The Queen’s Birthday Telegram by Jeffrey Archer

Title: The Queen’s Birthday Telegram

Author: Jeffrey Archer

Published on: 1 April 2011

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Albert Webber and his wife Betty are beaming with joy after receiving a Telegram from the Queen on the occasion of his hundredth birthday. The festivities had begun a week earlier – Albert’s photograph appeared in the Somerset Gazette; he was also interviewed on BBC Points West. Albert was introduced to the local Member of Parliament and local MEP.

His wife, his five children, eleven grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren were by his side when he cut his three-tier birthday cake. Albert was now waiting for his wife’s hundredth birthday celebration which was due in three years.

Over the next three years, nothing much happened in the Webber house, except for few minor ailments and the birth of their first great-great-grandchild. Due to Albert’s frail health, Betty decides to make her hundredth birthday celebration a private affair. Albert is sad that Betty did not receive a telegram from the Queen so he decides to call the Buckingham Palace…


The Queen’s Birthday Telegram is the June’s installment of The Year of Short Stories by Jeffrey Archer. The story starts on a very interesting note. I was hooked to the story till the end and then.. the end happened! I really do not like it when the ending is boring!

If there is anything that can ruin a good story then it is the ending! I wouldn’t tag the ending of this book as ‘bad’ but it wasn’t good either. It was more of a “Is that it? Like, seriously??” Pan Macmillan and Goodreads have given this story an average rating of 2.9. I think there are many who would agree with me about the way this story ends.

I am a bit partial when it comes to happy endings. Not that I do not like it, but the only way to end a book story is with a twist in the closing chapters. How I wish the ending sentence of this book was something similar to “Mr.Webber, The Queen sends birthday telegrams to only those who are alive.”

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