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The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant #5)
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The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant #5)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  11,738 ratings  ·  1,470 reviews
Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is intrigued by a portrait of Richard III. Could such a sensitive face actually belong to a heinous villain — a king who killed his brother's children to secure his crown? Grant seeks what kind of man Richard was and who in fact killed the princes in the tower.
Paperback, 206 pages
Published November 29th 1995 by Touchstone (first published 1951)
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Community Reviews

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This day was our good King Richard piteously slain and murdered; to the great heaviness of this city.

If you take the "players" in The War of the Roses, and place them in more modern times- one could almost compare them to The Mob fighting for control of their territory...

 photo 7e556faa-8d6b-4ffe-b05b-1acd5c793c03_zps6263e8c9.jpg

...and when I first started to be interested in learning who all the "players" were. I felt like Karen Hill at her wedding- when Paulie Cicero was introducing her to "The Family"...."This is cousin Paulie, and my nephew Petie, m...more
Feb 19, 2010 Ellen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ellen by: Lynda
Shelves: novel, mysteries
It’s hard to read A Daughter of Time and not think of James Stewart, similarly laid up in Rear Window, which was produced only a few years later than Tey’s mystery.

In Hitchcock’s movie, the photographer casts a panoptic gaze at the people he can see through the many apartment windows available from his rear window, and plays detective, with the help of the ridiculously over-dressed Grace Kelly. Alan Grant, in Tey’s novel, similarly wounded in the line of duty, is an actual detective/inspector,...more
The Daughter of Time is an unlikely detective story. It's the story of a police inspector who, whilst laid up in bed because of a leg injury, is presented with a portrait of England's King Richard III (reigned 1483-1485) and comes to the conclusion that a man so genteel-looking couldn't possibly be the ruthless murderer Shakespeare made him out to be, because 'villains don't suffer, and that face is full of the most dreadful pain' (judge for yourself here). So with a little help from the nurses...more
Sarah (Warning: Potentially Off-Topic)
"Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
And all their ministers attend on him."

-William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act I, Scene III

Richard III is one of history’s most notorious villains. Thanks in large part to Shakespeare’s play, he is known as a remorseless usurper who murdered his young nephews, the “princes in the tower,” so that he could become King. He was King for less than two years, but he remains one of the more memorable characters from British history.

This is not an open-a...more
I went into this book only knowing that it "proved" Richard III wasn't the wicked uncle who offed his nephews in the Tower. What I didn't know was that, after a rather snarky and fun intro that sets the scene of a cranky inspector bed-ridden with a broken leg, it would soon become a tedious story with dull pacing, boring dialogue, and a self-righteous tone.

The premise is based solely on Alan Grant's gut instinct that the face of Richard III in a portrait reproduction isn't the face of an evil mu...more
Read this but in light of recent events in Leicester I feel like reading this again.
For those who don't know recently archaeologists have been digging up a car park in Leicester in the hopes of finding Richard III. Heard today that they've found a skeleton in a medieval grave, with a curvature of the spine, a head injury and an arrow head in between two of the vertebrae. The skeleton was also found where records said he was buried in the choir of the church.
Now the debate is on as to where the...more
OK, after reading To the Tower Born, I got really hooked on the Richard III thing and about him maybe being a murderer or maybe not. So I read this book Daughter of Time, which went about attempting to prove Richard III's innocence in one of the most notorious unsolved crimes in history. Did he really murder his nephews in the Tower of London because they were a threat to his throne? Or has history painted a false picture of Richard III? This book takes a different angle and offers another villa...more
This book had the potential to really engage me--it deals with Richard III and all the various permutations of the Yorkist, Lancastrian and Tudor factions in late medieval England, and it's not badly written at all. Unfortunately, there were so many little things in it which frustrated me that I was completely soured to the author's argument--that Richard III was innocent of the murder of the Princes in the Tower--by the time I finished reading.

Though there are elements of her arguments with whi...more
Ivonne Rovira
May 01, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, of course! Except Lisa, whom we still love!
Recommended to Ivonne by: a girl in my journalism class in 1985
I first read this novel donkeys’ years ago in paper form. This time, when reading it again as a buddy read with two lovely and talented GoodReads pals, Delee and Lisa, I utterly melted as I listened to the amazing Derek Jacobi’s mellifluous voice as the narrator. If you can get The Daughter of Time as an audiobook, be sure to do so!

I’ve long loved this book so much that I even dragged my husband into joining this buddy read!

