The Queen’s Envoy by Lord David Prosser – a review

I have been reading at a breakneck pace lately and still have M.R.Mathias’ book to review but I simply could not resist writing about the Queen’s Envoy first. This is Lord Daud’s second book – although chronologically it comes before My Barsetshire Diary – and was every bit as good as the first, hence my enthusiasm in writing this review.

Sequels, or in this case prequels, generally suffer from second child syndrome – we know what to expect so the element of surprise is gone. Thankfully Lord Daud has given us a twist to replace that initial element of surprise.And from that twist comes the title ‘Lord Daud’.

In The Queen’s Envoy our seemingly naive and slightly daft protagonist becomes a lord of the realm, having inherited the title from a distant relative. The dust has barely settled from that surprise before he learns that with noblesse comes oblige. Duty to the realm arrives in the person of Lord Bertie, a shadowy mover and shaker of officialdom who asks our hero to undertake a delicate negotiation with the Sultan of Beritana. Our hero agrees – what else can he do in the circumstances? – and heads off to Beritana with deep misgivings about his ability to pull off this coup. At the Saudi airport he is hailed as Lord Daud, a nickname that will stick a la ‘El Aurens’.

I mention Lawrence of Arabia with intent because Lord Daud accomplishes his mission in a style reminiscent of both the great Aurens… and Mr Bean! In later missions Lord Daud adds the mantle of Inspector Maigret and James Bond to his persona  but he never loses the delightful naïveté of Mr Bean.

These missions for Queen and Country are very funny but by the end of the book I could not help wondering whether Lord Daud might not be a tad more canny than he appears. This suspicion adds an extra layer of humour to his everyday exploits back in Barsetshire where Lady J is as sharp and delightful as ever and Oscar [the cat] gains a sidekick for a short while.

Speaking of Oscar, one of the most hilarious scenes in the book is when the cat – and his sidekick the kitten – monster Lord Daud in his bed. Think Garfield with Lord Daud as Odie! Priceless.

I honestly do not know how much of Lord Daud’s diaries are based on reality and how much on pure imagination but either way they are fresh, beautifully written and incredibly ‘more-ish’. I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with in book three.

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

4 responses to “The Queen’s Envoy by Lord David Prosser – a review

  • Ilil Arbel

    Dear Andrea,

    As an admirer of Lord Daud’s books (all three) I am very impressed with your review. You captured the spirit of the book to perfection. I, too, was amazed how well the author was able to be as witty and elegant in a sequel as he was with the first book.

    Your literary comparisons are inspired, and I agree with all of them and would only add my strong feeling that there is a similarity to the type of brilliance expressed by P.G. Wodehouse. You made me laugh aloud when you mentioned that the hero is a tad more canny than he pretends to be (for his own safety, particularly at home, I think).

    Your site, as always, is highly entertaining and quite delightful. I keep coming back!

    Like

  • acflory

    -grins- in my experience relatives are rarely interested much less appreciative, that is left to strangers.

    Having cats of my own I thought I recognized Oscar! I’m glad you didn’t take offense at my ah…analogy 😀

    cheers
    Andrea

    Like

  • lorddavidprosser

    People will never believe we are neither related nor know each other when they read such a Dream Review. You are of course a Dream Reader for any author. Your reviews are beautifully worded and full of their own humour. You tell the story yet never give away the plot.
    You have Lord Daud’s gratitude.

    I should tell you that where Oscar is concerned I would be unable to create such fiction and am probably as true to him as it is possible to be without actually being his biographer. In one or two other places my veracity might be doubted a little though.Though merely to protect the innocent of course.
    Thank you for sharing your opinion of my work in such glowing terms. You should have been my agent. I’m also sure a Best Seller is lurking behind your mighty pen.
    Lord Daud.

    Like

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