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Angel with Two Faces (Josephine Tey #2)

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  1,020 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews

Exhausted and disillusioned with the world of theater in May 1935, Josephine Tey has traveled to Cornwall to spend the summer with her friends the Motleys at their run-down but beautiful country estate. Ready to begin work on her second mystery novel, Tey finds much to inspire her in the landscape and its legends. Meanwhile, the Motleys have become involved in an amateur

Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Harper Paperbacks (first published July 1st 2009)
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Apr 04, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is the second book in Nicola Upson's Josephine Tey mystery series. Josephine and her Scotland Yard friend Archie Penrose are taking a holiday in Cornwall, at the family estate where Archie grew up, where Josephine hopes to work on her second mystery novel. Archie goes early in order to serve as pallbearer at the funeral of a young man who lived and worked on the estate; Harry Pinching drowned when his horse took him into the Loe Pool. Josephine enjoys being with her friends (and Archie's co ...more
Oct 05, 2010 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 02, 2015 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I found this book on the giveaway shelf at work and was drawn in by the setting of the book - Cornwall, England. When I studied abroad in England back in 1999, I spent a weekend exploring the main towns & villages of Cornwall and fell in love with their charm & quaintness. I was hoping this book would capture that and transport me back to that weekend.

This book did describe the lovely landscape that is in Cornwall, but most of the action took place on a family estate. One of the reviews
Looking for peace and quiet to write her next thriller, Josephine Tey accepts an invitation from her friend, Scotland Yard detective Archie Penrose, and his two cousins, to visit their ancestral estate in Cornwall. She arrives in time for the funeral of a local man whose death has stirred passions, not only among his sisters, but among the whole local community, which is divided between those who mourn him and those who welcomed his death. This is a rather long book, but Upson gives enough twist ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed reading this, but I'm not sure that I'll remember it or want to re-read.

This is the second in a series of mysteries which feature Josephine Tey (real-life mystery author). It is set on a country estate in Cornwall where Tey has been invited to visit by her friend (and possible romantic interest police inspector Archie Penrose. The first book in the series was set in London with the focus on the theatre, since Tey was also a playwright. I found the first one to be more unique and it hel
Cyn Mcdonald
Caution, spoilers. I liked this less than the first book in the series. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, but I found the story tedious, and the ending, while appropriate, is not at all happy. The language sometimes seems too modern for 1935, although the acceptance of wife-beating, and the disgust and shame about homosexuality and incest, rings true. Many of the people Archie and Josephine encounter in Cornwall are quite unpleasant or even brutal. The scenery, on the other hand, is beautif ...more
Laura Edwards
Not as good as the first book. Moves way too slow. Perhaps Ms. Upson's affection for Cornwall lends to an overabundance of descriptive passages regarding the Cornish countryside, thus bogging down the narrative.

Also, way too much incest running through the plotline. And in one case, some of the characters treat it with a hint of normalcy, pushing the "ick" factor to a much higher degree. Sheesh, I can see why Archie chooses to live in London. His home village is filled with truly despicable peo
Jessica Broadbent
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the second in Nicola Upson's series starring a fictionalized version of the real-life author Josephine Tey, one of my favourite crime novelists. Josephine is in Cornwall with her old friend Archie Penrose, who just happens to be an inspector with Scotland Yard. They're soon drawn into dark and devious doings at his family's estate - let's just say this is no idyllic village, even in 1935. There's lots of skullduggery, and you'd best keep your wits about you to keep track of the character ...more
Rose Gauthier
May 24, 2017 Rose Gauthier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Took a while to finish but truly enjoyable!
May 17, 2017 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lies and more lies. A real page turner.
Mar 14, 2017 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Upson's books are great reads...highly recommended!
Mar 07, 2017 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1935, and Inspector Archie Penrose and Josephine Tey arrive separately in Cornwall to visit his family home. On arrival Penrose attends the funeral of an estate worker -Harry Pinching - who drowned in the local pond. Josephine becomes aware that they are many secrets on the estate, but how many will lead to harm.
I enjoyed this slow moving mystery and the style of writing.
Feb 06, 2011 Zooey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery readers, who enjoy stories with 'a little extra'
This is Upson's second book in the Josephine Tey series, and I will start off by saying that I think this one is even better than the first one! Whereas the previous 'An Expert in Murder' took place in the professional world of theater, this book takes us further into the personal life of one of the main characters. The result: excellent character development and further unravelings of a personal past.

The book starts with Josephine Tey dealing with a writer's block. Her friend Archie Penrose inv
Mar 05, 2011 Bev rated it really liked it
Angel With Two Faces is the second book in Nicola Upson's mystery series starring Josephine Tey. I have found with mysteries (or just plain fiction) that stars real people in fictional circumstances that they are either very, very good or very, very bad. I am happy to say that this series is very, very good. Upson's first mystery, An Expert in Murder, was good. A strong opener to a very promising series. This book builds on that success and the recurring characters are even stronger and more wel ...more
Pierke Bosschieter
Aug 21, 2016 Pierke Bosschieter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ibooks, kobo
AfterJacqueline Winspear' Maisie Dobbs series and Charles Todd's Bess Crawford series (I know there's a new one coming out next week), I was afraid I wouldn't find a heroine in the same mold or a series with the same kind of atmosphere, but I think I found a new favourite. I put off starting on Nicola Upson Jospehine Tey series although I knew the Scottish connection would suite me very well. I was afraid my admiration for Jospehine Tey and her books (my favourites are The Daughter of Time and T ...more
Jun 25, 2014 JayeL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, audio, 2015, cornwall
Angel with Two Faces started off rather slowly. Being a bit distracted meant that I had to listen to the first hour twice. I found the beginning to be a little slow, but as the story started to unfold the detail given at the beginning became important foundation material, so I was glad I went through it twice.

This book has almost too much in it in addition to murder: incest, domestic violence, rape, lies, institutionalize prostitution. Lots of bang for your buck, no question. The story came tog
The second book in the Josephine Tey mystery series takes her on a holiday to Cornwall to visit the family home of her friend, Archie Penrose. She is hoping that the atmosphere of the coast will help inspire her second mystery novel. Josephine gets an initial burst of inspiration when she sees what appears to be a dead girl on the beach. When she runs down to investigate, she is surprised to find that the girl is just pretending. Prior to her arrival, a real drowning occurs when a young man from ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a horrible mess. This book has it all, murder, runaways, sexual deviance, spousal abuse, incest, shall I go on? It was crazy trying to keep track of the characters as well. To be fair the names may be more common in Cornwall. But I found myself confused by the names Morveth, Morwena, Loveday, and Jago to name a few. Perhaps I should have read the first book of the series to get to know these people. Still, I liked the mystery of the novel. It takes place in 1930s England. Archie Penrose goe ...more
Nov 09, 2015 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whodunit, fiction
Tedious, verbose, poorly plotted, cliche-ridden, phoned-in.
Lovely Cornish countryside thrown in for atmosphere, as unreal as a theatrical backdrop, as is Josephine Tey.
No idea why she was there at all. She seems to be entirely peripheral. The taut, spare prose, succinct characterization, looming sense of overtaking events that is Josepine Tey is totally absent. Just go read "A Shilling for Candles". While not one of her best, It's much better than this.
So, the plot. A doomed family loses yet an
V.E. Lynne
Apr 18, 2014 V.E. Lynne rated it liked it
'Angel With Two Faces' is the second instalment in Nicola Upson's 'Josephine Tey' series wherein the Golden Age novelist and fictional detective Archie Penrose team up to solve murders. This time, Archie has gone home to Cornwall to act as pallbearer to Harry Pinching, a popular young man who has met an untimely end courtesy of a fall from his horse into a lake. Archie invites Josephine down to Cornwall to escape London for a time which she is keen to do - she has a new novel to work on. But the ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reviewed this title for Library Journal xpress reviews:

