Wednesday, the 1st of December, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!
Today my pick is once again a classic mystery, but one with a difference–The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by Scottish author, Elizabeth Mackintosh. Born in Inverness, Mackintosh attended Inverness Royal Academy and Antsey Physical Training College and went on to teach physical training at various schools in England and Scotland. Her career as a writer began when she was caring for her father, and her first published work was in the Westminster Gazette in 1925. Her first mystery novel was The Man in the Queue (1929), which introduced Inspector Alan Grant. Grant appeared in six novels, and Mackintosh also wrote some standalone detective fiction. She also went on to write short stories, poems, stage and radio plays and other works.
The Daughter in Time, the fifth novel to feature Inspector Alan Grant, is her best known work, and was named by the Crime Writers’ Association as the greatest crime novel of all time. In this one Grant is recovering from a broken leg and is confined to bed. He notices a portrait of Richard III, a sensitive, noble face, which seems to bear no resemblance to his reputation as one of the most heinous villains in history, the killer of his brother’s children. Could Richard have been a mere victim, his reputation blackened by the Tudors? With the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, Grant embarks on solving one of the most puzzling historical mysteries!
I’ve read the first couple of the Inspector Grant mysteries, which I enjoyed (the second more than the first, if I remember right). While Grant is no Sherlock Holmes, he patiently follows clues, tracks down suspects and finally does get to the answer. There are interesting characters and some twists along the way which made these fairly good reads. But The Daughter of Time is, as one can see from its description, a very different mystery, for Grant from his sick bed is looking at no ordinary ‘cold case’ but a historical mystery, the murders of the princes in the tower, which had been attributed for all these years to their uncle, Richard III. What does he find? A confirmation of history or a twist we never expected? I certainly am excited to see.
Have you read this one before or any others by Tey? How did you find it/them? Any other mysteries of this kind that you’ve read? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!
Lisa’s pick this week is Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness, a fantasy read about what it takes to become a vampire!