Saturday, July 5, 2008

Josephine Tey, a book review, well, more like an author review, really

It happened again.

I ran out of library books.

This left me with nothing to read but the several hundred books already shelved in the house.

Naturally, I moped for a bit.

Then I pulled The Franchise Affair, by Josephine Tey, off the shelves and started reading, quickly following that with Brat Farrar, Miss Pym Disposes, To Love and Be Wise, and The Man in the Queue. Now I'm moping because we don't happen to own The Singing Sands, A Shilling for Candles, or The Daughter of Time and they weren't on the shelves when I last visited the library; this last really ought to delight me because it means someone else is reading them & they'll stay in print, and it means people are using the library, so I shall duly try to be delighted while I wait impatiently for the books to be in.

I had forgotten quite how much I like Tey. She's one of those rare creatures, a mystery writer worth rereading.1 Her prose is beautiful and her plots intricate and intriguing. I will *not* say that her characters are "realistic," because I don't think they are, particularlly. What they *are* is believable, vivid, and likeable, which I find far more important.

Tey didn't write "a series" as such, though Alan Grant is the hero in five of the books, sort of an antagonist in one, and possibly has a walk-on in another. That last bit of trivia is by way of telling you that when2 you go to the library, you don't have to wait for any one particular book to be in before starting. Dive in anywhere! I will confess that Brat Farrar and To Love and Be Wise are particular favorites of mine, but they are all good.

As for me, while I wait for the Tey books, I will console myself with Sayer's work. I have a lovely omnibus edition with Whose Body, Murder Must Advertise and Strong Poison in it. That should keep me busy for a while.

1. She's also dead, unfortunately, which means the 8 she wrote is all we'll ever have. It's not fair!
2. You are going, right?

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