The Queen’s Birthday Telegram: The Year of Short Stories, by Jeffrey Archer

Eight stars

Master storyteller Lord Jeffrey Archer has chosen to please his fans with a new venture; a short story released each month. Those familiar with Archer’s work will know that he can not only spin long and involved pieces, but also the short story that compacts adventure into a handful of pages. June’s story is brief, but very much a winner, when Albert Webber receives a telegram from from the Queen on the celebration of his one hundredth birthday. This is in addition to all the fanfare the town and his family have to celebrate this milestone event. When, three years on, Albert’s wife celebrates this same cake-worthy event, there is nothing that arrives. Hurt on her behalf, Albert waits for a time before placing a call to determine if there’s been a mix-up. A few transfers and cross-references later, it all becomes clear and Albert cannot help but chuckle. A wonderful re-release for Archer fans that can be read in a few moments, with a smile factor that will surely linger.

Lord Jeffrey Archer’s work is always full of unique perspectives, be they complete novels or shorter story such as this one. I am so pleased to have come across this collection and have reviewed each story based on its own merits. Now I await each instalment on a monthly basis, hoping they will be as interesting as the first half of the collection. This was definitely one of the faster reads, one that I remember devouring in a past collection. Even with a lack of character development, Archer pushes a wonderful story along to the reader, adding his trademark zinger by the final sentence. I have enjoyed all these pieces and now must be patient for the rest of the series to come, released for free each month to Archer fans!

Kudos, Lord Archer, for a masterful new story collection. How you find so many effective ideas that produce high quality publications I will never know.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: