Dr Jason Love’s complete casebook now available again

In 1964 a new secret agent hit the bookshops. Dr Jason Love, the West Country doctor and Cord car aficionado, was lured into the secret service of the HM Government on an occasional basis.
Over the next 28 years nine books and a volume of seven short stories saw him fight evil and save the day across the globe, from England and Scotland, to Syria and Lebanon, to Portugal, Switzerland and Corsica, to Pakistan and India, to Canada, the USA, the Caribbean and finally Australia.
The series was one of the best selling in the second half of the 20th Century. They were published in over 20 countries. They were some of the most borrowed books in the UK libraries.
The first book, Passport to Oblivion sold over 4 million copies alone and was made into a film, Where the Spies Are, starring David Niven, Françoise Dorléac, John Le Mesurier and Cyril Cusack (and the Cord car). In 2019 it was made into an audiobook starring George Lazenby, Glynis Barber, Nickolas Grace, Terence Stamp and, Michael Brandon.
The complete case file of Dr Love’s thrillers is now complete again and available for both Kindle and paperback.

Who was Andrew MacAllan?

‘Andrew MacAllan’ was conceived by James Leasor and legendary literary agent, Gillon Aitken, during a long lunch. It was a project that could have come straight out of one of Leasor’s bestselling Dr Jason Love spy thrillers. It would involve the subterfuge and dark skills that Aitken had honed during his time in British intelligence before he turned his hand to literary rather than secret agent.
Leasor was now in his sixties and finding it harder to interest publishers in new book projects. They were happy to publish some of his proven successes, such the Jason Love thrillers – but even then they would limit their print runs to 20,000 in hardback, which would virtually all be snapped up by libraries. They would then say that few had been sold to retailers and that therefore there was no popular demand for a larger run.
Leasor was also frustrated by people accosting him at drinks parties claiming that it was now virtually impossible for a new author to get published – on merit alone – without some fashionable back story to excite the publisher’s interest.
Aitken and Leasor decided over their lunch to try to break these cartesian circles. But how could a ‘new’ author get a book published without revealing who he was? Their idea involved an author who, with a credible reason, was unable to meet the publisher. And so the idea of Andrew MacAllan was born.
The narrative was developed that MacAllan was a successful businessman based in the Far East, but who, because of the nature of his work, travelled frequently. He would be hard to tie to any particular location or schedule. We need to remember that this was in the late 1980s – long before mobile phones, the internet, Zoom, etc., etc. All contact would be via the agent – Gillon Aitken.
James Leasor wrote the first three chapters and a synopsis of an epic historical saga – loosely based on the origins of Hong Kong-based trading companies like Jardine Matheson and Swire. Gillon Aitken took it, along with the agreed story about MacAllan, around a number of London-based publishers. It was snapped up by the fairly recently-launched – and very ambitious – Headline publishing house, with a healthy advance.
During his travels around the world, Leasor had collected hotel headed writing paper from exotic places such as Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Delhi, Nassau and New York and so ‘MacAllan’ used these to correspond with the publisher. He was introduced to a branch manager of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Pall Mall, who agreed to open a bank account in the name of Andrew MacAllan, so any royalty payments could be paid without arising suspicion. The bank could also act as a forwarding address. The stage was set.
The first book, ‘Succession’, a 700 page blockbuster, was published in 1989 to fantastic sales. An initial print run of 50,000 in hardback quickly sold out. Reprints swiftly followed. It was Headline’s biggest seller that year. A sequel, ‘Generation’, came out the following year, and similar sales success resulted.
There was one issue. The pressure from the publishers for them to meet their star author became overwhelming. Who was this unknown writer who could so effortlessly turn out bestsellers, with supposedly no previous experience? Numerous meetings had been scheduled, and then cancelled at short notice due to ‘MacAllan’s’ hectic travel schedule. But Aitken and Leasor realised that this could not go on for ever – and so they revealed everything to Headline.
Headline, now part of the Hachette publishing group, published four more MacAllan bestsellers, Diamond Hard, Fanfare, Speculator and Traders.
The experiment proved the validity of Leasor’s original arguments – that a new, unknown author could still get published; and that even when he was in his seventies, Leasor could still write best selling books.
James Leasor Publishing is pleased to be reissuing the Andrew MacAllan books. Succession is now available for Kindle and paperback. The other titles will be out in the coming weeks.

Film option signed for James Leasor’s book on the R101 disaster

London, 3 October 2018. An option has been signed to make a film out of one of Britain’s greatest air disasters, 88 years ago this week, that killed a cabinet minister and finished off the airship as a viable means of transport. The film rights for the James Leasor book, The Millionth Chance: The Story of the R101, have been purchased by Talking Trees Film, an innovative visual company with a creative team based in London and New York City – drama, reality, documentary… entertainment for both television and the big screen.

The R101 airship was the largest aircraft ever built and was thought to be the model for the future, an amazing design that was ‘as safe as houses. . .’ except for the fact that this huge vessel crashed leaving forty-seven dead, including a cabinet minister – and only six survivors, on its first commercial flight. It is a story of undue political pressure, mismanagement and compromise. It is also a story of great bravery and mystery.

When The Millionth Chance was first published in 1957 it shocked the world. It was the first account of the incident that had revealed the full facts that led up to the disaster, after a whitewashed official enquiry. Written with the benefit of first-hand accounts of many of the people who had been involved, it was a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic.

