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-alex-
08-18-2011, 09:57 PM
Hi, all.
I’m not sure if I have this in the correct please. Mods, please move it it’s not.

Okay, there’s two parts to my question.

Firstly, I just want to make clear on the setting on my story. It is Paranormal/Supernatural/Fantasy. I won’t go into it here (and it shouldn’t affect my question at all), but their “world”, is modern, just like ours, with the same amount of technology etc. Humans are unable enter; they are unable to see/sense the “gateway” which enables my race to cross over into our world as they please.

I’m been trying to do some research into attempted assassinations of Royals, or publics figures. But I haven’t been able to come up with much that I can use.

The main character of my story is a Princess, who is subjected to attempted assassinations from those who want to destroy the King and the Monarch. She is heir to the throne, and only member of the family who is left to inherit. This is because in my race, ancient laws state that the in order to inherit the throne one must be a direct bloodline descendant (parent to child.). The idea of the “bad guys” is that once the king and Princess has been taken out, the Royal line would end, therefore a new reuler would have to be called in. Most likely a high up Lord or Lady. (still need to work on that part).

Anyway, the first part of the Question, I need some ideas on attempted assassinations. Any good books or movies I can watch? Any good websites? I’ve tried googling but I cant find much.

The types of attempted assassinations I’m looking for are the kind on a personal level. Not bombs or sniper attacks. Which is why I’m having so much trouble I think.

The above statement brings me to the second part of the question - which may help you undertsand the reasoning of the first part a little better.

Part of the plot is that the assassin is somebody the Princess (my main character) knows and trusts. (And major character in the story). So there are a number of ways he can get to her through that.

I've came up with a couple of scenarios, which he gets close to her, and then for one reason or another (I won't go into them here) he's unable to finish the job. I have come up with a couple of ways to make it look like he’s not a suspect too.

However I need a few more ideas, that’s why I'm asking here. (I need there to be a about four or five attempts on her life throughout the story, and at the moment I have three scenarios.)

But the main problem I have is the big question my readers will be asking “why doesn’t he just use a gun in the first place?”

The reason I’m not having him use a gun is because it’s likely he’d not miss. Perhaps on the first attempt he might, but not likely again, if he’s supposed to be good at what he does, and he is – as part of the story.

I have come up with two ideas, which I’ll jot down here, however, I’m not sure how feasible they are:

1) He wants to see her face as he kills her, up close and personal. But, the problem with this is… there's not really a reason as to why the character would want to do that. His (and the people who he works for) beef is with her father, not her... Yes, he's been hired to kill her, and yes, it's not the first time he's killed, but he’s not a one-dimensional-out-and-out killer - he's been dragged into a very murky world. His day job may involve killing others, but he still has a heart. He still knows kindness.
Part of the reason for his agreeing to kill her is out of revenge – the guy is reacting to his own emotional pain caused by the monarch – or which he believes to be caused by the monarch. Does that make sense at all?

2) This might be a little more feasible, but still has holes… is that the assassin (and those he works for) wants to show the King and those who guard him and the Princess, just how close he can get without being stopped. To get up close and personal when taking the Princesses life shows the King, not only can they kill his daughter where and whenever he wants, but they can get passed her guards to do it... and he (the King) could be next – anytime, anywhere.

Thoughts?

Sorry for the ramble...
Any help you can provide would be very much appreciated.

MttStrn
08-18-2011, 10:08 PM
Though it involves assassination by rifle, the book "The Day of the Jackal" is a fantastic look at the meticulous planning that would go into it.

FrederickS
08-18-2011, 10:11 PM
Hi, all.
I’m not sure if I have this in the correct please. Mods, please move it it’s not.

Okay, there’s two parts to my question.

Firstly, I just want to make clear on the setting on my story. It is Paranormal/Supernatural/Fantasy. I won’t go into it here (and it shouldn’t affect my question at all), but their “world”, is modern, just like ours, with the same amount of technology etc. Humans are unable enter; they are unable to see/sense the “gateway” which enables my race to cross over into our world as they please.

I’m been trying to do some research into attempted assassinations of Royals, or publics figures. But I haven’t been able to come up with much that I can use.

The main character of my story is a Princess, who is subjected to attempted assassinations from those who want to destroy the King and the Monarch. She is heir to the throne, and only member of the family who is left to inherit. This is because in my race, ancient laws state that the in order to inherit the throne one must be a direct bloodline descendant (parent to child.). The idea of the “bad guys” is that once the king and Princess has been taken out, the Royal line would end, therefore a new reuler would have to be called in. Most likely a high up Lord or Lady. (still need to work on that part).

