BIGGLES 'FAILS TO RETURN'
Book First Published in October 1943 - 223 pages
(The first edition book actually states inside “August 1943” but delay was caused by war time paper shortages, no doubt after the printing plates were set)
I believe this Biggles book was never serialised elsewhere. If anybody knows differently then please E-MAIL ME
Biggles goes on a secret mission to rescue a Princess from Monaco and doesn't return. Algy, Bertie and Ginger, knowing nothing of his secret mission, find out about this when they go to quiz Air Commodore Raymond. The last known information about Biggles' whereabouts was that he was shot whilst fighting a rear-guard action to allow the Princess to board a plane. This rear-guard action is the event that is depicted on the dust cover of the book. Algy, Bertie and Ginger ask for, and get, permission to go after him. With the help of Henri Ducoste, a local who is fighting with the free French, Biggles' three friends parachute into Southern France and then split up in the hunt for Biggles. Their various adventures lead them to a mysterious Cafe called Chez Rossi and the even more mysterious waiter, Mario. Eventually, all three follow clues to the deserted village of Castillon, where (on page 165) they finally find Biggles. The Italians capture Henri after his plane crashes and Ginger rescues him. However, unless he surrenders or is handed over, the fascists will execute his family. Biggles devises a plan that will get all of them away from Monaco and back to England. However, the plan involves stealing an Italian flying boat from right under their very noses. (There is an interesting continuity error on page 111 where Ginger is referred to as Algy).
Biggles 'Fails to Return'
Subtitle - A Biggles Adventure
Publication Details - published by Hodder and Stoughton
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The “Children’s Book Club” edition reprint – click on the above picture to find out more details