Rhoberth Dain

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Rhoberth Dain (b. 1960) is a Kemrese author of Alternate History. The middle of three children (and only son) of a physician, Rhoberth won a scholarship to study history. When he graduated with high honors, most—including himself—thought he was poised on the threshold of a teaching career.

But in 1986 he had an idea for a story. A longtime fan of the Inspector Watson stories of Uther Conan Doyle, Dain drew up notes for what he called a “lost case” of the famous sleuth. Initially composed just for fun, his wife persuaded him to send it to a publisher, who eagerly sent him a check.

Murder Most Royal (1989) deals with Watson being asked to quietly look into the death of a companion of the Kemrese monarch. Her seeming suicide turns out to be murder, motivated by a secret surrounding the royal families of not only Kemr and the FK but of Prussia as well. This was a best-seller, and Dain followed it up with The Autumn Isles Horror (1992) set in a fictional chain of islands disputed by England and Kemr. In this, Watson and Jones investigate what seems to be a cult of demon-worshippers and find evidence of a legendary treasure from the time of King Arthur. The second was not a popular as the first, but still sold quite well. It, plus the proceeds from the film version of Murder Most Royal (starring Kenneth Armaugh), allowed him to quit teaching and write full time.

Since then, Dain has written two large novels in a series he calls The House of Westminster, an alternate history about a Britain where England and Scotland remained totally separate kingdoms with fictional dynasties seated on the thrones in London and Edinburgh.

Good King Richard? is about the life and reign of Richard IV, who comes to the throne at age 23 in 1975 at a time when tensions between England and Scotland are extremely intense. In this alternate history, King Richard has a club foot and faces numerous attempts to dethrone him in favor of his first cousin, George, Duke of Clarence. The King’s greatest ally is a scheming journalist, Anne Spenser-Simpson, whom he eventually marries and makes Queen.

In 2000 Dain completed Her Royal Majestie about Caroline II, sister of Richard who assumes the throne after his assassination. Caroline turns out to be an even more ruthless person than her sister-in-law, eventually taking over the LaRouche Corporation which is actually a front for organized crime. This novel proved an even bigger best-seller than the first. Motion picture rights to the first two have been purchased for literally millions of pounds. Orlando Bloom is widely rumored to be a shoe-in for the role of Richard IV.

Currently, Dain is at work on the third book in the series, which he says is titled Bestowing the Sceptre and will deal with Caroline’s son, Richard V. In an interview for Dandy magazine, Dain has hinted the new monarch in his book is spectacularly handsome and has an affair with an underage American singer named Normandy Bolt.

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