Read The Schirmer Inheritance by Eric Ambler Giorgio Manganelli Online


It wasn’t anyone’s idea of a glamorous first assignment at a white shoe law firm. George Cary, former WWII bomber pilot and newly minted lawyer, was given the ignoble task of going through the tons of files on the Schneider Johnson case, just to make sure nothing had been overlooked. But, as luck would have it, George did discover something among the false claims and dead-It wasn’t anyone’s idea of a glamorous first assignment at a white shoe law firm. George Cary, former WWII bomber pilot and newly minted lawyer, was given the ignoble task of going through the tons of files on the Schneider Johnson case, just to make sure nothing had been overlooked. But, as luck would have it, George did discover something among the false claims and dead-end leads that made this into more than just another missing-heir-to-a vast-fortune case. And what he found would connect a deserter from Napoloeon’s defeated army to a guerrilla fighter in post-war Greece, and lead Cary himself into a dangerous situation where his own survival will depend more on what he learned in the army than anything he learned in law school....

Title : The Schirmer Inheritance
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375726767
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 219 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Schirmer Inheritance Reviews

  • AC
    2019-06-07 10:49

    This book is not quite as ambitious as either Passage or Deltchev - but no less masterful for that. Despite a slower beginning (for me), the book picks up and is flawless, once again, in its construction. Clearly Ambler is a man who does not write until he knows what it is he wants to say. How refreshing! and while he chooses to use the style of the political thriller, it is nothing less than the anatomy of man, that "ape in velvet", that he has firmly in his sights.

  • Sketchbook
    2019-05-28 09:46

    The usually skillful Ambler spends 100 pages on back-story & exposition as an American legal treks post-war Europe looking for an heir to a million bucks. His aide-de-camp, born in Yugoslavia, was traumatized by invading troops and she now likes to be abused, but not by our Harvard sleuth. There's a lotta trek in this hasty pudding.

  • Anfri Bogart
    2019-06-25 10:22

    Non è di spionaggio che si parla in questo romanzo, eppure Ambler trova un pretesto (un'eredità) per accompagnarci in un intrigo che affonda nella storia europea a cavallo tra 2 secoli (otto e novecento). Molto bello, molto Ambler.

  • Procyon Lotor
    2019-06-09 09:22

    Un'eredit� controversa con un lascito agognato. Il titolo � stato cambiato da "l'eredit� S." al pi� vasto "il caso S.", ma sempre di un eredit� si tratta. Ci sono soldati, e un paio di guerre ma non � solo un libro di guerra. Terroristi e partigiani e politica e spie ma non � solo un libro di intrighi, pure amore ma non � solo un libro romantico. E un personaggio importante � pure avvocato, pur non essendo solo un legal thriller. In sintesi � un Ambler. Uno che si documenta benissimo, sui complessi eventi greci nel decennio a cavallo tra la seconda guerra mondiale e la guerra civile non dice una sola cazzata, ma al contrario di noti vendutissimi, i fatti li fa agire da persone vere, non da stereotipi o macchiette. E poi se ne esce con: "il dotto giudice del quale era stato segretario aveva detto una volta che era impossibile occuparsi di legge per molti anni per imparare che, nessun caso, per quanto sembri semplice e concreto, pu� considerarsi interamente inattaccabile dalla lamentevole tendenza della realt� ad assumere la forma e le proporzioni di un melodramma." e "io credo che ci siano persone di tutte le qualit�, lui no. Lui crede che ce ne siano solo di due tipi: quelli che vuoi con te quando le faccende si mettono male, e quelli con cui non vuoi avere a che fare a nessun prezzo." Meriterebbe non pi� di tre stelle, per via di svariate parti moralmente bacate e deontologicamente deficitarie, poff�re. Salvo che ci sono i libri di etica che illustrano pedissequamente cosa si dovrebbe fare e perch�, e i romanzi che mostrano cosa si pu� fare e come e con chi. Un saluto all'efficiente interprete, la signorina Kolin, strana donna, di ambizioni assai inferiori la sua spiccata intelligenza. Colonna sonora: Chailly/Bollani/Gershwin - Rapsodia in blu ecc.

