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Fear in the Sunlight

(Josephine Tey #4)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  998 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Summer, 1936. The writer, Josephine Tey, joins her friends in the holiday village of Portmeirion to celebrate her fortieth birthday. Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, are there to sign a deal to film Josephine's novel, A Shilling for Candles, and Hitchcock has one or two tricks up his sleeve to keep the holiday party entertained - and expose their deepest fears. ...more
Paperback, 410 pages
Published by Faber (first published April 3rd 2012)
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JayeL This is an ok stand-alone book, but the strength is in the characters. If you read the other books, you will gain an appreciation for Upson's writing…moreThis is an ok stand-alone book, but the strength is in the characters. If you read the other books, you will gain an appreciation for Upson's writing and her characters that you won't get otherwise. The previous books are really good and you will gain a lot by reading them.(less)

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3.60  · 
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Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
‘Fear in the Sunlight’ by Nicola Upson

In July 1954 following the filming of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, three bodies are found when the elaborate apartment set is dismantled. News of the killing is brought to London by the American Detective Tom Doyle, who feels that they may be a link between these recent killings to a series of murders 18 years before. Chief Inspector Archie Penrose recalls the earlier murders in the summer of 1936, when Josephine Tey along with friends, is in the resort of Portm
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully written psychological crime novel snuck up on me. For the longest while, I wasn't sure how well this book and I would get on – it's fourth in a series featuring novelist Josephine Tey, and every chapter seemed to introduce a new character or viewpoint. It was akin to walking into a crowded party where everyone already knew one another. (As it turns out in the case of the novel's characters, this is hardly true.) But I was slowly won over by the lingering moodiness of the tone, w ...more
Diane Challenor
This was a wild ride for me. I'm proudly conservative in my reading habits, and this story was filled with things that I wouldn't usually find in books I choose, that is, the graphically described cruel murders and gay relationships for the lead characters. The story has an unexpected uniqueness within a predictable genre.

Without the quirky nature of the story, one would say it was a cozy mystery, but the type of murders described were far from the usual straight forward stabbings or gun shots
Katie/Doing Dewey
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Mystery writer Josephine Tey is in Portmeirion to meet with Alfred Hitchcock and his wife about a film deal. Hitchcock is also in Portmeirion to scout the location and set up tricks to reveal his crews response to guilt and fear. In this tense atmosphere, no one is prepared to deal with the murder of two women on the island. The island police don’t seem particularly interested in finding the killer and it’s only years later that another murder connected to a Hitchcock film begins to lead to the ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, fiction
I may have liked this book more if it a) were pure fiction & not hindered by ties to real people, & b) didn't have such a weak ending. Archie Penrose is a far more sympathetic character than Josephine Tey; I'd get more out of reading these books if Josephine weren't the "heroine". (view spoiler) ...more
Mar 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Gave up on this I'm afraid. On page 170 and still no body! Set in Portmeiron in the 1930s, involving film set and Alfred Hitchcock, which I thought would be interesting, but just got a bit boring.
I have read another Nicola Upson - The Death of Lucy Kyte, which I enjoyed, so will try another of her novels.
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
London 1954, and Chief Inspector Archie Penrose, about to retire from Scotland Yard, is visited by an American investigator who wants to know about events that took place in the summer of 1936 when Josephine Tey celebrated her 40th birthday in Portmeirion with Penrose and other close friends. Remembering is hard for Archie. Josephine has since died and having to look back means facing the pain of losing his close friend full on again. But the American has come with a surprising revelation about ...more
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Nicola Upson’s fourth book in her series of fictional novels about Josephine Tey, one of the novelists from the golden age of crime writing. The fifth is due for publication later this summer, so I’m a little behind the times with this one.

