Craig When I read a biography, I turn to the book's bibliography and sources pages. It seems to me that the longer the list of references, the more likely the book's contents are credible.
For "After Diana: William, Henry, Charles and the Royal House of Windsor," this week's book, author Christopher Andersen cites 76 books in the bibliography and seven pages of sources, both people interviewed (or with whom he had conversations) and published reports and articles.
In addition, Andersen notes there were other sources - friends, acquaintances and employees of the Royal Family - who wished to remain anonymous. It appears the author did a lot of research.
Christopher Andersen has written 27 books, including "The Day John Died" and "Bill and Hillary: The Marriage." He was a former contributing editor of Time and senior editor of People.
"After Diana" begins at 5:35 p.m. Aug. 31, 1997. Prince Charles is in a hospital in Paris, where, despite all efforts to save her, Diana has died. A nurse later reported that Charles "was crushed."
Thirteen hours earlier, Charles was at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The Queen was there, too, on summer holiday with her children and grandchildren. When Charles got the call about his ex-wife being injured in an automobile accident that killed Dodi Fayed, he didn't call the Queen right away.
Instead, Charles called his long-time mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles. Camilla reassured Charles that Diana "was bound to pull through."
But, Diana didn't pull through, and her death was to have a profound effect on the Royal House of Windsor. For Charles and Camilla, it meant their hopes of marrying would have to be put off - perhaps forever. In fact, the Queen suggested that Charles make a formal announcement "severing the relationship with Mrs. Parker Bowles."
And, in the events to follow Diana's death, the Royal Family had to deal with a public that loved Diana. The Queen did not agree with Charles accompanying Diana's body home, nor with plans for the funeral.
The book also deals with the car accident. Although the paparazzi were initially blamed for the car crash, Mohamed Al Fayed didn't believe it was an accident at all. And even Camilla asked Charles if he thought the accident might have been intentional.
Interestingly, according to the author, Diana had thought her life was in danger for some time. For one thing, she thought she and Camilla were both in danger because Charles wanted to marry someone else. The name is revealed in the book.
After an incident in London, when Diana's car brakes failed, she wrote to several friends, suggesting that her brakes had been tampered with and that M15 and M16 were her suspects.
Diana had been warned earlier of "rogue elements inside Britain's domestic and foreign intelligence agencies - M15 and M16."
The author has included findings of Operation Paget, Scotland Yard's investigation into Diana's death.
There's a lot more information in the book, including Charles' and Diana's affairs, Charles and Camilla's wedding and William and Harry's lives after their mother's death.
This interesting book is published by Hyperion (2007). The hardcover book costs $25.95.