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The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant, #1)
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The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  4,883 ratings  ·  286 reviews
The first of the author's novels starring the popular Inspector Alan Grant traces the mysterious slaying of a man waiting to see a London musical, whose neighbors in line insist they saw nothing.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 29th 1995 by Touchstone (first published 1929)
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The Daughter of Time by Josephine TeyA Shilling for Candles by Josephine TeyThe Man in the Queue by Josephine TeyBrat Farrar by Josephine TeyMiss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey
The Best of Josephine Tey
3rd out of 8 books — 10 voters
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldWinnie-the-Pooh by A.A. MilneAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueThe Sun Also Rises by Ernest HemingwayThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Best Books of the Decade: 1920's
195th out of 340 books — 650 voters

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Community Reviews

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For some reason the only novels by Josephine Tey that I have read previously are The Daughter of Time and The Franchise Affair, both in my long-distant teenage past. I loved the former of these books and liked the latter, but until now I had not felt inspired to seek out Tey's other works.

I'm glad that I finally did, for there's a lot to love about this example of British Golden Age detective fiction. Tey writes beautifully. Her prose is intelligent, lucid and witty and she deals equally well wi
Melissa McShane
How could I have guessed that the author of The Daughter of Time, one of my favorite authors ever, could have written such a lumpy first novel? I mean, Tey's a great stylist, she writes description so well that you hardly mind that it's pages and pages of the stuff. And even in this novel, Alan Grant is a vibrant and interesting character, even if he does love fishing. But it's unfortunate that Tey chose to make such broad characterizations of cultural and national groups. The murder (the stabbi ...more
I expected to like this a lot. Golden Age crime fiction, I'm pretty sure my mother mentioned liking it, etc, etc. But I couldn't get past the endlessracism,and the general feeling that Josephine Tey would be a men's rights activist now. I mean, a woman on the stage overshadows her male co-stars, and yet the whole tone is not, wow, her skill and grace and so on, but that she is secretly a conniving bitch. The whole story serves to hammer home that she's a woman who only cares about herself -- wit ...more
Free download at Project Gutenberg Australia

I just realized this is the first book of the Inspector Alan Grant series.

As the previous book I've read this week, A Schilling for Candles, the plot is captivating and the investigation work follows the masters of the mystery genre. There is one more book of this series to be read, To Love and Be Wise.

5* The Daughter of Time
4* The Franchise Affair
3* The Singing Sands
4* Brat Farrar
4* A Shilling for Candles
4* The Man in the Queue
TBR To Love and Be Wis
Not too bad. I liked the resolution. Tey is still Tey, ie the only Golden Age mystery writer whose racism, classism and sexism I bother really taking issue with, because she really is that much worse than her contemporaries. People decide what personalities other people have based on their face and their race; it's a crass, naïve philosophy and hard to have patience with at the best of times. The detective's thoughts at the end say an awful lot about Tey. He thinks about the murder victim, and t ...more
1929, #1 Inspector Alan Grant, London and Scotland; also published as "Killer in the Crowd".
The Man In the Queue gets himself murdered, and the chase is on! Her weakest novel, but still very good stuff. Cosy police procedural, three-and-one-half stars.

Playwright Elizabeth Mackintosh's first novel, originally published under the "Gordon Daviot" name in 1929 and later as "Josephine Tey", is a true 1920s' thriller, based on the police procedural format, very similar in style and tone to Philip McDo
After a long absence, Alan Grant returns to my life. (Which is a different way of saying "I haven't read this in a long time".) It's obvious that Josephine Tey didn't originally intend to write mystery novels: not to in any way belittle mystery novels, which I love, but there is an intelligent uniqueness to her story and her writing that is a pure joy, an approach to the task which is fresh and unique.

Alan Grant (whom I cannot call by his last name, and therefore with whom I will probably becom
Although an “interesting” first mystery novel -- and a very promising one -- this book has a number of flaws. It is unclear what “type” of mystery novel Tey (Elizabeth Mackintosh) was attempting to write. Was it a police procedural? An action adventure? A discourse on the realities of justice? Insightful examination of the moral and intellectual quandaries of a detective? All these different types of mystery novels seemed to have been wedged together into one and unfortunately, the seams do show ...more
By the standards of a Josephine Tey novel, The Man in the Queue is rather amateurish. (To be fair, it was the first novel Elizabeth Mackintosh wrote.) There is a noticeable strain to make sure that every gun of Chekhov's goes off (or at least is planned to): every loose end is tied up, every subplot wraps up neatly in the order it was introduced, and there's a nice little bow on top. It's difficult to discuss without giving away the plot, but suffice to say that the actual murder could have been ...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Golden Summer (May-September 2013).

