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Stealing the Crown: 1 Paperback – 1 August 2020
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About the Author
TP Fielden is the fiction-writing name of the acclaimed royal biographer and commentator Christopher Wilson, who has penned biographies of Prince Charles, Camilla, Diana and other members of the British royal family.
For twenty years a leading Fleet Street journalist with columns in The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Express and Today, he is now a bestselling biographer and (as TP Fielden) novelist.
Most recently the creator of the English Riviera Murders, featuring 1950s supersleuth Miss Dimont, he remains an internationally in-demand writer on royal matters, with regular appearances on TV documentaries and reports across the globe.
His biography of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is the acknowledged source material for all other books and TV films on the subject, and his groundbreaking research on the life and family of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is also a primary source for biographers and film-makers.
His biography A Greater Love: Charles and Camilla was turned into a top-rated TV documentary screened in the USA, UK and twenty-six other countries around the globe, and he has co-produced several major TV documentaries on the British royals. He lectures widely on the subject.
He is the co-founder of the Oxford University journalism awards, and for this work he was honoured by St Edmund Hall, the university’s oldest college, with membership of their Senior Common Room.
He is married to an American writer and lives on Dartmoor, England.
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (1 August 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542017378
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542017374
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.54 x 19.81 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 350,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In 1941 Major Edgar Brampton is found dead, an apparent suicide,in his office in Buckingham Palace. Courtier Guy Hartford,new to the role and an unlikely candidate for the role, is told to help covering up the fact that any such thing had happened in the Palace. Not happy with this and not convinced by the explanation for the need for it Harford decides to investigate. With a motley crew of accomplices,notably his enigmatic flatmate Rupert,supposedly a GPO employee but obviously working for a far more shadowy organisation and female master burglar and thief Rodie Carr who has a massive crush on him. The intrepid trio navigate a wartime London social scene,intrigues within the palace,conspiracies under the threat of imminent death from regular air raids.
T.P. Fielden is the fiction writing name of Christopher Wilson who is an acclaimed expert and author of several books on the Royal Family and his intimate knowledge of Buckingham Palace is fascinating. Just as interesting is his vast knowledge of the machinations of the era with the princely brothers of the rather sickly George the 6th jockeying for their chance of the Throne should he die before Elizabeth came of age.
This is an entertaining read with likeable main characters and an interesting plot that gives a great sense of wartime London.
You’ll recognise most, if not all, of the historical figures of the royal family (with an occasional nod from Google to help you out), and TPF pulls no punches on their foibles and weaknesses. However, he reserves his full onslaught of scathing cynicism for the posturing, selfish machinations of the palace’s resident Machiavellian stalwarts, who constantly bicker, pose and score points off each other. Much to the disgust of our (anti) hero Guy.
We get a suspicious death, a lot of red herrings, a lovely thief and a host of interesting secondary and tertiary characters to keep us going.
The book isn’t quite great but it’s getting there, and I’ll definitely read the next one (if there’s going to be another, this feels like a series to me) to see how Guy gets on.
Given that the story contains royal intrigue, back stabbing courtiers and socialites struggling up the greasy pole, espionage, illicit assignations, a weasely journalist, an alluring cat burglar, nazi plotting and a homeless parrot, it is amazing that the story is so dull. It is not badly written, but it lacks suspense and is rather emotionless. You never get to know any of the characters well and Guy is particularly bland. A bit disappointing really.