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The Carmarthen Underground [Paperback]

Gaynor Madoc Leonard
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.95
Price: 6.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 Dec 2009
A humorous and whimsical spy novel written by Welsh-born author Gaynor Madoc Leonard. The ancient market town of Carmarthen has become a hub of Welsh Intelligence, a sophisticated organisation whose officers are dedicated to the protection of Wales and its people from ruthless predators who are determined to undermine the country, its language and its culture.

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Y Lolfa; 1st edition (5 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847711626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847711625
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,126,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Fun 17 Aug 2011
Wales is the World. Carmarthen is the home of the CIHQ, the espionage epicentre. Only the very highest echelons know how far the Carmarthen Underground extends, but Secret Agent Wyndham (003) has heard rumours that, ` spreads it tentacles as far as Llansteffan in one direction. Llandeilo in another, Newcastle Emlyn in yet another, and all stations in between. far as Swansea.'
The Boss sends Wyndham on a mission that involves dying his hair blond, changing his name to Haydn and travelling by underground and coracle to Myddfai to investigate the disappearance of several tourists. At the same time his colleague, Aneurin, has been kidnapped and is being brainwashed by a powerful and evil cabal intent in creating chaos in deadly ways.
With the help of some immediately friendly and resourceful locals, a special agent from the WBI (Wales Bureau of Investigation, of course), and an extremely helpful cat called Hannibal, Wyndham/Haydn foils the enemy and the whole (real) world has changed.
On the way there is such fun. The Carmarthen Underground is Gaynor Madoc Leonard's first novel and she must have had a ball writing it. The quick pace is peppered with telling portraits of characters. Of the bad guys there is the self-important Sheriff of Myddfai, a `... rugby player who had won two caps at international level' and his Deputy, Dai Sluice, also the local plumber, who `...enjoyed the importance his positon gave him...[as]...he swaggered along beside the sheriff.' Among the good guys is the Merle Jenkins, the vicar's lucious daughter who watches the village from high up in the church tower through a camera obscura.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ardderchog 12 Jan 2011
I had this book in my Christmas stocking (Dad had seen a review somewhere) What a fab book! I loved it and read it in three sittings ignoring housework, family, meals etc and then immediately posted it to my friend Kim as I knew she'd love it too! (she did & read it in two sittings)

All those familiar but slightly different people and places made me terribly homesick. The incongruence of what was happenning was so appealing. More fun than the Malcolm Pryce books; much more like Jasper Fforde in the sheer fun of ideas. Can't wait for the next book. However, would say that despite having been Mayor of Carmarthen I was never privy to the knowledge of the underground railway. A branch line to Trevaughan would've been very useful on cold rainy nights! Thank you Gaynor fo a cracking read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable 13 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Carmarthen Underground" is a cracking good adventure - fast-paced and absorbing. It is also a novel of new images, often sinister, which complement the more traditional scenery of rural Wales. Sometimes, however, the sinister invades the idyllic, while on the other hand the closely drawn characters bring a human touch to the hi-tech underworld of espionage, brainwashing and national chauvinism. The result is a somewhat surreal narrative, drawing the reader on persuasively to the novel's explosive denouement. A very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark doings in the Tywi valley! 31 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Carmarthen seems a very pleasant town, with its attractive shops and plentiful restaurants and coffee shops but underneath an alternative Carmarthen exists.Carmarthen Intelligence with their friends in Swansea, the WBI Welsh Bureau of Investigation) ensure that Carmarthen and indeed Wales remain free from their enemies. Indeed this is not just an alternative Carmarthen but an alternative Wales and even Britain. It is now 43 years after the Battle for Wales and the country now is governed by its Senate, the Cymanfa, and the Welsh language is now enjoying something of a renaissance.... Climate change also seems to have moved on,what with green tea plantations in Beddgelert, Welsh vineyards and olives from the Teifi valley......Carmarthen also enjoys a secret Underground was designed by Sir Clough Williams Ellis and as one might expect is somewhat Italianate. It reaches Swansea in 20 minutes - Arriva Trains Wales had better watch out!
Spies tend to live in a world of casinos, expensive 10 star hotels that nobody can afford and super-posh and rich resorts in the French Riviera.So how do welcoming but unpretentious country inns,attractive and welcoming market towns grab you?
The story involves a spy, Wyndham,who is sent on a top secret and highly dangerous mission to the Tywi valley where there have been some dark doings and is based in Myddfai where Betti Williams makes the best breakfast this side of Llangollen.His allies include the farmer Llew Jones, the vicar's daughter who watches over the village by means of a camera obscura in the church tower.Wyndham is aided and abetted by friends who were former team-mates in the rugby team, and the vicarage cat Hannibal.But why does Myddfai have a sheriff, what is Mr.Brynaman really up to.......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Concept 1 Feb 2010
The Carmarthen Underground is a beautifully written story offering detail with simplicity and a warm afterglow of Welsh comradery. It's cleverly worked around a unique concept of intrigue whilst leaving breathing space for your own imagination. Looking forward to the sequel.
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