THE EFERDING DIARIES by Gordon Brook-Shepherd


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This a pleasant enough diversion, which moves with equanimity from the diplomatic world to what remains of the nobility after the Anschluss (an earlier title, by this author, who has done popular history) to some of the simpler, sporting pleasures--hunting, fishing, skiing, and romance. Stephen Lane, a wealthy, young-ish Bostonian is spending a year in Austria, researching. There he meets Olivia Marsden with whom he falls in love. Olivia is the wife of the British head of the Foreign Service and it is an indifferent marriage. Stephen's second find is the Eferding diaries, turned over to him by an Austrian countess whose grandfather had been the unofficial chef de cabinet to the Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose assassination had triggered the first World War. As Stephen reads the diaries, he learns that Charles' father, presumably a war hero, had been a traitor; this uneasy evidence is used against him (he refuses to sell it to the Russians; they in turn blackmail him with the exposure of his affair with Olivia) and eventually it destroys not only Charles Marsden but the possibility of his future with Olivia.... This is the British equivalent of Paul Hyde Bonner--namely middle grade, upper class entertainment with lots of gift wrapping.

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 1966
Publisher: Lippincott