The Daughter of Time is the fourth installment of author Josephine Tey’s...more
I want to give this book a higher rating based purely on the inventiveness of the plot: a detective for Scotland Yard, immobilized in the hospital by an injury, decides to occupy himself with a historical mystery - Cold Case, Hospital Edition, essentially. The mystery he eventually lands on is one that everyone has at least a passing knowledge of: Is Richard III the hunchbacked monster who stole his brother's throne and murdered his nephews, or was someone else responsible for the deaths of the...more
From a literary standpoint? Eh. From an academic standpoint, which was why I read the book in the first place? Double-eh.

The prose is smooth and easy enough to follow, and the insertion of historical facts is presented in a fairly interesting way. Much preferable over a textbook, definitely. But the characterization? Non-existent. Style? Themes? Nothing. It's obvious that Tey just isn't a fiction author. But that's okay, I was expecting that.

However, from an academic viewing, the book falls shor...more
Bill  Kerwin

Perhaps the oddest and best mystery ever written. Police Inspector Grant, flat on his back in hospital, solves the historical mystery of Richard III and the Little Princes in the Tower. I know, I know--sounds boring. But it isn't. A fascinating meditation on history, propaganda, prejudice and memory.
Where I got the book: my local library.

Inspector Alan Grant has a broken leg and is trapped in a hospital bed. This being the 1950s he has no handy TV, internet or video games, and not even a cell phone with which to make his subordinates' life a misery. Therefore, he is thrown back onto thinking. A helpful friend brings him a stack of portraits to think about (he likes faces, being a copper) and he seizes on the portrait of Richard III. Could a man with that face, he thinks, really be the murde...more
Who dunneth it? Did Richard III really order his young nephews killed in the Tower of London, or was he unjustly implicated as part of a massive smear campaign? If you’re Alan Grant, the recuperating Inspector from Scotland Yard, the answer becomes increasingly clear. Grant took the case to begin with because he was bored and bed-ridden and couldn’t chase live, motile bad guys. He became interested in Richard based on a random set of pictures a lady friend gave him in the hospital. In perhaps th...more
I've loved this book for years and when it came up in conversation recently I decided it was time to re-re-re-read it.

Alan Grant, one of Tey's best character's is laid up in the hospital with a broken leg. To assuage the "prickles of boredom," Grant takes up the very cold case of Richard III - hero or villain? One of the best known of the "literary" defences of Richard, it is also just plain fun to read. Grant and his "research worker" consider the case from a policeman's perspective making wha...more
3.0 stars. This historical mystery whose title is derived from a quote by Roger Bacon, "Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority" is as much about the nature truth and how those who write histories may have their objectivity clouded by contemporary considerations and personal bias as it is about a clever murder mystery.

Alan Grant, an inspector from Scotland Yard Inspector is stuck in a hospital bed recovery from an injury and bored to death. He becomes interested by a picture of Richard...more
Like countless others before me, I first became acquainted with Richard III through the harsh eyes of Shakespeare...but it was my literature teacher, Mrs. Lavender, who taught me to temper Shakespeare's words and see Richard through a softer lens.

Mrs. Lavender was a wee bit of a woman with a mass of reddish hair pulled up into a top-knot that wobbled and shook when she was passionate about something and, yes, she wore cardigans (often lavender) with plaid skirts and sensible shoes. But, Mrs. Lav...more
This is liking sitting in your adored, aged auntie's parlour on a warm summer's day (though she still has the heat cranked up) drinking tea, eating shortbread and trying desperately to keep your eyes open. Your auntie is telling you the family stories you've heard a hundred times before, but every once in a while she drops in a tidbit of gossip that knocks you out of your drowsy state - you realize she's revealing second cousin Tom really isn't Uncle Phil's son or that your Aunt Bevil didn't mov...more
The Good: Well written. Original idea for a mystery novel. Clever lines, such as:

"The Sweat and the Furrow was Silas Weekly being earthly and spade-conscious all over seven hunderd pages. The situation, to judge from the first paragraph, had not materially changed since Silas's last book: mother lying-in after her eleventh upstairs, father laid-out after his ninth downstairs, eldest son lying to the Government in the cow-shed, eldest daughter lying with her lover in the hayloft, everyone else ly...more
Kressel Housman
As an American, I’m fairly ignorant about the history and succession of the British monarchs, and while my ignorance definitely hampered my appreciation of this book, I think it had other problems. Had it been historical fiction about the royals themselves, I would have related to them as characters and remembered which Richard, George, Edward, or Henry married which Elizabeth. Had it been a straight history book in which the author presented a thesis as to why Richard III could not have killed...more
Sherry (sethurner)
"Grant lay on his high white cot and stared at the ceiling. Started at it with loathing."