Anyway, the first part of the Question, I need some ideas on attempted assassinations. Any good books or movies I can watch? Any good websites? I’ve tried googling but I cant find much.

The types of attempted assassinations I’m looking for are the kind on a personal level. Not bombs or sniper attacks. Which is why I’m having so much trouble I think.

The above statement brings me to the second part of the question - which may help you undertsand the reasoning of the first part a little better.

Part of the plot is that the assassin is somebody the Princess (my main character) knows and trusts. (And major character in the story). So there are a number of ways he can get to her through that.

I've came up with a couple of scenarios, which he gets close to her, and then for one reason or another (I won't go into them here) he's unable to finish the job. I have come up with a couple of ways to make it look like he’s not a suspect too.

However I need a few more ideas, that’s why I'm asking here. (I need there to be a about four or five attempts on her life throughout the story, and at the moment I have three scenarios.)

But the main problem I have is the big question my readers will be asking “why doesn’t he just use a gun in the first place?”

The reason I’m not having him use a gun is because it’s likely he’d not miss. Perhaps on the first attempt he might, but not likely again, if he’s supposed to be good at what he does, and he is – as part of the story.

I have come up with two ideas, which I’ll jot down here, however, I’m not sure how feasible they are:

1) He wants to see her face as he kills her, up close and personal. But, the problem with this is… there's not really a reason as to why the character would want to do that. His (and the people who he works for) beef is with her father, not her... Yes, he's been hired to kill her, and yes, it's not the first time he's killed, but he’s not a one-dimensional-out-and-out killer - he's been dragged into a very murky world. His day job may involve killing others, but he still has a heart. He still knows kindness.
Part of the reason for his agreeing to kill her is out of revenge – the guy is reacting to his own emotional pain caused by the monarch – or which he believes to be caused by the monarch. Does that make sense at all?

2) This might be a little more feasible, but still has holes… is that the assassin (and those he works for) wants to show the King and those who guard him and the Princess, just how close he can get without being stopped. To get up close and personal when taking the Princesses life shows the King, not only can they kill his daughter where and whenever he wants, but they can get passed her guards to do it... and he (the King) could be next – anytime, anywhere.

Thoughts?

Sorry for the ramble...
Any help you can provide would be very much appreciated.

Most will depend of the level of expertise you have written into the antagonist. Is this someone who has killed before? Who is skilled and knowledgeable?
If so, the spectrum of techniques available widens considerably. Knives, spikes, garrotes, suffocation - all kinds of techniques can be found on the internet and frequently, you can observe the techniques on youtube!
If not, there are a variety of poisions that might serve the purpose rather nicely. Some can cause an extremely painful death, btw. Cheers.

areteus
08-18-2011, 10:25 PM
Trouble with this is that many assassinations in the modern era have been by explosion or gunfire because it is such a successful method. There is no way a half decent assassin would consider anything else when they have these two old favourites to choose from. You may need to think of a more plausible reason why they don't than 'because they are likely to succeed' - maybe the assassin's employers want to make it look like an accident or like someone else did it or whatever but you need this idea in place before you plan the assassination as that may give you a method...

There are ways to kill someone and make it look like natural causes, BTW. An injection of potassium chloride to the heart will cause a heart attack which will normally be passed off as 'natural causes' unless the autopsy is done and the person doing it notices the tiny puncture wound over the heart and works out what it means (even blood chemistry will reveal no poisons - just an elevated level of potassium and sodium which is consistant with heart attack). But that is an aside because it is very difficult to do this effectively unless you can get to them when asleep and Princesses are usually very very well guarded (even today).

With regards to the succession - look at the story behind Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne. The then King had no heir so all his family started scrabbling to be the first to have a child. This sort of thing is probably going on in your court. If your court is anything like the real world UK court then most of the nobility are probably related (albeit distantly) to the monarch in some way.

Medieval and Tudor history is full of interesting ways for kings to die (such as being stabbed with a spear when sitting on the garderobe) but I don't think any of them are relevant to what you are looking for.

MoLoLu
08-18-2011, 11:43 PM
Though I know little of real life assassinations beyond common knowledge I am writing a soft scifi story which involves one (technically several) telepathic assassins so I feel a certain obligation to pitch in.

