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Halfhyde Ordered South [Hardcover]

Philip McCutchan

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Book Description

December 1979
The old iron-clad Meridian steams south on her last journey under the British flag, on route to her new home in the Chilean Navy. Using the transfer of the ship as cover, Halfhyde and Watkiss are on a covert operation to protect British interests in South America from the encroaching Germans. Soon Halfhyde has an added mission: he must help a detective from the Metropolitan Police track down and intercept a traitorous civil servant who has escaped from prison and is on the run for South America.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (December 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312356897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312356897
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g

Product Description


"Halfhyde is a fine hero, insubordinate and ingenious." —The New York Times

"McCutchan brings . . . a driving style and a vast knowledge of and love for the sea that is certain to delight seafaring buffs." —Booklist --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Philip McCutchan served on various British war ships during WWII. Afterwards, he concentrated on writing, publishing more than 80 books, including the fifteen-book Halfhyde series.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strange series by McCutchan... May 3 2009
By Jim Davis - Published on Amazon.com
The Halfhyde series had trouble finding an identity. The series is set in the 1890s. The hero is Lieutenant St. Vincent Halfhyde, RN who, because of his outspoken views on the shortcomings of the late Victorian Royal Navy, is given special assignments.

The series started out with Halfhyde plunged into a series of "Cold War" confrontations between Britain and Russia or Britain and Germany. But then the series took an abrupt turn featuring a brilliantly conceived comic figure, Captain Watkiss. Watkiss completely steals the show. Halfhyde seems like a supporting character when Watkiss is featured. McCutchan recognized that problem and killed Watkiss off but was forced to revive him later on. The last two Halfhyde novels are out and out humorous farces with Watkiss front and center.

In the present book, we have Halfhyde and Watkiss headed to Chile to upset the machinations of the German Admiral von Merkatz. This they manage to do in fine fashion. This is the first Halfhyde novels to prominently feature the nation of Chile. It would be featured in several more and it is by no means in a flattering depiction. One wonders if McCutchan had a lot of first hand experience in the country.

Unusually for a military series there is relatively little action in the Halfhyde series in general and this one in particular. The focus is on overcoming difficulties by clever plans and sheer luck and persistence. McCutchan's makes good use of his patented method of switching points of view and climbing into the heads of different characters.
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Naval Fiction!! Sept. 1 2013
By James J. Bloom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
McCutchan is a late discovery for me, after reading some mediocre pulp-fiction potboilers by folks who keep throwing the same cliched situations and phrases at you. I was delighted to finally encounter the Halfhyde series --I've read four of them so far and will try to get those o/p titles as they are available. Halfhyde, the irascible Commander Watkiss, and a score of other characters fill these books with believable, sometimes hilarious and always exciting adventures that show a real grasp of the historical and diplomatic/cultural context. Victoria Penn, Halfhyde's Mistress and traveling companion appears late in the series but she is one of the most intriguing female characters I've encountered. Not expected in a genre where the women are usually cardboard caricatures. McCutchan's books are not only wonderfully entertaining but they provide real insight into the late Victorian navy, its officers and its milieu. Highly recommended.

As a postscript, I notice that some reviewers are miffed about the author's apparent bias against and caricaturing of Chileans, especially their naval officers. This is unfortunate and I agree that he may have had some bad experience with the Chileans that fueled this bias. There is no question that the author shares his character Watkiss's animus against the Chileans (or "dagoes" as he calls them). That said, McCutchan is both entertaining and edifying, at least with respect to the British navy's practices and ethos of the 1890s.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On pare with Bernard Cornwall's Richard Sharpe series. Dec 6 2007
By B. Bisbey - Published on Amazon.com
Definitely on pare with Bernard Cornwall's Richard Sharp series. Philip McCutchan gives a hard look at the turn of the early 20th century through eyes and adventures of Lt. Halfhyde. Give the series a chance, because the first half of the first novel in the series starts you hating Halfhyde, but you get to understand who he is and what he is up against in the storyline. Halfhyde Ordered South is number 6 in the series and continues the interesting adventures and life of Lt. Halfhyde. Good Reading

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