The Franchise Affair (Inspector Alan Grant #3)
Marion Sharpe and her mother seem an unlikely duo to be found on the wrong side of the law. Quiet and ordinary, they have led a peaceful and unremarkable life at their country home, The Franchise. Unremarkable that is, until the police turn up with a demure young woman on their doorstep. Not only does Betty Kane accuse them of kidnap and abuse, she can back up her claim wi...more
Well, it is, and then some. Her writing is astonishing. The book isn't thick but the amount of detail she manages to put in is quite stupendous. After reading a particularly well-written passage, I often caught myself ...more
I read this thinking throughout "This book would make a fantastic movie. I can't believe it hasn't been adapted – it has everything." But it has been filmed, in Hollywood in 1950 only on VHS at the moment – co-starring Patrick Troughton, which means I really want it. The suspense throughout was amazingly well done – even without a literal life being at risk at any point, the stakes were quite high enough, and my involvement ...more
Robert Blair, a typical small-town English solicitor in the quiet village of Milford. His old and established legal firm, Blair, Hayward and Bennet, handles matters of "wills, conveyancing and investments." But with one desperate telephone call, Blair is thrust into a most bizarre case which takes him to a house called The Franchise.
Josephine Tey is a Tory reactionary and a snob, but she writes like an angel. This mystery novel of the English middle class at bay under the post WW II Labor party is almost as good as her "The Daughter of Time"--and that is high praise indeed.
'The Franchise Affair' is a mediocre mystery; I thought the plot was very well planned, but it didn't quite deliver. Some parts were delightful (maybe too strong a word), and others were dull.
When it comes to characters, I liked Mrs Sharpe's dry wit; I liked relatively small characters too, which were different enough to stand out from the others; very good characterisation.
I didn't mind Robert (the main character), but I found him a ...more
I really like Josephine Tey and think her 'Daughter of Time' one of the best and most original 'mysteries 'ever written. I ordered it and the Franchise Affair and a couple of others in Kindle recently to have the pleasure of re-reading old favourites.
All I can say is I must have been very young when I read The Franchise Affair, before the age of being politically aware of much, or surely I would have remembered the all-pervading air of class and gender judgement. Threaded througho ...more
I was introduced to this book while reading Books to Die For--a great read by itself--and since I enjoyed Daughter of Time by Tey, I got this b ...more
Josephine Tey’s novels have been sitting on my shelves for a while now, but it was Sarah Waters who finally make me pick this one up. I’m very glad that she did.
The story ...more
This was extremely absorbing. I liked the way Josephine Tey used the social changes and tensions in the story. She didn't just solve the crime, she also gave a convincing description of how the public responded to the crime and its effects on the peo ...more
It's told well--I really like Tey's quiet, understated writing style. And the characters and their interactions are delightfully old-fashioned. But old-fashioned is precisely my problem with this story--it all hinges on slut-shaming, bad-seedism (that concept that some people are just born totally evil, blegh) and classism, which kept rankling as I read. I just don't believe th ...more
What makes it unusual is the attitude. There's a very sharp edge in there that I haven't felt in her other works, and which I didn't find entirely pleasant. The characters express opinions about race (specifically the nature of English Saxons versus the Irish), social class, and even - at moments - gender rela ...more
This is not a 4, but more than a 3. To be fair, a 3.5. I really wanted to give it a four, but just couldn't. Two reasons. First was the characterization of Betty Kane herself. It was just too much a stereotype exercise for that era's generic loose female teen-age tramp bad girl. Not that it could not happen, but the motivations and actions and "looks" combined to pull that entire story off? In an era when there was such widespread newspaper, tele ...more
The crime and criminal, however, I found unusually malicious and unpleasant, not to mention rather unbelievable. Probably it is from watching and reading too many modern police and detective stories, but it seems to me that the last thing the police would do in a situation like this, where it is one persons word against another, is parade the accuser through the crime scene and asking "is this what you re ...more
First, let me set that all you love about Tey's writing remains valid in this book too - a true genius for turn of phrase. Many a times through the book, I found myself re-reading a sentence that with minimum words just conveys a wealth of information. Brilliant ! The my ...more
I have to agree with his assessment. I loved Tey’s fine writing, excellent dialogue, and gentle humor. I l ...more
The first of these, 'The Man in the Queue' (1929) was published under the pseudonym of Gordon Daviot, whose name also appears on the title page of another of her 1929 ...more