Stuart Leasor, publisher of James Leasor’s works, said, “We’re delighted that Talking Trees Film want to make a film of this story. It is one with a terrible place in the history of the aviation industry. It has all the makings of a fascinating film and Talking Trees are just the people to make it.  This film option agreement is the second one we have signed for one of James Leasor’s books in as many months.  We have several more under discussion.”

Tori Rudling and Loe Fahie, co-founders of Talking Trees Film, added, “We are thrilled to bring this epic moment in history back to life on screen, so that it’s not forgotten.”

Below is a link to a short film, title “Little Lantern”, set on the evening of Saturday 4th October 1930 at Cardington Airship Works, England. The ill-fated departure of the largest airship in the world – The R101 to India. Written, photographed, edited and directed by Steve Hilliker, a key member of Talking Tree Films https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9m2VZS6LHw

Film option signed for James Leasor’s ‘Green Beach’

Days before this weekend’s 76th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid in WW2, when 5,000 Canadians, 1,000 British troops, and 50 United States Army Rangers stormed ashore in Northern France an option has been signed to make a film of one of the most amazing aspects of the raid, when a man went into action knowing he would be killed by his own side if he appeared likely to be captured. The motion picture rights to James Leasor’s Green Beach have been purchased by Jason Delaney, the well-regarded Vancouver-based screenwriter with several produced films to his credit.

Green Beach tells the story of one man’s amazing heroism, on a day of many heroes. RAF radar expert Jack Nissenthall, son of Jewish refugees from Germany, volunteered for a suicidal mission to penetrate a German radar station perched above “Green Beach”. Knowing the secrets of Allied radar technology, he could not fall into Nazi hands. Bodyguards from the South Saskatchewan Regiment had orders to protect him, or kill him in the event of possible capture. What happened to him and his twelve bodyguards in nine hours under fire is one of WW2’s most terrifying true stories of personal heroism. Only he and a single guard made it back to Britain.

When Green Beach was first published in 1975 the media described it as “blowing the lid off one of the Second World War’s best-kept secrets”. It was one of the bestselling books that year.

Stuart Leasor, publisher of James Leasor’s works, said, “Jason saw the potential in the book immediately, and over the course of a few months we’ve hammered out a deal. James Leasor was one of the bestselling British authors of the 20th Century. Books made into major films including: The Sea Wolves, The One that Got Away and Where the Spies Are. We are delighted at the considerable renewed interest in his works and expect to announce further film options  shortly.”

Jason Delaney added, “All of James Leasor’s books have a rich visual quality in their descriptive prose — I’m really excited to be able to adapt Green Beach. I have already encountered substantial external interest in the project.”

4 more titles are now available as paperbacks as well as ebooks

We are delighted to announce that the process of making James Leasor’s books available again in both ebook and paperback form is well under way. Over the last week we have just published the paperback editions of The Millionth Chance as well as the complete Robert Gunn trilogy – Mandarin-Gold, The Chinese Widow and Jade Gate. All available via Amazon and other good booksellers.

A Week of Love now available as an e-book

Seven short stories featuring Dr Jason Love, the country doctor, old car lover and sometime spy in which he solves cases in Giglio off Italy, Praia da Luz in Portugal, Amsterdam, the Highlands, Spain, England and at home in Stogumber in Somerset.  Travelling in his famous supercharged Cord again and again battles a range of villains in his efforts to crack a myriad of mysteries.

For more information visit http://www.jamesleasor.com/a-week-of-love/

‘Passport for a Pilgrim’ now available for Kindle and Kobo

Dr Love’s fourth supersonic adventure.

Dr Jason Love is going to attend a medical conference in Damascus and one of his patients asks him to find out how his daughter died in a car accident on the outskirts of Syria’s capital.  But all is not as it seems.  Fulfilling a simple favour turns into a nightmare for the Somerset doctor, turned part-time secret agent…

‘Super suspense and, as usual, Love finds a way.’ Daily Express

‘Bullets buzz like a beehive kicked by Bobby Charlton’ Sunday Mirror

‘Action is driven along at a furious pace from the moment the doctor sets foot in Damascus.. a quite ferocious climax.  Unputdownable.’ Sheffield Morning Telegraph

‘Thriller rating: High’ The Sun

http://www.jamesleasor.com/passport-for-a-pilgrim/

‘Jade Gate’, the final book in James Leasor’s Robert Gunn trilogy, now available as an ebook

Robert Gunn, founder of the Mandarin-Gold trading company, had always been quick to seize new opportunities. That had been the making of his vast Far Eastern trading empire. And when the change from sail to steam in the world’s shipping made coal as valuable as gold. Gunn saw his way to another fortune. Vessels on the Eastern seas needed local supplies of fuel — and the man who discovered coal in the East would command the whole area. Enormous power for his country and himself. Gunn believed that Jade Gate Island, off Borneo, hid coal deposits, and there were others who shared his belief. In a land where life was cheap and the prize incalculable, the race for coal was likely to be a fight to the death …
To the powerful and arrogant Dr. Robert Gunn, life ‘might be likened to a fierce race for enormous prizes’. No prize could be richer than the discovery of coal on Jade Gate Island – but then no race could be fiercer, more uncertain, or more violent….
‘Jade Gate’ is the final book in the Robert Gunn trilogy, following on from the acclaimed best-sellers, ‘Mandarin-Gold’ and ‘The Chinese Widow’. Click here

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