  • Chequers
    2019-06-22 13:39

    Primo libro di Ambler che leggo, e devo dire che si meriterebbe 4 stelle: la scrittura e' fluida e mai noiosa (probabilmente anche grazie alla traduzione di Manganelli), ricostruzione storica accuratissima e piacevole, ma una parte del finale mi ha lasciata proprio basita:(view spoiler)[ ma la Kolin era una pazza masochista che si fa prima picchiare da Franz e poi ci scappa insieme? Ma come, prima odia i tedeschi che le avevano massacrato la famiglia, gode nel sentire come il colonnello greco aveva trattato i soldati tedeschi prigionieri, li denuncia ai greci e poi ha un improvviso colpo di fulmine? Ma ha la sindrome di Stoccolma come la Rampling ne "Il portiere di notte"?(hide spoiler)]Peccato per questa componente a mio parere inutile ed anche un po' ridicola, (senza questa "scivolata" il libro sarebbe stato da quattro stelle piene) comunque un libro sicuramente da leggere.

  • Sean O
    2019-06-07 08:28

    I liked the part with the lawyer and the translator trying to solve a mystery. The rest of it? Ugh. If the story was just about George Carey,it would have been four stars. It wasn't a bad story, just not as good as Raymond Chandler.

  • Carl Dixon
    2019-05-28 07:51

    Slow & TediousStarts slowly but with promise & the search for the beneficiary has promise but it is never fulfilled. Never gets above walking pace & I lost interest way before I'd finished it - end is as disappointing as the rest. Really not worth the time.

  • Dfordoom
    2019-06-02 10:23

    Eric Ambler’s 1953 novel The Schirmer Inheritance isn’t quite a crime novel, or at any rate certainly not a conventional one. It’s perhaps best described as a mystery thriller with a dash of international intrigue. It’s somewhat in the style of Graham Greene’s cloak-and-dagger novels. Ambler and Greene took the spy/adventure story as written by people like John Buchan and seasoned it with lots of cynicism, and a certain amount of black humour. The Schirmer Inheritance is typical of Ambler’s work in having an amateur, in this case a young attorney, who becomes involved in a web of mystery, crime and international politics. Sent to Germany in 1949 to trace a possible heir to an American soft-drink fortune he finds itself drawn into a story that started during in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars when a Prussian dragoon deserted his regiment, and which now leads him to Greece in the midst of civil war as he follows the trail of a young German sergeant killed by partisans in World War II. It’s a fascinating and unusual story, told with great skill and with Ambler’s gift for striking characterisation. A very entertaining read, and a book I recommend very highly. If you haven’t discovered Eric Ambler then you’re missing out on a very fine and underrated writer.

  • Gavin
    2019-06-04 05:46

    A post war tale centered on an estate lawyer combing Europe for a lost heir to millions. A fascinating premise, but....Zzzzzzzzzzzz...whazzuh??! No more peanut butter, mommy....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzHuh?! I'm up! Sorry, must have dozed off there. Where was I? Oh yeah, the estate lawyer sitting in dimly lit rooms searching through family records and......Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....Snork! I'm awake! I lost my train of thought. Is it warm in here? Something about a lawyer and paperwork and Germans. Germans? I think; and Greeks of some sort. The point is, he was a lawyer, and there was paperwork, and a lady who comes kitty kitty.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....Kitty? What did I say? Dammit, the kitty, no....LAWYER, the LAWYER finds the cat and she helps him with Germans and gorillas...wait, that's not right...I'm pretty sure there was a twist...Anyway, you'll have to read the molasses for your own book and try to stay awake for the dry, uninteresting parts that make up the whole thing.