I've come up with a series of methods my main character would use to kill and, while never used in my story, they may be of use to you:

1 Rifle (semi automatic/automatic)
Benefit: Refire ability, chance to correct if kill missed, easily assured kill at range, can shoot his way out if needed
Disadvantage: Somewhat obvious, gives position away once fired

2 Pistol
Benefit: Refire ability, chance to correct if kill missed, can shoot his way out if needed, easily conealed
Disadvantage: needs closer range, gives position away once fired

3 Knife/Other sharp object
Benefit: Silent, can correct if missed, easily consealed, often simple to dispose of
Disadvantage: requires close proximity, chance target survives long enough for help to arrive

4 Bomb
Benefit: Assured kill, easily concealed
Disadvantage: prone to failure, static and requires preparation/sacrifice, inability to correct if failed

5 Poison/Telepathic Kill
Benefit: easily concealed, silent, paralysis & other side effects
Disadvantage: Unpredictable results, chance of recovery or aid arriving, requires preparation

6 Accident/Unarmed kill
Benefit: impossible to predict, nothing to conceal, silent
Disadvantage: Unpredictable results, chance of recovery or aid arriving, potential preparation required, proximity required

If you need a reason to get up close and personal I'd suggest the following:

- Requires item to confirm kill
- Risk of aid arriving in time to help
- Requires certainty of kill regardless of personal injury
- Terror effect (people will get spooked: How the hell did that happen? We KNEW that guy!)
- Because he can (wants to show his own prowess)
- Lack of means to conceal better weapon/improvised weapon

Generally when in situations like this I come up with an interesting scenario and then think back and build a reason for that scenario being that way. This often requires some thinking outside the box and I often spend days/weeks trying to come up with a viable explanation.

Maybe you'll find some inspiration in this post.

-alex-
08-19-2011, 02:01 AM
Thanks for all the replies guys.

Arteteus, yes, you are correct, "Trouble with this is that many assassinations in the modern era have been by explosion or gunfire because it is such a successful method. There is no way a half decent assassin would consider anything else when they have these two old favourites to choose from". You are spot on there, and this is why I'm having so much trouble... Haha.

MoLolu, thank you very much! I'll see what I can use from your post.

Hmm I don't know what you guys think of this idea, but... perhaps I could have something like this:

(When the assassin is asked why he didn't use a firearm from a distance) "I was taught that if you intend to kill a man—or woman—then at least have the decency to look them in the eyes and tell them so, before you end their life.”

MoLoLu
08-19-2011, 10:32 AM
Some form of honor/code would be a good explanation though I'd personally skip the 'tell them' part and stick with the 'watch them die', but to repeat, that's just me. Of course, if he has said code, it might bear thinking who taught him so and for what purpose (i think any half sensible assassin would want as little to do with his target as possible so any potential explanation would tend to be emotional and not rational).

I came across two more random reasons why he might be forced to get close:

- terrain (i.e. the only accessible place to get at the princess is inside a building or whatever, she's too protected outside)
- wish to survive (noise like a gunshot would bring a million guards down on his head which he wants to avoid)

I had some other one but forgot since it came to me last night.

Oh, this did come to me concerning firearms: Malfunctions. You could subvert the whole firearms thing by having him try and get close using a pistol or something but have some guards get in the way and before he reaches the princess the weapon jams. The other one is running out of ammunition but both these ideas sort of require a body trail which might not be your assassin's style.

Mark G
08-20-2011, 12:09 AM
Honestly,

It sounds like your bad guys have two conflicting goals:

Kill the royals
Impress the Royals with their killing ability
Why bother trying to impress someone who is going to be dead anyway? Maybe the bad guys suffer from hubris or serious ego deficiencies? Or they want to make the Royals suffer? Anyway, that's something worth detailing out, since that could be the bad guys' fatal flaw.

If the goal is to kill, a serious professional wouldn't put themselves at risk. Depending on the potential repurcussions, they might even work to make a death appear to be by 'natural causes' or an 'accident'. (driving on a mountain road? maybe a slit brake line and a stuck throttle? how about a little heart attack in your sleep?) At least this is the theme presented in lots of stories. It makes sense, since a lot of "wet works" killing with traceable guns or large bangs/booms tend to attract law enforcement attention.

