Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Sip of Tey

The all-time queen of crime was Agatha Christie, whose mysteries have been translated into a jillion languages and whose books are found in every airport bookstore on the planet. One of her lesser-known peers was Josephine Tey, who died was she was in her mid-50's and has a mere 8 novels to her credit. However, the quality of these novels is superb and her work has a more literary, descriptive tone than that of Christie. Our old copies were depressingly worn (a sure sign of a well-read book) and the covers dated, so that people seemed less and less inclined to pick them up off the shelf. Therefore, we've replaced our most tattered copies with crisp new editions and even added a title that we did not own before - A Shilling For Candles. Like the classic mysteries of Agatha Christie, Tey's books are puzzlers set in England during the first half of the 20th century - back when murderers seemed to confine themselves to tasteful homicides of unpleasant local characters using genteel methods such as arsenic in the potted meat. Her protagonist - Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard - is a solid character (the classic Scotland Yard man), and her plots are interesting and intricate. If you enjoy a good mystery and have not read Tey before, you should give her a try. Her reputation is well-deserved.
Brat Farrar
The Franchise Affair
To Love and Be Wise
Miss Pym
A Shilling For Candles

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