Chapter 35 of my World War II spy adventure serial, The Armored Satchel, is live on JukePop Serials as of this afternoon. In this installment, our hero Max, masquerading as fictitious Swiss businessman “Erasmus Fleming,” arrives at a posh hotel in Lisbon and decides he needs to meet two people right away: a dermatologist and an encadernador. What’s an encadernador? Read the chapter to find out! In addition to figuring out what to do with the atomic bomb plans he’s got hidden in a copy of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, Max realizes he’s going to have to deal with the counterintelligence agents on his trail…but who are they working for?
To go immediately to Chapter 35, click the cover image above, or click here.
If you read Chapter 34 you should know that I was planning to bring Max to Portugal, but to write this chapter I had to take a crash course both on what Lisbon was like in the 1940s, and Portuguese culture itself. I know nothing about Portugal. The way the story has worked out it’s a perfect locale, because as the capital of a neutral country Lisbon was a haven for spies from both sides during World War II, and it was also the only European capital accessible by air from the United States. I’ve observed that exotic locales are one of the most important elements in good spy fiction. Thus, I wanted Lisbon to be a colorful backdrop instead of just a blank stage for the goings-on in the story. That’s one reason for the scene set in the fado tavern at the end of the chapter.
The hotel Max visits in Chapter 35, the Avenida Palace, is a real hotel in Lisbon, and it does front Restauradores Square, one of the main sights of the city. I took a picture of the location inside a spherical panorama on Google Earth, and it’s below. You can see the Hotel Avenida Palace toward the center of this picture. I don’t think this square looked much different in 1945 than it does today.
The Armored Satchel finished November as the number 12 serial on JukePop Serials. It is also now the single most popular serial ever in the thriller category. It’s more popular now than ever and I want to thank everyone for your votes, shares, RTs and word of mouth!