Library Journal:
In Upson's second installment (after An Expert in Murder) featuring real-life mystery novelist Josephine Tey, it is 1935, and a tragic drowning in Cornwall brings Detective Inspector Archie Penrose back to his family's estate. Intending to escape London for a short holiday, Tey joins him there planning to work on her next novel. Rest and relaxation are soon forgotten as the two become entangled in a murder investigation and
Amy Paget
Jun 13, 2015 Amy Paget rated it liked it
This is the 3rd Josephine Tey novel that I have read. Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by Elizabeth Mackintosh, (1896–1952), a Scottish author best known for her mystery novels. She also wrote as Gordon Daviot, under which name she wrote plays with an historical theme. In most of the mystery novels she wrote under the name of Tey, the hero is Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant. The most famous of these is The Daughter of Time, in which Grant, laid up in hospital, has friends research reference ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Karen rated it liked it
I am not much of a series reader, but I read the first one in this series, An Expert in Murder, late last year and really liked it so I went on to the next one. It is an interesting concept for a series, the fictionalized life of real life mystery author Josephine Tey, and I am a Josephine Tey fan, but while the first book was a somewhat gritty look at the seamier side of the world of the theater in 1930's post war London, the second book went way too dark and twisted, way too fast for my liking ...more
Nov 25, 2011 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lyn
The second in what is becoming one of my favorite mystery series. One of the main characters is real-life mystery author and playwright Josephine Tey. (See my review of the first entry, An Expert in Murder). This novel is set in Cornwall and is equally well-done: intricate plot, wonderful sense of place and very moving. In the acknowledgements at the end Upson notes that the estate the novel is set on, the Penrose Estate, is a real place that now belongs to the National Trust. Josephine Tey, und ...more
This between the wars mystery featuring the British writer and playwright, Josephine Tey sees her and her detective friend Archie Penrose journeying to his home in Cornwall for a vacation. Unfortunately, it begins with a death and Archie is a pall bearer. The life of the Cornwall estate and village is picturesque and the people there are close knit, friendly, and content.

This death, however, sets off an investigation that uncovers many dark secrets and ferocity that belies the bucolic first imp
Feb 05, 2016 Rosemary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have tried to like this series--read the first one a few years back, and while I enjoyed it, at the time I wasn't in a hurry to start the second book. I finally picked it up, and I have to say I was not only disappointed, but kind of skeeved out by it. It's hard to explain why without serious spoilers, though, so I'll just say that I found Upson's portrayal of one of the central relationships in the book to be weirdly sympathetic.

And, at 448 pages, the book is way too long. It's an interestin
Angel with Two Faces - Nicola Upson
3 stars

This is the second book by Nicola Upson featuring the author Josephine Tey as the protagonist in a murder mystery. It’s important to realize that the Miss Tey of this book is a completely fictional character, based loosely on the historical author. For the most part the story was compelling, had good atmosphere and a few plot twists that weren’t completely predictable. The story takes place in Cornwall, between the world wars. There are wonderful descrip
Anne Hawn Smith
I enjoyed this , but I felt like it dragged a bit in some parts. I didn't particularly like the lesbian themes because I felt they were outside the plot and didn't add anything to it. I realize that it is part of who Josephine Tey was and, as such, should be included, but not as a side plot. It distracts from the mystery and interrupts the flow.

The mystery itself is very compelling. The plot twists and turns, leaving the reader having to incorporate new information that renders previous conclusi
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Nicola Upson was born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, and read English at Downing College, Cambridge. She has worked in theatre and as a freelance journalist, and is the author of two non-fiction works, and the recipient of an Escalator Award from Arts Council England. She lives with her partner and splits her time between Cambridge and Cornwall.

Nicola is currently writing the sixth book in the 'Jos
More about Nicola Upson...

Other Books in the Series

Josephine Tey (7 books)
  • An Expert in Murder (Josephine Tey, #1)
  • Two for Sorrow (Josephine Tey, #3)
  • Fear in the Sunlight (Josephine Tey, #4)
  • The Death of Lucy Kyte (Josephine Tey, #5)
  • London Rain (Josephine Tey #6)
  • Nine Lessons (Josephine Tey #7)

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“Looking back though, she knew that nothing could have been as unfamiliar as this grief -- this vast landscape of sorrow, emptiness and guilt, in which there were not signposts, and no rules on how to behave. If she weren't so numb, she might be amused by the irony of it all; the first thing she ever had to do without Harry was mourn him.” 1 likes
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