The author of the Maggie Hope Mystery series
writes about KBO, cocktails, code-breaking, and red lipstick.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In the Garden of Beasts

Jana Riess is a scholar, editor, writer, and book critic.

She was also (full disclosure here), my sophomore-year roommate at Wellesley. And is still a good friend!

I recently read Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin for researching my third novel (yet untitled, but set in Berlin during 1941). Dodd's tome is a magnificent look at William Dodd, the U.S. Ambassador to Berlin, and his family, living in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich — a vivid, chilling, and gripping read.

Jana gives a wonderful review on her blog, which is also worth checking out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Madonna and W.E.

W.E. is a new film about the Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII), who abdicated the British throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American divorcée. It's directed and co-written by Madonna.

Yes, Madonna.

It's scheduled to be released in Los Angeles on December 9, 2011.

The Duke and Mrs. Simpson make an pivotal appearance in Princess Elizabeth's Spy, so I've also done my research on W.E. (short for Wallis and Edward and how they privately referred to themselves as a couple). I'm fascinated to see how the film will turn out.

The August issue of  Vanity Fair features a sumptuous spread on the film, called, "Windsor Dressing." The costumes look gorgeous. Walis may have been a Nazi sympathizer, but she did have style. The photo above show James D'Arcy and Andrea Riseborough as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
The costumes are by the Oscar-nominated Arianne Phillips, who worked with Cartier, Dior, and and Dunhill.

(Personally, I have Wallis in Schiaparelli.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What President Obama Could Learn from Winston Churchill

What if President Obama took a page from Prime Minister Winston Churchill and appointment a coalition government? It might help. And could it possibly make anything worse?

Perhaps Obama should have kept the bust of Churchill in the Oval Office after all...

More Wonderful News about Bletchley Park!

The Queen to Visit Bletchley Park and Honor (or Honour) Codebreakers