Books: The Colonel's Campaign

COROMANDEL! (347 pp.)—John Masters—Viking ($3.95).

John Masters, 40, is an erect, ruddy-faced, Calcutta-born ex-army officer who applies staff college discipline to the writing of successful historical romances. He decided to turn author seven years ago, having never written anything but operation orders and situation reports, but before writing a single novel he drew up a strategic master plan listing 35 suitable topics from Britain's 300-year experience in India. He assigned himself the task of knocking off these topics at the rate of a book a year. The first four novels, schemed out in...

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