Tom Clancy did a great job with an up-close attempt to kill a Royal in Patriot Games (Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Games), Amazon-Movie (http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Games/dp/B000JPHH2U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313782503&sr=8-1)), though the weapons of choice (in the movie at least) were assault rifles.

Without Remorse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Without_Remorse) is one of my favorite books, about an assassin (John Kelly/John Clark).

Grosse Pointe Blank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grosse_Pointe_Blank) is a funny movie about the assassin trade, with John Cusack playing the main role and supporting roles played by Dan Aykroyd and Minnie Driver.

Let the record show that I'm not an assassin, and have very little personal experience with assassination. Back in the 80's, we had an "assassination" game in High School, where we had a small group of people toting dart guns on campus and hunting for the person in their dossier between classes. I managed to eliminate one "target" before getting a dart in the back later. Of course, that type of activity would be frowned upon these days...

MisterFrancis
08-20-2011, 05:27 AM
If you use a bomb or a gun you're likely to get caught - a good reason for a sensible assassin to try something more subtle!

A Bulgarian umbrella.
Polonium poisoning.
Anthrax through the mail.

-alex-
08-21-2011, 11:49 PM
Okay, thanks for all of the replies guys.
Time to start looking a this a little more, I think...

frimble3
08-22-2011, 01:19 AM
Would you consider totally changing your assassin? Maybe he's some guy who's never killed anyone before, but your conspirators picked him because he's the only person that can get close to the princess that they can control? Whether it's because he believes in their cause, is desperate for money, has done something that they are holding over his head, whatever.
It explains why he can't force himself to do it, has technical problems, messes up the tight planning, etc.
Because I can't make myself believe that a trained killer accepted a job, and then... just didn't do it.
'Kindness' doesn't come into it. Kindness is not letting the target escape, that's the job. Kindness is maybe not killing the innocent servant who's standing nearby.
And, the complex code of honour, unless you do a ton of backstory, just makes your assassin unlikely to be hired.

-alex-
08-22-2011, 03:16 AM
I'm seriously going to have to go back and iron some things out…

frimble3, I can see your point. But I’m not sure that changing his character will work – it conflicts with other traits, and the back story I’ve planned for him. I’ll give it some thought though.

Some more info, I thought I’d throw out there…

The assassin is the second major character in the series (looking to make it a trilogy). The series is told in the Princesses pov, and I’m wanting to tell the story so the audience doesn’t know this character is the assassin – that is until it’s revealed at the end of book one.

The “assassin” whilst is the second major character, is ironically the Princesses personal Guard. The person responsible for her safely. And is also the love interest (well, the main one at least). It’s not “love at first sight” for either of them, but as they get to know each other… well, you can guess the rest. So, I’d planned there comes a point in the story where he obviously stops trying to kill her, because he’s fallen for her (which has repercussions throughout the second and third books). However, by then others are sent to do the job that he seems to have been unable to complete, therefore, he ends up protecting her from his “colleagues”.

I hadn’t planned to reveal much back story for the “assassin” character until the second book. Yes, he’s an assassin of sorts, but that’s not strictly his “day job”. He knows how to kill efficiently, and he has done a number of times – for his father who is the person he “works” for. His father is something of the equivalent of a mob boss.

His father sent him to assonate the King, to who most would have put down to political agenda, but really its personal/revenge type matter (for reasons I won't go into here). But before he gets the chance to do this, having joined his (the kings) personal guard, he’s sent to retrieve his daughter, who has finally been located after two years hiding/on the run from her father and her people (for reasons I won’t go into here). Once the Princess is “back”, (which this is where the story begins – the plans for the King not being known/revealed to the audience until book two) plans are switched, and it’s the Princess that becomes the target (as a matter of personal vengeance against the King – decided upon by both the assassin and his father – although the audience is led to believe it’s political matter – until this is revealed later.)

Ehhh.. sorry for the ramble… I’m not good at explaining things in brief (something I need to work on!). I just thought it might shed some light on what I’m trying to do with this assassin character.

But, like I’ve said, maybe I need to go back and iron out a few things… there seems to be too many “holes” at the moment...

L.C. Blackwell
08-23-2011, 03:52 AM
For method, you might also look at the assassination of Elisabeth of Austria.

Linda Adams
08-23-2011, 02:34 PM
Since you mentioned is a Paranormal/Supernatural/Fantasy book, don't forget using magic or other fantasy aspects as a method of assassination. I actually have a successful assassination in mine that was committed by magic. Not only does no one know/believe it was magic, they don't realize the assassin got the wrong person.

