Sapper 1888—1937


Herman Cyril McNeile was a British soldier and author, writing under the pseudonym Sapper. Drawing on his experiences in the trenches during the First World War, he started writing short stories and getting them published in the Daily Mail. As serving officers in the British Army were not permitted to publish under their own names, he was given the pen name “Sapper” by Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the Daily Mail; the nickname was based on that of his corps, the Royal Engineers. After the war McNeile left the army and continued writing, although he changed from war stories to thrillers. In 1920 he published Bulldog Drummond, whose eponymous hero became his best-known creation. The character was based on McNeile himself, on his friend Gerard Fairlie and on English gentlemen generally. McNeile wrote ten Bulldog Drummond novels, as well as three plays and a screenplay.

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Bulldog Drummond (1920)

Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond, wealthy former officer of the Loamshire Regiment, dashing and strong (but not particularly handsome), places an advertisement more ?


Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1935)

While Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond is staying in an old cottage for a peaceful few days of duck shooting, he is disturbed one night by the sound of men more ?


Challenge (1937)

When Colonel Henry Talbot summons Bulldog Drummond and Ronald Standish, it is to inform them of the mysterious death of one of their colleagues. There more ?


Knock-Out (1933)

Ronald Standish, the charming, occasional detective who accepts cases when they take his fancy, receives a frantic phone call from a friend, who works more ?


Temple Tower (1929)

As the Maid of Orleans sets sail for Boulogne, two men wave goodbye to their trusting wives, who are unaware the intended golf holiday is a ruse. more ?


The Black Gang (1922)

Although the First World War is over, it seems that the hostilities are not, and when Captain Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond discovers that a stint of bribery more ?


The Female of the Species (1928)

Bulldog Drummond has slain his archenemy, Carl Peterson, but Peterson’s mistress lives on and is intent on revenge. Drummond’s wife vanishes, followed more ?


The Final Count (1926)

When Robin Gaunt, inventor of a terrifyingly powerful weapon of chemical warfare, goes missing, the police suspect that he has ‘sold out’ to the other more ?


The Island of Terror (1931)

When intrepid adventurer, Jim Maitland, returns to England for a brief visit, he meets a charming young woman named Judy Draycott, who solicits his more ?


The Return of Bulldog Drummond (1934)

While staying as a guest at Merridale Hall, Captain Hugh ‘Bulldog’ Drummond’s peaceful repose is disturbed by a frantic young man who comes dashing more ?


The Saving Clause (1927)

Sapper leads us into a very pleasant world in which the mighty, such as the Oliver Samuelsons, the vulgar nouveaux riches, are turned out of their more ?


The Third Round (1924)

The death of Professor Goodman is officially recorded as a tragic accident, but at the inquest, no mention is made of his latest discovery–a miraculous more ?


Tiny Carteret (1930)

A terrific thriller from The Golden Age of the genre. Our hero attempts to rescue a compromising photographic negative of a European Queen from a gang more ?


Word of Honour (1926)

Sapper is not so good inking short stories as in a full-length novel; but he still shows many of his virtues. His style is conversational and easy, his more ?