  • Scott E
    2019-06-14 11:33

    Not really spy fiction, not very thrilling or intriguing. All in all, I hope this is one of (only?) the underwhelming efforts by Ambler because I want to read more. The first 50 pages or so led me to think this was going to be very interesting. Then nothing happened...seriously, nothing was added to the story again until the final 40 pages or so, and the final 40 pages didn't serve any purpose other than to wrap up and get out of town. If you're an Ambler completest, read until George leaves for Europe and then don't pick it up again until the truth about Schirmer "appears". If you're only interested in reading "an Ambler"...skip this one.Rating: 2.4

  • Mary-alice Frank
    2019-05-25 10:42

    If you enjoy old time espionage books, you will enjoy Eric Ambler, who is most known for Coffin for Demetrious. Ambler's ordinary characters find themselves in the middle of intense espionage activities, often at their peril. His focus is the WWII era.The Shirmer Inheritance focuses on the role of Greece in the war its the freemdom fighters and the communists ( something that most WWII books do not focus on). Many twists.

  • Rayrumtum
    2019-06-25 06:30

    I like Eric Ambler's books because they often combine a suspenseful tale with a dose of little known Balkan history. Always some total innocent gets caught in an intrigue beyond his capability to handle. This one is about an American attorney trying to find the potential heirs to a large estate somewhere in Eastern Europe. The time is the early 1950s in the wake of WWII and the civil war in Greece. Although I generally enjoyed this book, it seemed to me it wasn't Ambler's best.

  • Cate
    2019-05-27 13:43

    Not Amber's best. It held my interest for a while, with a mystery concerning a missing heir, interesting locations, etc. But the ending, especially the part that concerned Miss Kolin, was strange, made no sense, and seemed to be the machination of a masogonist's fantasy. I might switch back to Graham Greene.

  • Ed Kohinke sr.
    2019-06-21 12:34

    This is another fine Eric Ambler novel at the beginning and through most of the book. However, like most of his others that I've read up to this point, the ending is a bust. I'm going to take a break from my Ambler retrospective for a few weeks before I tackle the next one.

  • K T
    2019-06-11 13:45

    good plot and character development; kept my interest all the way through

  • John
    2019-06-05 07:37

    tl;dr:The Schirmer Inheritance tells the story of a three million dollar inheritance, and the lawyer who makes it his mission to find an heir. From the prolog set during the Napoleonic Wars to the investigation of heaping mounds of civil claims, letters, photographs and verbal testimonies, our hero tracks down his quarry and delivers an inheritance, but not the one he had in mind.The story showcases Ambler's trademark hero, an ordinary man at sea in circumstance, and his trademark wry humor. It's also full of vivid characters like the sly, coronary-impaired Mr. Moreton and the enigmatic, brandy-swilling, hired-gun translator Maria Kolin. The story leans more toward detection than thriller so don't expect relentless gunfire and people hopping out of helicopters. But if you like a good suspense story with more verisimilitude than you can shake a stick at, this is your book.FULL REVIEWThe lawyer George Carey is from a good Vermont family, attended Harvard Law School, and is now employed at the white shoe firm of Lavater, Powell and Sistrom of Philadelphia. He has hopes of bounding from law practice into a career as a successful industrialist or holder of high political office. But these hopes hit a snag when he finds himself saddled with the onerous, unglamorous and likely unrewarding Schneider Johnson case.It seems a Pennsylvania widow, heir to the fortune of a soft drink tycoon, has kicked off, leaving three million dollars and no will. There's no heir apparent but hordes of people have mobbed the court with claims. (It’s even bigger money than it sounds. This is set in the 1950s, and there’s been about 900% inflation since then.)In a vault downstairs from his office reside numerous shoulder-high stacks of files for these claims. Carey's mission is to sort through them and make sure that none of them have any merit. If not, the state of PA takes all, and the bozos and fraudsters can stop watching their mailboxes.Weeks go by, and Carey slogs through every page of every alphabetized file, one letter at a time. And he's just reached J or so when, going down for the next stack, he discovers a box that belonged to the lawyer who previously handled the case. What it contains sets Carey off on a new path of investigation that draws him from his Philadelphia office to Europe, in company of the attractive but standoffish, bargepole-wielding, brandy-gargling translator Maria Kolin, in search of the last surviving heir to the fortune.One of the things that makes Ambler's novels so enjoyable is his willingness to interweave political sophistication with humor, and his ability to create a protagonist who's intelligent but (as events inevitably show) also prey to ignorance and misunderstanding. Political and personal fog of war hold center stage, while the actors range from the feckless to the malign, with a handful of kinks, cranks and flakes filling up the gap.Schirmer is a trip down the rabbit hole. But unlike Alice, you won't hurtle head over heels as much as you'll clamber down one rung at a time, with numerous side-passages along the way, till you realize that you've descended to a very bad place.CAVEAT: If you're easily triggered by transgressive depictions of hot-and-cold running, brandy-bibbing, multilingual Yugoslavs with a taste for the wild side, this book is not for you. Turn back now and keep driving till you see a sign that says Sexual Relations Normal, next exit. Don't say you weren't warned.

