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Monday 24 November 2008

Apologies and Reprint.

I have to apologise for going blogless for nearly a month. I have been working on the next Cotton book, to be called WASHINGTON SHADOW, set in 1945, the year after THE MAZE OF CADIZ.

I keep running across famous names in Washington at that time - from Isaiah Berlin, who had just been sent to Moscow, through Roald Dahl (something of an information stud) to Donald MacLean of Burgess and Philby fame, who was the First Secretary when Cotton arrives. Also there, was Lady Baba Metcalfe, sometimes called ‘Baba Blackshirt. She was sister-in-law and lover to Oswald Mosley, grandmother of the Metcalfe who presently runs ‘Prêt à manger’, and close friend to the Ambassador Lord Halifax.

I did begin to worry that I had somehow stumbled into a gossip column. I found out who Millicent Rogers was (Standard Oil heiress), but am more intrigued by Helen Laurenson - author, apparently, of ‘Latins are still lousy lovers’. In the reference I found, she was described as a better writer than Clare Booth Luce (one of Roald Dahl’s more rigorous assignments), but I haven’t yet found examples of her prose.

On The Maze of Cadiz I am delighted to report there was news of a second printing announced on publication day. I have also been lucky enough to get reviews - with one exception, good reviews. This is due I suspect to the hard work of all the people at John Murray: Kate Parkin, my editor, Lucy Dixon who is handling the publicity and James Spackman who is the person who encouraged me to put up a website in the first place.


Richard said...

So Isiah Berlin was the Fifth Man?

Aly Monroe said...

I don't think he would have tolerated coming in fifth