Friday, July 3, 2020

Book cover: "Atomic Plot"
(Dale of the Mounted #9)

  • Title: Atomic Plot
  • Series: Dale of the Mounted #9 (12 books published between 1951 and 1962)
  • Author: Joe Holliday
  • Cover illustrator: Keith Ward
  • Publisher: Thomas Allen, Limited (Toronto, Canada)
  • Original price: None listed on dust jacket
  • Year: 1959
  • Pages: 158
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dust jacket excerpt: "From the moment Pakistan scientist Dr. Sachi Rami gets out of the plane at Ottawa's Upland airport with his bodyguard the bearded, turbaned Chaudri, and his shy Hindu secretary, Kelomé, trouble dogs his footsteps. Here's a thrilling tale of high intrigue in the fascinating world of atomic energy at Canada's famed Chalk River atom plant in the Gatineau hills."
  • Is Chalk River a real place? Yes, Chalk River Laboratories (formerly Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories) was, according to Wikipedia, established in 1944 "to promote peaceful use of nuclear energy." There were two nuclear accidents there in the 1950s.
  • Dedication: "Dedicated to those workers at Chalk River, Ontario, who are putting the might atom to work for peaceful uses on behalf of mankind — and a better world."
  • First sentence: "Constable Dale Thompson of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police waited patiently, seated in the jeep truck at the edge of Ottawa's Upland Airport."
  • Last paragraph: "Dale was immensely pleased. He shook hands with his friends from across the other side of the world. 'I'm going to miss you two!' he said sincerely.
  • Random sentence from the middle #1: "This was what the newspapers fondly called 'atom-smashing.'"
  • Random sentence from the middle #2: "Doctor Rami ventured a comment that a report from the British atomic people showed that along their Cumberland coast much of the radioactivity in the waters was absorbed by the masses of seaweed."
  • About the author: The dust jacket is the best source of biographical information about Joe Holliday that I can find. He was born in 1910 in the Rock of Gibraltar, where his father was a police constable. He worked as a prison guard for a year and began his writing career in 1932. "During the early 1940's he was publicity-photographer with deHavilland Aircraft of Canada, helping publicize the grand work of their Mosquito bombers in overseas operations," the dust jacket states.
  • Blog travels #1: Brian Busby, in a December 2014 post on his still-going The Dusty Bookcase ("A Journey Through Canada's Forgetten, Neglected and Suppressed Writing") states: "First off, I should make it clear that the book I really wanted to read is Dale of the Mounted: Atomic Plot. Published in 1959, it involves a Pakistani scientist, East Indian religious fanatics and a terrorist attack on Canada's Chalk River nuclear research facility. I read Dale of the Mounted: Atlantic Assignment only because it turned up in our local library's most recent used book sale." He goes on to note: "Dale of the Mounted books were once very popular, each landing in early November so as to take advantage of Christmas gift giving. Having been born the year the series ended, I never received one myself, but I remember a friend's older brother having a few." ... It's a really great post, and you should continue into its comments section to learn more about Dale.
  • Blog travels #2: Jennifer White, in an April 2016 post on her still-ongoing Series Books for Girls, relates this: "I am not currently attending very many estate sales, since I only go if I see something in the preview pictures that looks quite promising or if the sales are in my immediate area. Three estate sales were in my immediate area today, and I knew that one of them had a sock monkey. My mother collects sock monkeys. I first went to the sale with the sock monkey. I entered the house and scouted out the room with the dolls and picked up the sock monkey. Next, I leisurely went back through all the rooms to see if I could find anything else. Unexpectedly, the sale also had the first book in the Dale of the Mounted series. The Dale of the Mounted book was in the living room in a small stack of books that the estate sale company considered special items. ... The Dale of the Mounted series is obscure, and I acquired three of them around six weeks ago. I had tried reading one, but it was a bit dry with many technical details. Nevertheless, what I read was still interesting, but I really wanted to read the first book instead to get a better idea of the series, so I quit reading. I was thrilled to find the first book. I will have to read it sometime soon to find out whether it is worth pursuing the rest of the series."

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