One of the things I had to think about was that a Royal would have security around him/her. That would prevent an assassin from being able to get up close and personal. Though he wouldn't necessarily need to be distant, either -- but the closer he is, the more likely he will, at the very least be seen and recognized. Sure, some countries don't have very good security, but in a book, I'd have a really had time buying it.

Do go outside of assassinations of leaders and look at public incidents. You can always take aspects of what did happen and reshape to your story. Gabrielle Gifford is the first one I thought of as something to check into. Also look at incidents that created conspiracies, like Princess Di.

Puma
08-23-2011, 06:33 PM
Look up Lucrezia Borgia on Google and then at the books cited as reference. Even though 15th-16th century, she is one of the master assassins of all times and is famous for her ring with poison to put in a wine glass concealed below the stone. Check her out.

Then, look up Rasputin (late 19th, early 20th century) and at all the ways they tried to get rid of him.

Hope those help. Puma

-alex-
08-23-2011, 11:19 PM
Thanks guys, will check those out.

Linda, I haven’t sorted out the magic part yet. So that's something to think about, however, I haven't planned for magic to have a very heavy part. I'm currently researching the "creature" I've decided to use for my race to base them on, so I am looking into the lore, perhaps I'll find something there.

Also, regarding "security around her", I have mentioned that the assassin’s “day job” IS her security. He's managed to get the job as her personal guard. Which makes this very easy for him to get close to her, as close as he wants in fact (which also becomes pivotal part of the plot – and not just to do with his assassination attempts).

But the two problems I'm facing -

1) Reasons as to why he can't take her out on the first day of his job – and to why he has to bide his time between attempts. There’s only so many times he can be interrupted before it gets repetitive, right? Or would that NEED to be the reason he can’t? He’s always interrupted in one way or another? (as I don't want to make him out to be an imcompatent idiot) Would I just need to make those reasons/scenarios different each time? Anyone have thoughts on that?

In the end, the reason will be obvious as to why he stops, he’s in love with her… but it’s the situations before both characters realise their feelings, that I need to work on.

2) And, why he would not just use a gun – the fastest, simplest way to kill her. Now, a reason I could use, as somebody already said, “guns are noisy” and gunfire would bring a ton of his colleagues running – His objective is to kill her and get out alive. But “guns are noisy” doesn’t seem enough by itself, so that’s why I’m looking into attempted assassinations.

Also, reason for it to be an up close and personal attempt, not a distance attempt. The only reason I can think of at the moment, as to why “close” could be his choice instead of ‘distance’, is (I think somebody mentioned this here) that he “needs to make sure he’s made the hit”. Which isn’t always easy from a distance.

Remember, he is not the main character here, he’s not telling the story, she is.

Ehh… still need to hash a lot out of holes and have a think about things, I think. I need some inspiration, lol.

skylark
08-23-2011, 11:42 PM
Maybe he's not a very good shot? Maybe he has a vision defect which isn't an issue in daily life but means he simply can't aim properly?

Or you could bring the magic into it? Maybe she's magically protected against attack by the obvious means such as guns and explosives? Or alarms would go off if anyone carrying them got anywhere remotely near her?

I do think you need to be careful about having everything line up too conveniently. If a competent assassin repeatedly fails, the answer to "why didn't he kill her?" is inevitably going to look like "because that's what the plot requires." The problem with your "needs to be sure he's made the hit" logic is that he doesn't make the hit using his close-up methods. So he's insisting on doing something in a way which doesn't work. Repeatedly. It's going to be difficult to sell that as competent.

-alex-
08-24-2011, 12:53 AM
"I do think you need to be careful about having everything line up too conveniently. If a competent assassin repeatedly fails, the answer to "why didn't he kill her?" is inevitably going to look like "because that's what the plot requires." The problem with your "needs to be sure he's made the hit" logic is that he doesn't make the hit using his close-up methods. So he's insisting on doing something in a way which doesn't work. Repeatedly. It's going to be difficult to sell that as competent."

And, you've hit it on the head, lol. That's my problem. It's what I'm trying to think of ways around.

Linda Adams
08-24-2011, 01:08 AM
How about a reverse version of this? He doesn't want to do it close by because the pool of suspects is going to be awfully small, and everyone will start looking at him. And he so does not want people digging into his motives. So he's looking for opportunities where he can be a minnow in a pool of minnows, so large crowds, or distance. The only problem is that the Queen is not cooperating and keeps wanting him close by ...

