Posted in Monday, mystery on November 25, 2013


Against a backdrop of political change in South Eastern Europe, the story embraces disgruntled communists, cold war warriors, intrigue, deception and finally murder. Sir Arthur Cumberpot has an unspectacular career which is swiftly drawn to a close when he is appointed British Ambassador to Bulgaria. Due to some unforeseen mishaps his wife Annabel is accused of being a spy and sent home to their house in Watlington while her background is checked by MI5. Annabel is guilty of nothing, other than being the biological daughter of Jim Kilbey, Britain’s most famous spy. It seems that a jealous god has sought to visit the sins of the father upon her, but so has everyone else. She is the victim of serendipity, but also of cover ups, the duplication of thin evidence and exaggeration. But she is also heartless, treacherous, self indulgent and without shame.


A good conspiracy theory in an ex communist country or how a career can be destroyed by duplicity, stupidity and a good measure of gossip!

Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.”  ~ Sir Walter Scott ~   Marmion -Canto VI Stanza 17

With his pen Patrick Brigham reveals the diplomatic lifestyle of the British Ambassador in Sofia – Sir Arthur Cumberpot – and spins an elaborate web, involving both the intelligence services of Bulgaria and UK. Together they successfully destroy the diplomatic career of the British Ambassador – end it up with the murder of his wife Lady Annabel – who was accused of  espionage.

Lady Annabel Cumberpot is guilty of nothing, other than being the biological daughter of Jim Kilbey, Britain’s most famous spy. She is the victim of serendipity, but also of cover ups, thin evidence and total exaggeration.

What gives the book some heft is the author’s sense of humor when he describes the elitist lifestyle and dissect some of the most profound conspiracies theory you can  imagine.  As with all conspiracy theory he makes you wonder how much of the story may be actually true, or is he just putting together enough or rather too many evidences to suggest how a life can be destroyed for no reason at all.  Let’s hope the current generation of spooks has learnt from past mistakes”

Con Coughlin –  about MI6 in ‘The Daily Telegraph.’


It turned out to be rather a somber meeting, and one which everyone would remember for many years to come. Sir Arthur had lost his disdainful expression and looked a little pasty that afternoon as certain suspicions were revealed.

The ambassador moved from side to side as if in deep thought, finally exploding and attacking the table with his fist.

He shouted, ‘Are you saying that my wife is a spy—I mean a real one? What are you trying to say, Macintosh; spit it out man? I need to know the whole truth!’

‘No, not at this stage Sir, I am only relating to you what I know so far. I’m sure that there is a rational explanation, and I am sure that there has been some mistake, but stranger things have happened in the past and we need to be cautious. Maybe she is being blackmailed?’ Dirty Macintosh retreated into himself whilst the Ambassador spluttered and came out with unintelligible half sentences.

‘I mean… I can’t believe… It’s not possible… It’s unimaginable… There must be some mistake!’

The look of abandonment caused by her implied treachery seemed to annihilate his whole being.

Dirty Macintosh was not entirely surprised. ‘There , Sir Arthur, we don’t have the whole picture yet. It is all supposition at the moment; just a possibility, we don’t have any real proof. It is just an unexplained piece of evidence possibly involving your wife, that’s all!’

The Embassy spook was regrettably rather enjoying this moment, and amazed to see how quickly his pompous boss had disintegrated before his eyes. It was proof, however, that he was not only unreliable but had no objectivity either. Whether Macintosh would mention his views to his Masters in London at some point was another matter, but he would not do so for the time being!


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About the Author

patrickPatrick Brigham was born in Berkshire England to an old Reading family. After attending an English Public School and College, the author Patrick Brigham went into real estate.  After the economic crash of 1989 and a few other bitter experiences, in 1993 he decided to abandon London, and he moved to Sofia in Bulgaria.

In a new country with a different culture, and whilst trying hard to set up a home, a new life was definitely in store for him. A master of the comic vignette especially when consumed with disbelief, he set up the first English Language News Magazine in the Balkans called the Sofia Western News (1995-2000). As a journalist he witnessed the political and economical changes in this once hard core communist country.

Now Patrick Brigham resides in North of Greece, enjoy’s writing and his collection of classic cars.

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