  • Mike
    2019-06-05 06:50

    From an apparently thin premise (young lawyer is given thankless task of establishing the rightful heir to an unclaimed fortune), this novel soon develops into a classic Ambler thriller. The familiar features are all in place: the unwitting, though dogged, and inexperienced, though resourceful hero, the international trail of clues, the concerns with European politics and warfare of the middle twentieth century and Ambler's skill with plot pushes things along at a brisk old pace. The characters are, as ever, a little underwritten; Carey is pure Ambler template, while, in character terms, the enigmatic Miss Kolin is woefully mistreated. The antagonists are rather more interesting and enjoy Ambler's customary sympathy for the grey-shaded but (Kolin aside) this is a minor criticism for a plot-driven thriller that is still a thoroughly enjoyable read more than half a century since it was written.

  • John
    2019-05-25 05:40

    Eric Ambler (like Alan Furst) is a master practitioner of that kind of fiction that tells one more about a time in history than can almost any non-fiction historical work. With The Schirmer Inheritance the reader takes a deep dip into modern European wartime life. Great characters, shifts in the plot and pathos without soppiness.

  • Paul Jellinek
    2019-06-16 13:47

    I love Eric Ambler, but I have to admit this is not one of his best. That said, even when he's not at his best, Ambler is head and shoulders above just about any of the more recent thrillers I've come across over the past few years. A good one for your next cross-country flight.

  • Ned Rodriguez
    2019-06-09 13:36

    I bought this book because I am an Eric Ambler fan. This was a terrible read. It is slow, plodding and the end totally escapes logic. I can't believe this was not written in jest.

  • Andrew
    2019-06-08 09:40

    Kind of dull investigation story without the suspense and action of other Ambler books. Felt kind of plodding and lacked stakes.

  • KJ
    2019-05-26 07:44

    It must be something to do with my levels of middle-aged cynicism, but when I entered my forties I found myself being increasingly drawn to novels about spying and espionage. Having successfully dived into John Le Carre and being on the point of starting a new relationship with Alan Furst, a friend asked me if I had ever read any of Eric Ambler's novels.Of course, this was a name that was familiar to me from a time when publishing was a much quieter business and authors seemed more generic: it was Alistair McLean and Len Deighton for adventure, Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer for romance, Jean Plaidy and Anya Seton for historical and – if you were looking for spies – then Ambler was your man. My friend's advice fortuitously coincided with the discovery that it was possible to receive a free Kindle copy of The Schirmer Inheritance in return for a review, so I willingly signed up.This turned out to be a surprisingly small novel, but nevertheless delivered a disproportionate amount of action. The protagonist, George Carey, is no swashbuckling hero but a somewhat grey, buttoned-up American lawyer sent to a Europe still reeling from the fall-out from the Second World War to locate the heir to a vast fortune. In the process he discovers more than he expects about the politics of Greece and the Balkan countries, a learning experience in which I also feel that I participated.Ambler is especially good at creating a sense of place and the reader is therefore able to share Carey's discovery of the realities of post-war Europe. This was an enjoyable retro treat.

