Great Impersonation Is Great Mystery

Photo of Kaiser Wilhelm
Kaiser Wilhelm photo from The Library of Congress

The Great Impersonation is a mystery set in duplicity and compounded by international espionage.

In German West Africa around 1910, Everard Dominey, a gone-to-seed Englishman whose only asset is fluent German, runs into a school mate, now a German commander. The two had always looked remarkably alike.

Von Ragastein has been exiled by the Kaiser for killing his lover’s husband. Dominey is self-exiled after a fight that left his wife unbalanced, threatening to kill him, and the defeated opponent missing, believed murdered.

Von Ragastein decides to kill Dominey and assume his identify.

Shortly thereafter, a man calling himself Everard Dominey arrives in England. He’s rich, abstemious, and highly principled—a miraculously changed man.

This new Dominey takes up life as an English lord. Only a German-born colleague knows Dominey is being planted to provide political intelligence when Germany attacks England.

The plot quickly gets complicated as Dominey is recognized by his former lover while Lady Dominey refuses to recognize him as her husband.

The story gets increasingly murky as Dominey gets involved in the  discussions about whether the German pre-1914 military build-up means England should prepare for war.

Despite the corny look-alike plot hook, E. Phillips Oppenheim pulls off a clever and sophisticated mystery that will keep readers intrigued to the last page.

The Great Impersonation
by E. Phillips Oppenheim
1920 bestseller #8
Project Gutenberg ebook #1484
My grade: B+

© 2010 Linda Gorton Aragoni

Project Gutenberg