It is October 1936. Lord Edward Corinth is invited by his friend Joe Weaver, the press lord and close friend of the British royal family, to recover certain letters stolen from the King's intimate friend Wallis Simpson. There is no mystery about who has taken these letters - it is known to be Mrs Raymond Harkness, a former mistress of the King and a close friend of Edward's.
So Edward sets off for Haling, the country house of Conservative MP Leo Scannon, where Mrs Harkness has also been invited. He is far from easy in his mind at the task before him, but he cannot guess that a case of retrieving stolen property is soon to be complicated by murder.
Edward is joined by his friend and fellow sleuth Verity Browne, recently returned from the savagery of the Spanish Civil War. Weary and disheartened by the Republican reversals, she welcomes the distraction of helping Edward investigate the murder.
Very soon the pair also become involved with political protest at home and the fight against Fascism, the Cable Street riots and the Jarrow March. Against this background of social unrest they battle to find the truth behing the Hollow Crown in what the poet W. H. Auden called 'a low, dishonest decade'.
David Roberts was an editor at Chatto and Windus, editorial director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson and a partner of Michael O'Mara Books, before becoming a full-time writer in 2000.His series of crime novels set during the 1930s featuring Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne and optioned by Columbia Pictures include Sweet Poison, Bones of the Buried, Hollow Crown, Dangerous Sea and The More Deceived.He is married and divides his time between London and Wiltshire.
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