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After Lord Glenconner stiffed his family by leaving much of his fortune to his manservant Kent Adonai who spent his life on his lordship’s private island, Mustique, I can’t blame the widow for needing to earn a buck or two. The court case helped, and her family came through with a great house for her, but still. It isn’t the retirement she expected–is it?
Having published her memoir, Lady in Waiting, about her life with both husband Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, and job as Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, Lady Anne has turned to writing a murder mystery with a fictionalized version of herself doing much of the sleuthing.
Venerable, but still lovely, Lady Blair (“Lady Vee”–for Victoria, to her friends), wife of Jasper, Lord Blair–owner of the hedonistic private island, Mustique, arrives home to be met by her Oscar-winning friend [not-quite-lover] Philip. Lady Vee wears pastel cotton dresses, sun hats, drives her own buggy, speaks of the natives as friends, but accepts and expects that her world be overseen by her locally born butler. She is returning from the hard duty of attending Princess Magaret’s personally-planned funeral at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor (where Princess Eugenie was married). That she lives among the super-rich on this island of luxury is another thing Lady Vee takes for granted. And, like all the residents, rich or poor, black or white, she takes safety here for granted, too. [Cue the scary music.]
A beautiful young aristocrat goes missing–presumed dead. Soon, though, another young aristo goes missing. The posh Lady Vee simply must get involved to see that it is all investigated properly. After all, she and husband Jasper sent the man now running to island’s police to school in the UK and on to Oxford. Of course she must oversee it all. Adding to her angst is that her adopted daughter, [child of a late friend] the planet-saving Lily, is a friend of the missing young woman.
In among this story we hear of Lord Blair’s sad nerves and the way he must be loved through his crying jags and what not. We are informed of how amazing it is that the true citizens of Mustique, those whose families were here before Lord Blair arrived, have failed to give up all their old beliefs. Thankfully, though, Anglican communion is provided by a starched-chasuble-wearing priest at the aptly-named Bamboo Church.
Throughout the story are sprinkled mentions and memories of Her Royal Highness to constantly remind us of the author’s real-life role as Lady in Waiting (the Duchess of Cambridge rubs along fine without one) and of her nearly lifelong devotion to the Queen’s younger sister.
“I think about her every day, but that’s to be expected. We were together longer than most marriages.”
[Note: The Princess Margaret mentions function as the mandatory icky-sex moments or or woke views mandated to render a book publishable today.]
Where was I? Sigh….You get the idea. Well, I’m no wiz with mysteries, but I nailed the killed on about page 5 and I don’t think “they” had been introduced yet. (I use “they” in quotation marks not to be derogatory about anyone’s chosen pronouns, but to preserve the identity of the villain an don’t spoil the outcome of the book.)
Someone as well connected as Lady Vee, sorry, I meant Lady Glenconner (Lady Anne–she was born Lady Anne and became Lady Glenconner at marriage. Her father was an Earl, her husband a Baron–I’m rusty on my Debrett’s so I’m not sure which is right and don’t care to take time, for once, to look it up!) should have produced a better story than this. Surely someone would have ghost-written it for a reasonable percentage of the take?
Photos: Marie Claire
Now, maybe for book two of the series (it will be a series I presume—although she’s given a different name and title to herself and her husband, she’s just another fictionalized real person turned sleuth) perhaps Princess Margaret will pop up for a sing-along at the piano in her vintage swimming costume with the whale-boning to hoist her royal boobs up to the right level and will flip ash from her holdered-cigarette and order butler Wesley around like the diva she was. That might be more interesting. Maybe Roddy Llewellyn will come with her? That would be even more fun!
Never mind! Lady Anne is a treasure and I adore her!
Mind you, those stars are the real-deal. Coke (pronounced Cook) family stars. Not paste.
You can read more about Lady Anne’s memoir, Lady in Waiting here.
You can also read about her husband, Colin, in this post.