Aiding and Abetting (novel)
First edition cover
|26 July 2000|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
Aiding and Abetting, is a novel by Muriel Spark published in 2000, six years before her death. Unlike her other novels, it is based partly on a documented occurrence; however, as the author states in a note, she takes liberties with the facts.
The central figure, Hildegarde Wolf, is a fraudulent psychiatrist, née Beate Pappenheim, working in Paris. She has two patients, each of whom claims to be Lord Lucan, an English earl who, in an actual event in London in 1974, killed his daughter's nanny, mistaking her for his wife, whom he did intend to murder. From this premise, the novel proceeds to present a series of humorous coincidences and improbabilities. As the novel continues the evils committed by Wolf and secondary characters result in disconcerting reconciliations and final happiness. The late chapters in Africa recall the comical episodes in A Handful of Dust (1934) by Spark's model and sometime mentor Evelyn Waugh.
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