Making a Drama out of a Crisis

A British prince falls in love with a divorced American commoner and scandal rocks the establishment. Wouldn’t happen these days, would it? The Abdication Crisis took place in the autumn of 1936 and the relationship between King Edward VIII and his American mistress Wallis Simpson has been portrayed frequently in fiction as a love story, a royal soap opera. In truth it had dangerous implications for Britain and its empire and offered opportunities to its enemies.

Edward had not yet been crowned, but was seen as lazy and feckless by the British establishment and the Church would not countenance him marrying a divorcee. Special Branch, MI5, the FBI and Nazi interests soon became involved. There were fears of public unrest and even a civil war. Spain was already tearing itself apart in battles between the left and the right, so paranoia could run riot.

A large element of ‘what if’ surrounds the crisis. The conspiracies swirling around Edward and Mrs Simpson make fertile ground for a thriller, even before I introduce the fascist intelligence unit operating from Room Z, and MI5 infiltrator Hugh Clifton.

‘In Blackshirt Conspiracy, Jason Monaghan sets a tale of treachery against the extraordinary backdrop of the British Abdication Crisis of 1936. In the real world, a resolute Prime Minister forced a reckless monarch off the throne. In this slice of alternative history, fascist schemers cause events to take a darker turn…’ Martin Edwards.

In Blackshirt Masquerade, a twist of events set history on a different course and fascist power starts to grow in 1930s Britain. Now, in Blackshirt Conspiracy the duo of Hugh and Sissy investigate a simple burglary that leads down dark and twisting paths. As they weave their way through a web of conflicting plots, the stakes become higher at every turn.

Blackshirt Conspiracy is published by the Historia imprint of Level Best Books.

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