Author, John Buchan, puts so much life into his characters that one feels as if these are truly palpable beings sitting in a room telling you their story. Better yet, the reader is a tiny "fly" in the adventure, sitting on the hero's shoulder experiencing everything firsthand.
Buchan's serial stories are chronologically written, so it is important to read the Richard Hannay character books in order.
Most of Buchan's books are written in the early 1900's, a time where the telephone is in its infancy, a desktop computer is just a dream, and entertainment is live theater or the hand-wound gramophone with its heavy records and large french horn-shaped speaker.
First read "The 39 Steps", then "Greenmantle", "Mr. Standfast", "The Three Hostages", and lastly, "The Island Sheep".