A few weeks ago I read Love in a Cold Climate and by chance, the next time I was in the local library found the spoken word CD of the sequel (3rd in a trilogy) to this amusing novel.
Set almost thirty years after the first book, and again narrated by Fanny, Don’t Tell Alfred continues to examine the foibles of society but this time in Paris where Fanny’s Oxford Don husband, now Sir Alfred Wincham, has been sent as Ambassador. With a ditzy second cousin called Northey, ostensibly employed as Fanny’s social secretary but who spends more time socialising and acquiring followers, an able assistant Phillip Cliffe-Musgrave, former student of Alfred’s, her three sons rejecting the Establishment and creating havoc where ever they go, an odious gossip columnist casting all Embassy news into a skewed and embarrassing light and the ever reliable, though definitely eccentric, Uncle Matthew, Fanny finally triumphs as a socially adept Ambassadress though not without numerous amusing incidents along the way. Throughout all the mayhem the constant refrain is ‘but don’t tell Alfred’ as Fanny strives to make the new Ambassador’s position as smooth as possible – needless to say, at times with less than spectacular success.
A most enjoyable commute ‘listen’.