Tuesday, 18 December 2012
An almost-centenarian of my acquaintance very much enjoyed Mrs Queen Takes the Train, by William Kuhn (Allen & Unwin, 2012). Mr. Kuhn is a journalist and has no fear of cliches. The dialogue is often wooden and one can almost hear him giggle as he writes the predictable repartee between gay characters.
That is the book's main drawback - the way it is written. The story is funny and entertaining, as long as you like reading about royalty and don't expect anyone to behave realistically. I read the edition for sale in Australia, and the jacket is as cheerful as the rest of it. I finished it in one sitting and enjoyed myself. I liked the queen's foray into yoga, a good idea.
I double-checked and found via the web that Paxton & Whitfield 'since 1797' do exist, and on Jermyn St too. They have a well-developed web-site which makes no mention of this book anywhere - a lack of whimsy on their part. They will benefit enormously from the publicity, even though the cheese in the book is bought for a cheese-loving horse. The horse, after all, has been named Elizabeth and is stabled at the palace.
Oh, and the Duke of Edinburgh has been left out of the story. It is a mystery.