Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Man From U.N.C.L.E in Newport

As any Newport citizen worth their salt will tell you classic The Man From U.N.C.L.E book The Stone-Cold Dead in the Market Affair (1966) starts off with a murder in Market Street, Newport, takes in the Black Swan and the Cross Keys before eventually heading out into the badlands of north Wales.

Welsh author John Oram Thomas penned the book to disprove a friend's assertion that no one could write a decent thriller set in Wales. Thomas had previously written another U.N.C.L.E book The Copenhagen Affair (1965) based upon his wartime experiences fighting for the Danish resistance.

Something of an eccentric, Thomas owned a Greek canary called Spiro and in later life a giant model of Zebedee from cult children's TV show The Magic Roundabout. He had numerous jobs before becoming a staff writer for the Empire News and then a novelist.