By the way, any assassin worth is salt is probably going to use a method that will widen the pool of suspects, rather than narrow it.

SLF
08-24-2011, 03:03 AM
Well, what just ran through my mind is, as her guard, maybe be HAS to be close to her. Maybe it would raise too many questions if he was seen far away from her. Perhaps you could even have the 1st attempt be a distance shot that missed somehow and after that, he wasn't allowed to leave her side so he couldn't try any more distance attempts without raising questions from people in the castle.

GradyHendrix
08-24-2011, 03:23 AM
Poison, poison, poison and poison. This was THE way to kill people in Renaissance Italy. Google "Renaissance poison" or "Borgia" and you'll get more poisoning stories than you can shake a tiny vial at. Add in the fact that it's still popular today with folks like Alexander Litvenko and Roman Tsepov being poisoned by radioactive materials and given the way it's a deeply intimate way of killing someone that requires personal contact and I feel like it might suit what you're looking for.

-alex-
08-24-2011, 05:03 AM
Thanks again for the input guys.

Linda,
I see where you are going. But, remember the story is is told from her POV. She's the main character here. So the only way she can know an attempt is being made on her life is, for it to happen. The reader doesn’t see into the mind of the assassin. So I'm not sure that could work.

SLF, that's sort of where I was going, yeah.

The first attempt, I had the idea (just an idea! Brainstorming...) of the Princess at some public event. He "pretends" to spot something dodgy in the crowd, informs the other Guards to stay with her and get her to safety, without causing a scene, while he goes to eliminate the threat (also says he’ll call for backup). He takes off, and the guards take her to the car, or whatever, they are then are jumped by the “assassin”, (a quick change of clothes and added mask etc). There’s a fight, but when more backup is called, he flees (and isn’t caught). He returns with some excuse as to why backup wasn’t called before... “the guy jumped me before I had the chance…”. (Yeah, I'd have to think of somthing better). Maybe he fakes an injury to make them not suspect him? Shoots/Stabs himself somewhere not vital? Arm? Leg? I don’t know… would need to work on that.
So, after this incident, no more public events, and her Guards must be kept close by at all times. Although, I’m sure that wouldn’t be possible 24/7. The guy would need a break. And he’d need to sleep.

GradyHendrix, poison is good. But, poison, if it’s the assassins chosen method does work. And the main character can’t die.

quicklime
08-24-2011, 05:51 AM
If you use a bomb or a gun you're likely to get caught - a good reason for a sensible assassin to try something more subtle!

A Bulgarian umbrella.
Polonium poisoning.
Anthrax through the mail.


didn't the guy who killed Markov actually get caught (the ricin/umbrella guy), and the Polonium suspects are pretty well-identified, but won't be extradited.

anyone can get/use a gun, the things above can actually be somewhat limiting due to their exotic nature

-alex-
08-25-2011, 09:28 PM
Maybe I'm looking at this from the wrong angle?

Maybe I need to work out each assassination attempt scenario, then ask those two questions?

Canotila
08-26-2011, 12:23 AM
Even as one of her guards it's unlikely he'd be left with her unsupervised. That is, it wouldn't really be proper for a single male to be left unsupervised with the princess, even if he is her guard. It's likely there'd be more than one of them on duty at a time. And if there are firearms in their world, the king would probably have his guards armed with them which means he'd have a hard time getting alone with the princess without one of the other guards nearby and armed with a gun ready to leap out and kill him.

With firearms bullets can also be traced to the weapon they were fired from. If he's got depth perception problems (maybe he only has one eye?) he'll have problems shooting with sniper-like accuracy. A point blank shooting is loud, and he'd likely get blood spatter on him.

What if he tried poisoning her and she wasn't hungry, maybe offering the food to a pet, servant, or (cue dramatic music) one of her guards? Or maybe she doesn't offer, but one of the above helps themself when it's time to throw out the uneaten meal. He can't say anything without giving it away, but somebody is going to get poisoned and she's going to realize it was supposed to be her.

Edit: Depending on the king's personality, any guards on duty who failed to protect her might lose their heads. This would be a pretty strong motivator to not make it happen on his shift. Or at least for him to have an escape route planned out, but that would end up making him the #1 most wanted man in the kingdom which isn't cool either.