Picks and Pans Review: Camilla: the King's Mistress

updated 12/05/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/05/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Caroline Graham

Since Camilla Parker Bowles is alone among the protagonists of the royal love triangle in having failed to sanction a book about herself, a biography of her would fill one of the only remaining gaps in this grisly tale. But this book doesn't do the job. Full of unattributed quotes, confusing chronology and hyperbolic language (the release of the Camilla-Charles tape is called "a scandal unparalleled in modern times"), Camilla is a disappointment for those of us still gamely hanging in as this exhausting saga writhes its last.

Graham's book is very pro-Charles. The Prince's decision to tell all in Jonathan Dimbleby's TV documentary and biography is hailed as a triumph. In reality, the reaction to Charles's candor has been mixed at best. If Graham, who writes for the London Sun, had acknowledged this, though, she could not have made such a fuss over how on the days before the taping of the show the Prince of Wales spent hours conferring with Mrs. Parker Bowles about what he should say. The shocker would have been if Charles had blurted out his sorry story without consulting Camilla. (Contemporary, $19.95)

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