  • Tom
    2019-06-06 11:44

    Ambler is one of those old school spy/espionage authors that is heavy on atmosphere. In this time out, he writes about an American lawyer searching in Greece for a long lost heir to a fortune. The book opens with a brief synopsis of Schirmer's forebear, and it really gives you a taste of what was going on in 1950's post-WWII Greece. The political strife and the intense betrayals that had gone on for decades is really brought home very well. So using this as a backdrop, the American lawyer follows a very cold trail. This is more of an espionage type of book - definitely not heavy on plot points. But he uses the atmosphere and setting so well that it makes it interesting and tension-filled. So when the climax arrives, you know there's going to be a twist of some kind, and you can see it coming from quite a ways off. But that's okay because it's done well and is somewhat a product of its time. The only thing I really didn't get was how the lawyer's interpreter suddenly switched teams from hating Schirmer and the Germans to suddenly having a tryst and riding off into the sunset with him. Maybe I missed something as I have three kids distracting me, but outside of this, it was very good.

  • Carla
    2019-06-24 12:22

    Couldn't finish this....plodding through legalese this book doesn't seem to go anywhere. Reading reviews I saw that it never gets much better so I dumped it. Did make me happy that I didn't decide to become a lawyer though!Book description:It wasn’t anyone’s idea of a glamorous first assignment at a white show law firm. George Cary, former WWII bomber pilot and newly minted lawyer, was given the ignoble task of going through the tons of files on the Schneider Johnson case, just to make sure nothing had been overlooked. But, as luck would have it, George did discover something among the false claims and dead-end leads that made this into more than just another missing-heir-to-a vast-fortune case. And what he found would connect a deserter from Napoloeon’s defeated army to a guerrilla fighter in post-war Greece, and lead Cary himself into a dangerous situation where his own survival will depend more on what he learned in the army than anything he learned in law school.

  • Alan Gallauresi
    2019-06-12 11:31

    Eric Ambler is the master of the unglamorous spy novel where everyday people fall into complex but comparatively bookish intrigues in a believable way. That's as opposed to, say, Graham Green winking at you from underneath a hat at the bar as he introduces characters tailored for the silver screen -- Ambler's plotting and characterization is natural, almost unremarkable. In some cases, a little too unremarkable: The Schirmer Inheritance is a fair procedural but not a memorable classic, reminiscent of but not standing with his best, including the superior Judgement on Delchev (think State of Play with a hint of Kafka's The Trial) and the underrated Passage of Arms which weaves vignettes into a broadly powerful story.

  • Thomas Burchfield
    2019-05-29 07:28

    "The Schirmer Inheritance (Knopf; 1953) is the second novel Eric Ambler wrote after he returned to fiction writing following his service in World War II. His previous novel, Judgment on Deltchev mirrored—brilliantly, I thought--the collapse of Ambler’s Marxist idealism and passion for politics after the scouring betrayal by Soviet collaboration with the Nazis and the subsequent Communist tyranny. Deltchev was an angry novel written by a bitten and burnt soul."You can read the rest of my review atA Curious Man a>Thanks!

  • Danny M
    2019-06-22 06:25


  • Alice
    2019-06-06 05:22

    Later espionage writers owe a lot to Eric Ambler; I thought the scope and theme of this novel, in which a lawyer's attempts to trace the heir to a small fortune uncovers secrets and conspiracies in Europe, were very Helen MacInnes, while the character studies were pureIan Fleming:"He would never admit to such an unreasoning and childish superstition, of course; but if he ever married, it would be to some girl who would not weep even if he beat the living daylights out of her. Let her scream as much as she liked, let her try and kill him if she wanted to, and dared, but let there be no weeping. It meant bad luck."

  • Al
    2019-06-08 13:23

    Different from other Amblers I have read, in that it takes place after WWII and the protagonist is an American. The plot (a young American lawyer is sent to Europe to search for a possible German heir to a U.S. fortune) isn't much, but much of it is set in Greece and deals with the German occupation and the post-occupation political struggles, which is very interesting. As usual, Ambler writes well and moves the story along. There were some character surprises along the way, which added to the fun.

  • Sue
    2019-06-25 12:31

    Very entertaining!