Years ago I went to a talk by the actor Vincent Price, who mentioned that The Daughter of Time was his favorite book, and that he loved misunderstood characters. Certainly Shakespeare made Richard III into a character who we love to loathe. Hunchback, sneaky, rotten to the core, Shakespeare's Richard is the seducer of widows, the betrayer of loyal friends and the killer of the young princes in the Tower of L...more
This book was not at all what I had expected. After having this book pop up as a recommendation in several Plantagenet arenas, I decided that I had to have it. It is not, however, really a novel about Richard III in the traditional sense.

I was disappointed at the outset of this novel when the first several chapters were about Grant, a detective who is laid up in the hospital with a broken leg. (Did they truly keep patients in the hospital for weeks with a broken leg at the time this was written...more
Tracey, librarian on strike
Also posted on my blog, with a little more blather.

Edison single-handedly discovered electricity. Paul Revere made a midnight ride to warn village folk that the British were approaching. Of course, Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover America. Richard III had his two young nephews killed off in the Tower of London. These are some "the sky is blue, grass is green" basic truths of history.

Well, the sky does, often, appear blue, and grass is, under certain conditions, green. As f...more
Voted #4 of 100 best mysteries of all time by Mystery Writers of America ( and see also World Magazine January 12/19, 2008, pg. 27).

I have read books that are fiction, and claim to be true. But this is the first time I read a true story that was presented as fiction. As the author is a fiction writer, I'm guessing she wrote it this way for two reasons: 1) to avoid the tedious academic scrutiny and documentation and, 2) To give the ideas presented wider exposure than the a...more
Sep 01, 2011 Trevor rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Trevor by: Lindig
Shelves: history, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 05, 2009 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kate by: Danelle, I think
Shelves: mystery
I love any book that can make me interested in and excited about something I don't care about at all. Richard the Third? Huh?

Tey's recurring character Inspector Grant is in the hospital and bored nearly to tears until a portrait of King Richard III catches his eye: he's supposed to be a monster who murdered his nephews, but his portrait depicts a man who Grant would place "on the other side of the bench" as a judge. Grant's intellectual investigations are aided by his nurses' schoolbooks and va...more
Sharon Penman
When I've done book tours, so often people have come up to me and confided that they first became interested in Richard III after reading this book.
Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 29, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history buffs
Who decides what is history? What is the truth about Richard III? Did he really murder the princes in the tower? And is it possible to find out while immobilized in a hospital bed? Inspector Richard Jury becomes intrigued by the character he sees in a portrait of Richard III, and begins to question the established wisdom about the notorious villain.
Not your usual mystery - real research done for this book has led to a movement to correct the historical record on Richard III. A thoughtful and fa...more
A.J. Howard
Earlier this year I read a Christopher Hitchens essay* on the career of Winston Churchill. Hitchens argued that much of what is considered the truth about Churchill is based on falsehood. This isn't necessarily surprising, our opinions on historical figures and events changes as new facts are unearthed (for example when it was proven that the rumors of Jefferson fathering children with Sally Hemmings were true) or when a historian succeeds in bringing a new perspective to a subject (for example,...more
A detective story that takes place entirely in one setting: the hospital bed of Detective Alan Grant. Bored to tears and given postcards of famous people involved in mysteries, Grant decides that Richard III's face doesn't match his reputation, ropes in a guy that works at the British Museum to do some research, and they both unravel whether history's most evil uncle truly did the thing's he's accused of.

An amazingly clever book, witty, full of humor, and daringly written, because the mystery is...more
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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 1929...more
More about Josephine Tey...
The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant, #1) Miss Pym Disposes A Shilling for Candles (Inspector Alan Grant #2) Brat Farrar The Franchise Affair (Inspector Alan Grant #3)

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“It's an odd thing but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you. They don't want to have their ideas upset. It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it. So they reject it and refuse to think about it. If they were merely indifferent it would be natural and understandable. But it is much stronger than that, much more positive. They are annoyed.

Very odd, isn't it.”
“The truth of anything at all doesn't lie in someone's account of it. It lies in all the small facts of the time. An advertisement in a paper, the sale of a house, the price of a ring.” 7 likes
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