The Plot to Kill Wallis Simpson

Graham Fisher, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (189p) ISBN 978-0-312-03911-0
In British author Fisher's first book to appear in the U.S., an antique desk yields an astonishing manuscript--hidden for over 50 years--containing a wickedly imaginative account of why Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, precipitiously fled England shortly before the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936. Unfortunately, this ingenious concept is rendered into a bland and slow-moving novel by Fisher, author of many works about the English royal family. The writer of the diary proves to be a relentlessly determined aristocrat who wishes to rid the country of an unsuitable queen. But the would-be assassin, thoroughly inept, bungles the first attempt and leaves behind vital clues that put Scotland Yard on the trail. Wallis is alerted and flees to France, guarded by detectives as incompetent as her murderous pursuer; the king of England and Winston Churchill participate in the ensuing melee. Despite his promising plot, the author fails to breathe life into a host of stiff and pompous dukes, baronets and some well-known government personalities of the era. Even Wallis remains insubstantial and shadowy. Fisher makes an attempt at a surprise ending, but alert readers already will have guessed the conclusion. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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