Inspector Alan Grant has been given the infamous Queue case. A man with no identification was stabbed in a busy queue outside the Woffington Theatre as fans waited to see the final hurrah of Ray Marcable in the smash hit Didn't You Know? With just a knife and a handful of witnesses that didn't see anything, Inspector Grant is able to quickly build a case against the mysterious man he nickn
Well, they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover... I'd have to add "or by its author's reputation or by its Goodreads score!"

An unknown man is stabbed in the queue of a theatre show's last night. Inspector Alan Grant struggles all through the book to find out the who and the why.

This is apparently Josephine Tey's first novel, so I might just be able to forgive her for the dreadfully contrived ending and the disappointment I felt. But I certainly cannot recommend it.
Richard Ward
Golden-Age writer Josephine Tey's first detective novel is only good, not great. Starts like a classic whodunit, with a man stabbed to death while waiting in line to see a musical. Nobody in line saw nothin', of course. The book quickly turns into a police procedural, with Scotland Yard's Alan Grant gathering clues, interviewing suspects and witnesses, and chasing his suspect into Scotland. It was interesting to me that the chapters set in Scotland reminded me of an American western novel, with ...more
What an intriguing, engrossing mystery. It had a bit of a slow start, and I have to drop a star for the hero - Grant - who is the least interesting character in this oddly elaborate tale. I suppose that's part of the point, to create a bit of a blank slate who can adapt to his circumstances and shine the spotlight where needed. The cast of characters is otherwise full of quirky, hilarious, off-beat Dickensian personalities. They're delightful to meet, and some of my favorite parts of the book ha ...more
Katharine Ott
"The Man in the Queue" - written by Josephine Tey and published in 1929 by Macmillan. Elizabeth MacKintosh used several psuedonyms when writing, including the one I knew her by, Tey, and also Gordon Daviot, whose name was originally on this first book of hers. The private author wrote a considerable number of mysteries, and it was nice to locate and read this introduction to her famous character Inspector Grant. "If Scotland Yard has a motto it is You Never Know."

Tey's quaint phrasing and abilit
This was recommended to me as an Agatha Christie contemporary. I see some similarity, but it's just not the real thing. Tey moves much too slowly for me. That being said, I think I would definitely give her another try. This title is early in her career.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Very much a period piece. Including frequent use of the term "dago."

Probably about 2.5 stars.
I am not sure how to describe this book. On the one hand it is well written, with inventive phrasing and a storyline that keeps the reader involved, with simple straightforward police work, introducing the intellectual and independently wealthy Inspector Grant. On the other hand, the ending is a complete surprise. No clue in the book leads to it; the Inspector is himself surprised. In short, we have a book full of detection leading to the wrong answer.
Add to that the (perhaps 1920’s thinking) d
I'm not sure whether this one fully deserves 4 stars, but it's closer to 4 than 3, and thus the rating.

It's an odd sort of book to describe- the style was quite unlike any other I've encountered. At times, the author seemed to be very detached from the story: emotionless and distant. And then at other times she was almost viciously judgmental of her own characters- angrily and personally involved.

The final coming together and solution of the mystery at the end seemed to have rather strange timin
Atmospheric cover, atmospheric novel, the first of Josephine Tey's Inspector Alan Grant tales.

As the title suggests the plot revolves around a queue. It is at one of the London theatres and a man towards the front of it is murdered. Nobody notices anything untoward until the queue begins to move and the man slumps to the floor.

Inspector Alan Grant is called and there follows a classic investigation to uncover the perpetrator of the crime. Grant finds himself all over London and in the far north
A wonderful opening pulled me straight into the 1920s. And straight into London’s theatreland.

It was beautifully written and it was clear that Josephine Tey, already a successful playwright, knew and loved the world she was writing about. And that she understood the importance of the big picture, of the small things, and of the psychology of her characters.

And in the very first chapter there was the crime. Such an elegant, clever scenario:

” ‘Chap fainted,’ said someone. No one moved for a moment
Jessica Andersen
Josephine Tey is the pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh. She was a contemporary of Agatha Christie, but not an author I had heard of before. I learned of Tey because a contemporary author uses her as a character in her mysteries. I decided to read the original before delving into the author as a character, I'm not sure how I feel about those.

