Coronation: A House of Windsor Mystery by Eileen Enwright Hodgetts #HistoricalMystery #BookReview

A historical mystery inspired by true events. England 1952: King George VI’s sudden death has created a crisis. As the royal jewelers prepare for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, they discover that the historic jewels in the Imperial State Crown have been replaced with fake stones. The real jewels had been removed from the crown at the beginning of World War II, to preserve them in case of invasion, but they are no longer in their hiding place. Where are they now? Only one man knows but he has disappeared. Powerful forces are plotting to block Elizabeth’s coronation and replace her with another member of the royal family. They will stop at nothing to retrieve the jewels for their own purposes. With time running out, a small group loyal to Elizabeth, must follow a trail of treachery and death. They must unravel the mystery on the night a squad of conscientious objectors were sent to dig a hole in the grounds of Windsor Castle and hide Britain’s greatest treasures… in an old biscuit tin.

Coronation (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)

You know if there’s a book that is even the remotest in terms of royal adjacent plots, I’m interested in reading it. Coronation: A House of Windsor Mystery, is based on factual information. During World War II, the crown jewels were removed from the Imperial State Crown with a screwdriver, put in a biscuit tin lined with cotton, and buried in a hidden trench at Windsor. That much is true. The rest of the story is made up.

That story, having the jewels stolen by one of the workers at Windsor Castle during the war, and the subsequent search for him and the jewels, takes up the bulk of the mystery. The man, Jeremy, was a conscientious objector who deserted and disappeared. The authorities, and a few rogue elements, believe his girlfriend, Valerie, knows where he is and where the precious jewels are located. The race is on to secure Valerie, who is full of secrets, and find the jewels for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

Taking place right after King George VI’s death and funeral, the Metropolitan Police are tasked with securing the Crown Jewels. There’s also a former serviceman, a crusty old sort, who doesn’t believe Elizabeth should be queen and has been in talks with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in an effort to have Edward VIII reclaim the throne. What an interesting twist to the story!

There was a point about 3/4 of the way through the book where some of the scenes involving a vicar seem unnecessary and slowed the book down for me a bit. However, on the whole, this was an entertaining mystery and I’m glad I picked it up at a Bargain Sleuth approved price! Highly recommend.

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