Upson has managed in her previous books to bring to life the complicated private and public life of an author who is less well known today, but was considered a worthy contemporary of Agatha Christie in the field of crime and a gifted playwright. Somed
I'm giving this 3 stars because I admire Upson's moxie. She's not going to write another traditional British between-the-wars whodunit, by golly, even if it entails taking a mean-spirited jab at my beloved Hercule Poirot in the process. She wants to turn the genre on its head: the murders don't take place until 2/3 of the way through the book, we see the grisly crimes from the victims' point of view, and they are not the details one can discuss calmly over afternoon tea and crumpets. And, honest ...more
Karl Jorgenson
Sep 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Upson loves characters and it shows. She goes on and on and on about the twisted relationships between a really big crowd of weirdos, hanging out in the exclusive Welsh resort which we'll call 'The Village'. (Because it was used as the setting for Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner TV series.)
It's 1937 and Alfred Hitchcock has come to town to mess with actors, writers, and others, including Jo Tey, whom Upson worships.
The story telling is dis-jointed and odd. Wonderful settings and seriously flawed
Pat Stearman
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love this series - mixture of truth and fiction in that some of the people were in the places they're set in the book, even if no-one was really murdered! Do feel I could do with a family tree to fill in while reading as it's all a bit confusing as to who's related to whom.
In amongst the other topics it's also good to see how the relationships from earlier books are panning out.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Stars. British mystery writer Josephine Tey and a select group of friends descend upon the Welsh resort village of Portmeirion in the summer of 1936 with a two-fold purpose -- one, to celebrate Josephine's milestone fortieth birthday, and two, to meet famed filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, to consider their offer to turn Josephine's novel, A Shilling for Candles, into their next film. Between Tey and the Hitchcocks, Portmeirion has attracted a glittering and varied clientele, b ...more
Zohar -
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson is a mystery novel taking place in 1936. This is the fourth book in a series starring author Josephine Tey.

Author Josephine Tey and her friends go to celebrate her 40th birthday at the resort village of Portmeirion. They are to meet Alfred Hitchcock and his wife to discuss

turning Josephine’s novel into a movie. When a Hollywood starlet gets murdered in a nearby cemetery Chief Inspector Archie Penrose becomes involved, yet he is unsatisfied with the way the in
Elizabeth Elwood
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
I’m willing to admit that the names of Josephine Tey and Alfred Hitchcock attracted me to this book, but although it was beautifully written with lovely atmospheric descriptions of the Portmeiron settings, other aspects of the book really bothered me. The two incidents of extremely grisly violence seemed at odds with the ‘cozy’ nature of the rest of the book, and I was also troubled by the portrayal of the main character.

Everything I’ve read about Josephine Tey indicates that she was an extreme
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've read the previous Tey novels and will read the new one soon, but here's the thing. I keep thinking I'm going to give each of them five stars as I read, and then, once I'm done, I can't in full honesty give them more than four.
I got to Nicola Upson by searching for Agatha Christie-like novels. Someone recommended her as similar on some forum. With Fear in the Sunlight, it all started like a Christie mystery - not the "later" part of the '50s, but the setting, the hotel, the guests, the two
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Reviewed for Library Journal on March 15, 2013

The year is 1936, and English crime novelist Josephine Tey is turning 40. A celebratory weekend has been planned in the idyllic resort village of Portmeirion, but the holiday is not entirely focused on leisure because famed director Alfred Hitchcock will also be present to discuss transforming one of her mysteries into a film. The festivities quickly turn sour when Hitchcock’s penchant for mischief transforms a relaxing respite into a violent and dea
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent series. Author Josephine Tey stars in this compelling series of mysteries set in the Golden Age of the 30's to the 50's.
Based in part on the life of Tey—one of the most popular, best-loved crime writers of the Golden Age, the book also features legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock as a prominent character.
It is the Summer, 1936: Josephine Tey joins her friends in the resort village of Portmeirion to celebrate her fortieth birthday. Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, are the
Laura Edwards
Once again, a young woman is killed in a sick, perverse way. Notice the men never are, they just jump from heights, etc. This happens in 3 out of 4 books thus far, the only exception being the book featuring incest (which has its own creep factor).

Another negative is the fact I don't like the character of Marta Fox, a drawback since she plays such a big part in the series. Marta comes off as a selfish, backstabbing bitch and I can't figure out why Lydia puts up with her crap nor why Josephine s
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed on my blog Guiltless Reading

Hitchcock in a murder mystery? Yes, please!

My two cents: Gorgeous cover, check. Legendary Alfred Hitchcock figures as a character, check. A delicious mystery, check (you know how I love my Agatha Christies). And very intriguing title, check. Who wouldn't jump at a chance to read and review this?

