cover image In Secret Service

In Secret Service

Mitch Silver, . . Touchstone, $25 (327pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-3794-6

First-time novelist Silver spins an unlikely if entertaining tale connecting mysteries concerning the abdication of King Edward VIII, WWII and the death of Princess Diana. Present-day Yale history professor Amy Greenberg journeys to Dublin to pick up the contents of a previously unknown safety deposit box leased by her deceased grandfather—which turns out to be an unpublished, nonfiction manuscript written in 1964 by Ian Fleming of James Bond fame: "You see, I've been sitting on a terrible secret since the war." The Fleming manuscript, alternating chapters with the contemporary story, details how Edward, after abdicating, formed a secret relationship with Adolf Hitler. The modern-day sections of the book consist mostly of Amy and her boyfriend, Scott Brown, fighting off a host of villains who want to steal, for rather obscure reasons, the Fleming material. Silver delights in making the sometimes improbable historical links that form the basis of his plot, and his high spirits are so contagious that readers will happily go along for the ride. (May)