The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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!


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!

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Allison Pearson Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy Whipple E.H. Young E.M. Delafield E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Ellizabeth Taylor Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Martha Grimes Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson