“Mr Campions Abdication” by Mike Ripley and published by Severn House Publishing.
It is available as a hardback or an eBook.
So where exactly did Albert Campion stand on the Abdication?’ ‘Behind the throne, slightly to the left?’ suggested Commander Charles Luke.
Margery Allingham’s Mr Campion finds himself masquerading as technical advisor to a very suspicious but glamorous Italian film producer and her crew hunting for buried treasure that never was in the Suffolk village of Heronhoe near Pontisbright which used to host trysts between Edward VIII and Mrs Wallis Simpson.
‘When it came to the Abdication Crisis in ’36 those dirty week-ends in Heronhoe were quickly forgotten, except not by the Prince. The story goes – that when he married Mrs Simpson, in 1937 that would be, he actually sent a valuable thank you gift to Heronhoe. That was what became known as the Abdication Treasure although there’s no record of anything going to Heronhoe Hall, or of anybody ever receiving anything from the Duke of Windsor and nobody anywhere claims to have actually seen anything resembling treasure.’
‘So how is Albert Campion involved? You said the treasure doesn’t exist.’
‘It doesn’t,’ Lord Breeze said firmly, ‘and I have been instructed to tell you to tell Campion, that unless he wants to risk embarrassing Buckingham Palace, he’d better lay off. There’s no such thing as the Abdication Treasure, so there’s nothing to find and Campion had better make sure he doesn’t find it!’
Set in the 1970’s, Albert Campion has turned TV producer with an Italian filming company. The film is to be about Edward and Mrs Simpson and their time at Heronhoe Hall. The hall is the site of a historical dig, at the time it was hoped to be par with the famous dig at Sutton Hoo, but unfortunately it did not produce significant finds. But there was a rumour that Edward had left a treasure at Heronhoe, it was known as the “Abication Treasure”. A mystery, as no one knows who received it or if it was recieved at all. But Campion, with help of friends, family and archaeologists start sleuthing to discover the truth.
I really loved the way this book started and it had me hooked for a number of chapters, but I found that by the time I got to the middle the story started to become a little repetitive. With the same questions being asked of different people but receiving pretty much the same answers. It felt to me, a little too padded out in the middle, but then towards the ends few chapters, it picked up again.
There are a lot of things about this book I enjoyed. There is a lot of historical references, the characters are great, a real mixed bunch from varied backgrounds. The plot was intriguing and at the start I really enjoyed it, and also the end, but as I have mentioned the middle section just didn’t quite do it for me. I also found that I kept forgetting the decade this was set in, and had to remind myself that it was the 70’s.
This is a book that had potential for me to love, but just didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I would recommend to readers of historical crime, thriller, mystery. I do actually look forward to reading more by this author.
I wish to thank Severn House Publishing and NetGalley for my eARC of this book. My views expressed here are unbiased and my own.
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd; First World Publication ed. edition (10 July 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0727887351
- ISBN-13: 978-0727887351
- Purchase link to Amazon UK
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