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King and Joker

by Peter Dickinson

Series: Princess Louise (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2043104,235 (3.95)14
The monarchy is not what it used to be. King Victor II may be the grandson of Queen Victoria, but political and economic realities have intruded even on Buckingham Palace, where family breakfasts center on proposals for tightening the household budget (no, Princess Louise will not be hiring out as a babysitter) and the King - a licensed physician -- fumes at Parliament's refusal to permit him to practice medicine, for fear of lawsuits. Nor has royal dignity been spared. A practical joker has invaded the palace, but his tricks, initially amusing, have turned deadly, and seem increasingly to be focused on the teenage Princess Louise. The trickster, it seems clear, wants her to divulge some secret to the Greater British Public, but which one? Triumphantly touching, with genuinely interesting characters . . . exceptional - Newsweek… (more)
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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
There is a practical joker loose in the palace, Princess Louise suddenly realizes that her mother's secretary is her father's mistress and the beloved nanny of three royal generations is dying. When jokes escalate to murder and Louise realizes that there are deeper secrets in the Palace she begins to doubt her role.
  ritaer | May 31, 2021 |
This book was originally published in 1976, so the author's "present day" story takes place about then. His genealogical table at the beginning of the book imagines a ruling King Victor II. He and his two children and his wife's secretary live in the palace along with the nanny who has raised many generations of royals and the usual staff. The story is told mostly through the eyes of the daughter, in her early teens, and the bedridden nanny. The practical jokes at the beginning of the book, and before, lead to murder. There are surprising relationships. The story is more interesting than I'm making it sound. ( )
  raizel | Apr 27, 2017 |
See review.
  nholmes | Feb 6, 2007 |
Showing 3 of 3
Dickinson creates an interesting alternative history in which England is ruled by Victor II, descended from Edward VII.
 

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The first 'joke' that Princess Louise actually witnessed took place in the Breakfast Room at Buckingham Palace on the last morning of the school summer holidays.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The monarchy is not what it used to be. King Victor II may be the grandson of Queen Victoria, but political and economic realities have intruded even on Buckingham Palace, where family breakfasts center on proposals for tightening the household budget (no, Princess Louise will not be hiring out as a babysitter) and the King - a licensed physician -- fumes at Parliament's refusal to permit him to practice medicine, for fear of lawsuits. Nor has royal dignity been spared. A practical joker has invaded the palace, but his tricks, initially amusing, have turned deadly, and seem increasingly to be focused on the teenage Princess Louise. The trickster, it seems clear, wants her to divulge some secret to the Greater British Public, but which one? Triumphantly touching, with genuinely interesting characters . . . exceptional - Newsweek

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Dickinson creates an alternate history in which England is ruled by Victor II, descended from Edward VII. A practical joke played on the British royal family is no laughing matter for the palace security forces, and when a series of jokes grows progressively more grisly, the very survival of the monarchy is threatened.
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