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The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant #5)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  16,247 Ratings  ·  2,011 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

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bill  Kerwin
Jul 10, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing

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.
Delee

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
Richard Derus
Dec 20, 2015 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5* of five

The Publisher Says: 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.

My Review: Many's the Golden Age mystery that, viewed by modern eyes and filtered through epithet-intolerant lenses, doesn't hold up well. This novel, published in
...more
Ellen
Feb 19, 2010 Ellen rated it really liked it
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,
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Sarah (Presto agitato)
"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
Karla
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
Martine
Oct 11, 2009 Martine rated it really liked it
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
Amy
Sep 17, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
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
Deanne
May 24, 2014 Deanne rated it it was amazing
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
Werner
Aug 08, 2016 Werner rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in British history
"When the legend becomes truth, print the legend." --The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

I once commented, to one of my college history classes, that there are a number of basic ideas about history that "everybody knows;" but that unfortunately what "everybody knows" often turns out to be a bunch of handed-down hooey. ("History" may also consist of deliberate lies invented to smear one's political opposition.) The idea that King Richard III of England (1483-85) callously murdered his two nephews, th
...more
Fiona
Once upon a time, in deepest darkest 2012, I was fortunate enough to be a law student at the University of Edinburgh, at just about the time when people were starting to make the big noises about whether a referendum on Scottish independence would be feasible. There was a debate on between a member of the department, and quite an eminent constitutional lawyer of whom I have long been in an intellectual sort of awe, so I went along.

The topic of the debate was whether, if the Scottish Parliament w
...more
Siria
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
Steve
Jul 16, 2009 Steve rated it really liked it
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
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 08, 2015 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Brandon
Jun 11, 2015 Brandon rated it liked it
While recovering from injuries suffered on the job, Inspector Alan Grant is searching for something to occupy his mind. Having an affinity for faces, Grant is given a stack of portraits and photos of men and women to study. After coming across a photo of historical villain Richard III, Grant recalls the murder of Richard’s two young nephews and despite never being proven guilty of the crime, history has written him as a murderer. With little to do, Grant becomes obsessed with examining the evide ...more
Meagan
Feb 29, 2008 Meagan rated it it was ok
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
Madeline
Jan 05, 2012 Madeline rated it liked it
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
Kressel Housman
Feb 11, 2014 Kressel Housman rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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
Tracey
Mar 10, 2015 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history, 5-star
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
Jane
Nov 25, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, book-club
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
Leta
Mar 11, 2008 Leta rated it it was amazing
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
Stephen
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
Frances
The author has created a skilful investigation of Richard III’s involvement in the deaths of his two nephews. Laid up with injuries in a hospital, Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is utterly bored with nothing to do except look at patterns on the ceiling. The Inspector has a canny knack for reading faces and as he looks upon Richard III’s portrait he doesn’t see a murderer, but more of a haunted man. Through a great deal of research on source documents, testimonies, and evaluating written reco ...more
Cheryl
Jan 08, 2016 Cheryl rated it liked it
Really 2 and 1/2 stars. You have to really be interested in English history (specifically of this time period) to get into this book. An interesting premise, though, of looking at an event in history and trying to see if it was actually true. The characters looking into this historical mystery were interesting. This book is just not for me.
Karin
4.5 stars, rounded up for Goodreads

Alan Grant is stuck in the hospital after a most inconvenient, and highly embarrassing, fall through a trap door that happened before this book began. He is taken care of by the midget (who was actually a full five foot two and who could lift heavy things as though they were nothing) and the amazon (who was a good sized woman but found it harder to lift things). Somewhat irascible as a result, he is encouraged to solve some historic mystery by one of his friend
...more
Sharon Penman
Dec 20, 2009 Sharon Penman rated it liked it
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.
Jane
May 12, 2016 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ingenious mystery in the hands of a skilled writer. Written in the '50's it has aged well. Tey's Inspector Alan Grant is laid up in the hospital with a broken leg. A print of a portrait of Richard III with a kind, sad face leads him to think maybe the story of Richard's murdering his nephews in the Tower of London is a falsehood and Richard is not the Monster he's been made out to be. He wants to investigate Richard's life, those around him, and see if he can come up with a theory of his own as ...more
Samantha
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
Maudie
May 24, 2014 Maudie rated it really liked it
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
Julie
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, #12)
  • The Shortest Way to Hades (Hilary Tamar, #2)
  • The Moving Toyshop (Gervase Fen, #3)
  • Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes
  • Richard III: The Maligned King
  • We Speak No Treason
  • The Seventh Son
  • Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, #6)
  • The Murders of Richard III (Jacqueline Kirby, #2)
  • The Adventures of Alianore Audley
  • The Poisoned Chocolates Case (Roger Sheringham Cases, #5)
  • Behold, Here's Poison (Inspector Hannasyde, #2)
  • Malice Aforethought
  • Treason
  • Whom the Gods Love (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #3)
  • Richard the Third
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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
More about Josephine Tey...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Alan Grant (6 books)
  • The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant, #1)
  • 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 Singing Sands (Inspector Alan Grant, #6)

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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.”
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“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.” 12 likes
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