'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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October 7, 2011

Two for Sorrow




I've now decided, after wavering just a little over the first two books, that I do like Nicola Upson's series about Josephine Tey. {I also think the covers are very striking!} They're not as psychologically deep, as the Maisie Dobbs mysteries are (for example), but they are also a little more colorful, and it's very interesting to read a novel based on historical events in which the main character is a novelist writing a novel based on historical events.

In this book, Josephine is back in London, staying at the Cowdray Club and writing a novel based on the notorious 'baby farmers' Amelia Sach and Annie Walters, who were convicted in 1903 of murdering a baby delivered by Sach and given up for adoption, and the last two women executed together in England.  The fictional element comes in as Nicola Upson imagines what happened to Sach's husband and daughter, and connects that earlier crime with people in Josephine's and Archie's lives, decades later. The first murder in this book is especially gory and very imaginative, and there's a development for Josephine that seems to come out of nowhere, but was apparently based on Tey's real life. 

I found myself guessing the final twist exactly one page before it was revealed, and that was a little disappointing. Somehow, I think you should either guess it way ahead of time or not at all. :)  But still, this was an entertaining and engaging mystery, and I'm glad to know that a fourth book is in the works.

And now I have the new Louise Penny, and a long weekend to read it in. I can't wait!

6 comments:

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I'm not familiar with these but they sound really interesting...might have to check them out at the library :)

JoAnn said...

Oh, no... I can't even consider another series! I loved the first Maisie Dobbs book, but haven't managed to get back to them. Glad to hear you like this one, but I really need to concentrate on few I have going.

Lisa May said...

You have a wonderful weekend of reading ahead of you, with M. Gamache :)

skiourophile said...

I found the first one in the series didn't grab me: I liked the setting but the characterisation of Tey grated with me. I love Tey's books, which might be the problem! Maybe I should have another go.

FleurFisher said...

I liked the first in the series but not the second. I've been wavering, but I think you might have convinced me to give this one the benefit of the doubt.

jenclair said...

I haven't heard of this series, but with Tey as the protagonist, I'm interested!

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