"Fear of the dark is natural, we all have it, but fear in the sunlight...where it is so unexpected—that is interesting." - Alfred Hitchcock (From Charlotte
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
A reading of this fifth book in a series that will soon see a sixth published was sufficient for me. I chose this one from the library shelf because it was the cleanest book. Having now read it, I am surprised there would be more since Josephine Tey dies during the time period covered in this book.
Elements that drew me to select this book: interesting location (Portmeirion), interesting cast of characters including Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma, the consideration of one of Tey's books by Hi
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I love a good mystery series for the mix of new and familiar: the return to characters I know and enjoy, settings and eras that are appealing and made different with new crimes, perhaps new tidbits about my beloved detectives and crime stoppers. Nicola Upson's series featuring 1930s mystery novelist Josephine Tey is a new favorite -- in 2011, I reviewed Two For Sorrow , and was taken with Tey, Upson's lovely writing style, and the dark moodiness of the locale and crime.

(A note about the heroine
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
In my teens, Josephine Tey introduced me to a life of crime and so I was delighted to discover this book in my local library, in which Ms Tey is a character. Upson does the earlier author proud with a fabulous location, well-researched contemporary details, plausible characterisation and plotting which kept me absorbed and distracted me from the current heatwave. Now to read the first three in the series!
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although a promising concept, the book failed to live up to my expectations. The dialogue was poor and the consistent heart to hearts and melodrama seemed unrealistic and jarred my ability to emerge myself within the story. Furthermore, the characters were sometimes just as weak as the dialogue - Astrid Lake in particular, with her constant indignance, obviously included as a way to further the other conflicts, seemed very one dimensional. The inclusion of Hitchcock could have been very interest ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the first two books in this series, although the third one I found irritating and tedious. I am glad that I tried this one though, as overall I found it enjoyable escapism.
This started in the 50s, a couple of decades after the central part of the book, with the retirement of Chief Inspector Archie Penrose; the other key character has already died, though nothing to do with the storyline. You are then taken back to the 1930s where there is a gathering organised by Alfred Hitchcock whi
Oct 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This was more psychological than the previous books in the series (or maybe I just don't remember them as well).

The first section/prologue has police inspector Archie Penrose being visited by an officer from the U.S. in 1954 asking about an old, supposedly resolved, case. The reader also learns that Josephine Tey has died sometime before this. (That's not a spoiler, since it's on the first page as a memory from Archie.)

Section 2 jumps back to 1936 and introduces different characters. Each has a
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was quickly won over by the intelligent and affectionate voice of this book, and its vast array of likeable characters.

Not to mention the awesome setting (Portmeirion, the Welsh village that was the infamous setting of The Prisoner), novel protagonist (Josephine Tey, Golden Era crime novelist) and intruiging back-up characters (Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville are important secondary characters, and the novel explores their marriage and Hitchcock's manipulative streak in a fascinating and a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nelda Pearson
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This "Josephine Tey" novel features all the characters we have grown to know and love--Josephine, Archie, his cousins the Motley sisters, Marta (Josephine's maybe to be love) and Lydia. In addition we have the film group created and ruled by Hitchcock and his wife Alma who keeps him in check. If you have seen The Girl, you know that Hitch was not always a nice man and that plays a significant role in this novel which takes place at the famous Portmeirion created by Clough William-Ellis in Wales ...more
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 4th book in the Josephine Tey series. This books starts out far in the future from the prior book in 1954, with Detective Archie Penrose being contacted about a murder from the past, 18 years ago, prior to Josephine Tey’s death. The American detective thinks that there may be a link to bodies found on the set of Hitchcock’s film, “Rear Window”. The story flashes back to their visit to Portmeirion, a resort catering to the smart set. They are staying there to celebrate Josephine’s 40t ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
While Fear in Sunlight is the most recent Josephine Tey mystery by Nicola Upson, it isn't necessary to have read the earlier novels in the series to be drawn to the characters and her lead detective, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose. We quickly learn that Josephine Tey and DCI Penrose have a complicated history linked in part to World War I, but the Great War has left its mark on most everyone in Great Britain.

Fear in Sunlight takes us back to the days when Alfred Hitchcock and his wife
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Goodreads Librari...: incorrect page count for 9780062195432 2 18 Apr 12, 2013 02:59PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Josephine Tey (7 books)
  • An Expert in Murder (Josephine Tey, #1)
  • Angel with Two Faces (Josephine Tey, #2)
  • Two for Sorrow (Josephine Tey, #3)
  • The Death of Lucy Kyte (Josephine Tey, #5)
  • London Rain (Josephine Tey #6)
  • Nine Lessons (Josephine Tey #7)