Book review: TP Fielden – Stealing the Crown

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There is a brand new British detective series written by TP Fielden, with a royal theme. As it seldom happens that two of my passions royalty and crime come together, I decided I must have this book as soon as I read about it.

Britain is at war – but the greatest threat to the Crown might be within the Palace walls.

London, 1941: Major Edgar Brampton is found shot dead in his office in Buckingham Palace. All signs point towards a self-inflicted tragedy, but when Palace authorities hurry his body away and order staff to stay silent, fellow courtier Guy Harford’s suspicions are raised.

While the outside world faces the onslaught of war, within the Palace walls a curious mystery unfolds. Rumours swirl about Brampton’s relationship with the Queen, and there’s talk of other plots involving those closest to the King.

To get to the bottom of what really happened, Guy joins forces with some unlikely allies – Rodie Carr, a beautiful East End burglar, and Rupert Hardacre, a postman with a past – but time may be running out … for him, for the King, and for Britain. Someone has their eye on the crown, and they’ll do anything to get it.

Can Guy solve the case before more blood is spilled on the royal carpets? Or will he be the next victim?

I made my first discovery when reading the biography about the author in the back of the book. I didn’t know before that TP Fielden actually is Christopher Wilson, who has written several royal biographies. It turns out I am not the only one who likes royalty and crime. And it shows in the story, as it is clear the author is well informed about royals, court life and history.

The book starts well with a list of the main characters in the book, and a short family tree with the British royals mentioned that are mentioned in the book. That doesn’t happen too often, but is of course very helpful for people who have some trouble identifying all of them.

“Stealing the Crown” is a good old British detective story with a few surprising twists, no modern forensic stuff, a lot of palace gossips and a rather sympathic main character. Of course there is the great setting, lots of royals, just not in person. Even the occasional foreign royal is mentioned, as you might be aware several lived in the UK at the time (World War II), including “my” Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

I would have loved some of the royals actually take part in the mystery or the solving of it, but maybe that would be a good idea for another book. When writing that on Twitter, the answer of the author was: “There’s more – much more – to come in the next volume!” Honestly, I can’t wait!

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