Title A Scent Of New-Mown Hay.
Book Condition Inked name on front free endpaper, page edges a little browned, else a fine copy in a fairly good dustjacket with shallow chipping along the top spine edge and chipped (2cm x 2cm) bottom spine edge, dust-soiling to rear (white) panel and wear at corner tips.
Edition First edition (& 1st printing).
Publisher Secker & Warburg: London. 1958.
Seller ID 38980
Spy thriller with sf trappings: the author's first book. Published in the US in 1966 as a Lancer paperback as THE RELUCTANT SPY. Scarce UK hardcover (the US edition issued the same year is much more common).
''(1923-1993) UK writer and antiquarian book dealer, author of many novels whose ambience of Horror derives from a calculated use of material from several genres, including sf, often simultaneously; he was a sophisticated, commercial exploiter of Equipoise in fantastic fiction. Early books, such as his first, A SCENT OF NEW MOWN-HAY (1958; vt The Reluctant Spy 1966), A Sour Apple Tree (1958), Broken Boy (1959) and A Ring of Roses (1965; vt A Wreath of Roses 1965), tend to manipulate the patterns of espionage and thriller fiction to buttress and ultimately provide explanations for tales whose effects are fundamentally akin to Gothic horror and fantasy. Ex-Nazis often crop up in these books, as in the first, where a German scientist spreads around the world a mutated plague-bearing fungus boasting both the eponymous aroma (which provides early warning to its female victims) and the capacity to Shapeshift; the protagonist of this novel, General Charles Kirk, reappears in several later otherwise unconnected tales'' (John Clute/Encyclopedia of SF, 3rd Edition).