Lord Lucan’s murder of his children’s nanny and his subsequent disappearance is one of the most rehashed fables of our times. Everyone has a pet theory, the most likely being that he drowned himself in the early hours of the morning after the debacle. The theory I like best, though, is my husband’s. He believes that Lord Lucan did not necessarily intend to murder his wife so much as kidnap his children. His gambling friends had set up an escape route for him, and, after he bungled the ‘rescue’ (while inadvertently murdering the nanny), he absconded and is probably now drinking too many tequilas on a ranch somewhere.
Muriel Spark’s lively novella Aiding and Abetting, although interested in the bloodiness of Lord Lucan’s crime, takes up the story at this point. The murder is twenty-five years in the past, and Lord Lucan, if he is Lord Lucan, is in need of both psychiatric help and money, as his