Sisters Of Fortune

When three heiresses arrived in London in 1816, they took London society by storm. Their large fortunes would enable them to overcome two little drawbacks that might bar them from achieving advantageous marriages: they were American and Catholic. 

The Temptress: The Scandalous Life Of Alice, Countess De Janze

1941, Jocelyn Hay, Earl of Errol, was shot in Kenya. The death of the debauched jetsetter at the heart of Kenya’s Happy Valley set gave the tabloids a heyday and rumours were ripe. The murderer was never apprehended. A new book tries to pin down a new suspect. 

Wellington: A Journey Through My Family

Weidenfeld & Nicholson just published Wellington: A Journey Through My Family by Jane Wellesley. The Right Honourable Lady Jane is the daughter of the present 8th Duke of Wellington and takes the reader a bit haphazardly but amusingly through 200 years of family history and anecdotes. 

My Word Is My Bond

Roger Moore’s My Word Is My Bond was published by Michael O’Mara Books. I don’t know where Moore found his ghost-writer, but maybe it was his accountant. The book would qualify as an accountant’s joke anytime. 

Queens Consort

Lisa Hilton wrote Queens Consort, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The medieval lives of England’s Queens are presented in a well researched book. As a bonus, it’s a darn good read as well. 

Quantum of Solace: The Complete Short Stories

Penguin Classics published Quantum of Solace: The Complete Short Stories by Ian Fleming. Does the book have any connection with the movie? And how did Fleming come by this odd title? The most intriguing thing about the last James Bond 007 movie Quantum of Solace was its title. What does it really mean? The answer to that question lies within a short story Ian Fleming wrote in 1960. It is contained in the Penguin Classics Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories by Ian Fleming. 

Tony’s Ten Years: Memoirs of the Blair Administration

Adam Boulton, Sky’s former political editor, tried to write a book on the Blair (blah) years at 10 Downing Street: Tony’s Ten Years: Memoirs of the Blair Administration published by Simon & Schuster. Boulton is married to Anji Hunter, the longstanding personal assistant to the Prime Minister; with so much inside information available one would have expected more than what resulted. On the other hand, one is not surprised that the book is one sided and boring while missing out on all major points of interest. 

Etiquette Handbook

Sometimes, writers (and not exclusively second class serial writers like Dame Barbara Cartland) just go off at a tangent from what they normally write and thereby produce what can best be titled as literary fraud. Obviously, there may be extremely funny frauds. One of my favourites is Barbara Cartland’s Etiquette Handbook published by Random House.