley on the Debreczen list, to show that Robinson was a KGB agent and to discredit or even kill Audley. Lucy thinks better of it at the last second, and Mulholland agrees to try to help undo it, and nearly everyone survives except the Confederate soldiers working for Robinson.|
|Here Be Monsters||1985||Elizabeth Loftus, David Audley, Peter Barrie, Caradog "Haddock" Thomas, Major Parker, Major Brian Turnbull, Peter Richardson, William Willis||1984|
|The big Debrecen (how it's spelled this time) List book. Parker is killed after visiting Thomas, then Turnbull is killed investigating Thomas' deceased wife. Audley is sure Thomas is not a traitor, but somebody (including Latimer presumably) is probably gunning for Audley, too. The visits and interviews are all inconclusive in the end.|
|For the Good of the State||1986||Sir Thomas Arkenshaw, Garrod Harvey, Henry Jaggard, David Audley, Cathy Audley, Willy Groot, Basil Cole, Nikolai Panin, Major Sadowski||1985|
|Sir Thomas is seconded to R&D to mind Audley when he goes to meet Panin in Exmoor. Than somebody takes a shot at Audley, and then Basil Cole, his Panin expert, is murdered. Sir Thomas is suspicious of the shot at Audley, and comes to admire Audley by the end (and in fact goes to work for Butler in R&D). Panin wants to eliminate General Zarubin, a political liability from some rough stuff in Poland. Jaggard is trying to rein in R&D, and gets handed his head on messing them around -- but Butler wants to bring R&D more into accord with the rest of the intelligence community.|
|A New Kind of War||1987||Fred Fattorini, David Audley, Kyriakos Michaelides, Amos de Souza, Fred Clinton, Major Stocker, RSM Levin||1945|
|The "new kind" of war is not the post-Soviet environment we're coping (poorly) with now, but rather the beginning of the Cold War. First Greece in Feb. 1945, encountering the fringes of mopping up the communist insurgency and other local scores being settled. Then in Germany later that year, Clinton is hunting for a nuclear scientist, using other scientific targets as cover, and using all of that as cover for finding the traitor in his group. The climactic scene, with loyalties pointing all over the place and good men getting killed by being too smart and showing too much initiative, is wrenching.|
|A Prospect of Vengeance||1988||Jennifer Fielding-ffulke, Ian Robertson, Reg Buller, Paul Mitchell, David Audley, Paddy MacManus, Philip Masson||1987|
|R&D faces investigative journalists over the death of Philip Masson in 1978 just before he might have assumed control of R&D. This raises the devil, and everybody is scrambling to figure out why. R&D did finally know why Masson died (to keep him from seeing key files that would have told him something) and was running a disinformation operation against the Russians based on that knowledge.|
|The Memory Trap||1989||David Audley, Oleg Kulik, Paul Mitchell, Peter Richardson, Mary Franklin, Colonel Zimin, General Lukianov||1988|
|A defector who asked for Audley is killed just as he makes contact in West Berlin. He says to tell Audley that Richardson knows; doesn't manage to mention what. The Russians are turning up all their contacts to find three men, Kulik, xxx, and Lukianov. Lukianov is planning to sell the location of a Spetsnaz weapons cache including poison gas *in Britain* to terrorists. Everybody wants to stop him, and basically the Russians do. Audley and company stumble into the Spetsnaz team removing the weapons cache, but Audley talks their way out, just barely.|