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Some people have all the luck

The King's Grave: The Discovery of Richard III's Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds - Philippa Langley, Michael Jones

As a kid I was fascinated by buried treasure and morbid ghost stories. I read every book I could find about ancient mysteries and old diaries found in dusty attics. I guess you can say that The King's Grave, the true story of how Richard III's bones were discovered under a parking lot in Leicester, appealed to my inner child. 

 

I caught the TV documentary about the discovery on Netflix, and it is in every way superior to this book. I saw the TV show before I read this and thought the book would provide additional details and answer the questions I had--namely, how on earth did Philippa Langley become so obsessed with Richard III? I'm sure he was very nice, as medieval kings go, but Langley is a fangirl and it's impossible to take her seriously. She has some woo-woo moments in the documentary, like her meltdown when someone says the H word (hunchback) as they're examining Richard's bones, that are nothing compared to her endless droning in the book about how amazing he was. She even brings in a graphologist to look at Richard's handwriting and analyze his personality. I'm surprised there's no astrological chart or a stab at a post-mortem Myers-Briggs. 

 

The book alternates Philippa's "LOOK AT MEEEE" chapters with an overview of Richard's life. Unfortunately this makes the book too disjointed and I found myself skimming the overly detailed account of how she raised money for the dig and how many text messages she received from reporters. Dear god, woman, give us the good stuff.