Anyway, The Man in the Queue is the first book featuring Inspector Alan Grant. I enjoyed the book, but the Kindle edition feels very dense, especially for s
Appropriately after reading Watching the English, here’s a murder mystery that revolves around queuing. I adore Tey’s The Daughter of Time, but I’d never read any other books by her. This is her first novel (originally published under a male pseudonym; ‘Tey’ is actually a pseudonym, too) and it introduces Alan Grant, who’s the detective in Daughter of Time, too. He’s an enjoyable, if not especially vivid character to me—Time is fantastic because of its plot, which involves an investigation of ...more
Frances Brody
I'm an admirer of Josephine Tey but hadn't read this book before (published 1929). She heads the chapters with the names of the witnesses who have seen the man in the theatre queue murdered. He does not immediately fall dead because there is such a crush that the queue holds him upright. Inspector Grant suspects that the murderer is a 'dago' because no Englishman would use such a weapon. So this is very much a book of its time: bank notes can be easily traced; a necktie tracked back to its selle ...more
Morgan Gallagher
This is the first Alan Grant tale, and so, obviously, I read it last. It's an interesting read, with a reasonable mystery and an elegant ending.

It does miss out on the tone and flavour of Tey's later work, as there is a strong sense of her developing her voice, and Alan Grant's, come to that. There is a clear 'Dr Watson' feeling at the end, where 'she' reveals her discussions with Grant as a person, are the way the book has been written. That's just an interested by fact, nothing of note.

This books lacks the immediately personal nature of her other books. Until the very end I felt distant and unable to closely relate to the characters. It is not that they failed to be realistic or well described. It was as though I related with a newspaper account rather than a tale of personal trial. Then there was the odd intrusions of first person. But with the final chapters the story pulled together and let me feel connected to the characters. I was given the insight at the same time and th ...more
Kathy  Petersen
Tey's first Alan Grant detective story is a complex and entirely reasoned foray, with quite a literary flair, into the blatantly guilty who is actually innocent. Grant chases him through the wilds of Scotland and takes us along for the adventure. To my surprise the date of first publication is 1929, but the tale reads as fresh as one written last year, minus of course the forensics, the cell phones, and the omnipotent computer.
apparently this was her first novel, and it shows. josephine tey is always best when she forgets about the actual crime and lets her characters get on with their lives, which are always more interesting than the crime itself. but in this novel she starts with a sensational premise (man murdered in a queue, in a kind of reverse locked room mystery) and then is forever stuck trying to make it work. the sleuthing is tedious, the logic is flimsy, the typically tey character interactions that might h ...more
After a stuttering start, in that I bought this book a couple of years ago, started to read it and then promptly dropped it on my TBR pile. I picked it up again this weekend and was immediately absorbed a murder in a queue and no-one notices. There were quite a few red herrings and a final denouement that felt a teeny bit stretched but that doesn't spoilt the overall enjoyment. To modern readers it can seem a bit slow to develop but just right for a Sunday afternoon read. The use of the term "da ...more
I've nothing really to say about this except to describe the entire plot which I do not feel like doing and which I will probably forget in about a week anyway. A man is murdered in a queue, but no one knows who he is which makes it hard to determine why he was murdered. Red herrings abound and the resolution is completely whackadoodle but it was pretty entertaining. Apparently, I had the cleaned up version that removed outright slurs but still maintained its racist and classist charm (ex. stabb ...more
Lyn Elliott
The Daughter of Time has been one of my favorite historical detective novels for a long time and remains a reminder that history is written by the victors (in that case the Tudors, who had every reason in the world to vilify Richard III).

As others have noted, The Man in the Queue is nowhere near the standard of DoT. The plot is clumpy and characters stereotyped, sometimes pejoratively, and the ending a fizzle.
But I did enjoy it as an easy read in between much more substantial stuff.
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Preconceptions 1 8 Jan 07, 2015 11:20PM  
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Josephine Tey was a pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh. Josephine was her mother's first name and Tey the surname of an English Grandmother. As Josephine Tey, she wrote six mystery novels including Scotland Yard's Inspector Alan Grant.

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 19
More about Josephine Tey...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Alan Grant (6 books)
  • A Shilling for Candles (Inspector Alan Grant, #2)
  • The Franchise Affair (Inspector Alan Grant, #3)
  • To Love and Be Wise (Inspector Alan Grant, #4)
  • The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant, #5)
  • The Singing Sands (Inspector Alan Grant, #6)
The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant, #5) Miss Pym Disposes A Shilling for Candles (Inspector Alan Grant, #2) Brat Farrar The Franchise Affair (Inspector Alan Grant, #3)

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“The light died on the window-sill as the last survivor of a charge dies on the enemy parapet, murdered but glorious.” 3 likes
“So Grant betook himself through the sunny, busy morning to Waterloo, trailing a little cloud of discontent behind him as he went. As he stepped from the warm pavement into the cool vault of the best but saddest of all London stations—the very name of it reeks of endings and partings—gloom sat on his face like a portent.” 0 likes
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