A quiet seaside resort on the Lancashire coast seems an unlikely battlefront but it is here, in the pleasant little town of St Anne’s, on the Fylde coast, just south of Blackpool, that Douglas Walker’s eccentric Aunt Alice wages her war with Nazi Germany as an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) warden.
Not content with her ARP duties alone, Alice takes it upon herself to protect her home turf against the sinister threat of enemy subterfuge and in her capacity as the town’s self-appointed security officer she makes it her business to root out fifth columnists among the St Anne’s population.
Although St Anne’s might not seem an obvious target for enemy attention, she manages to detect numerous instances of suspicious activity – including sabotage, espionage and invasion by stealth – all of which call for her immediate action, aided and abetted by her two young nephews, who spend their wartime summer holidays staying with her.
Alice’s efforts to defend her beloved homeland have a horrible tendency to go awry, however, and these splendid tales of her misadventures are guaranteed to amuse readers of all ages and particularly those old enough to remember the wartime years.
Deftly written and laugh-out-loud funny, Douglas Walker’s affectionate portrait of his well-meaning but accident-prone maiden aunt and her abortive efforts to win the war deserves to become a classic.