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To Love and Be Wise (Inspector Alan Grant #4)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  3,354 Ratings  ·  213 Reviews
A witty and sophisticated mystery featuring bestselling author Josephine Tey’s popular Inspector Alan Grant, a beloved character created by a woman considered to be one of the greatest mystery writers of all time.

Literary sherry parties were not Alan Grant's cup of tea. But when the Scotland Yard Inspector arrived to pick up actress Marta Hallard for dinner, he was struck
ebook, 224 pages
Published December 25th 2012 by Touchstone (first published 1950)
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In this 4th book of Josephine Tey’s Inspector Grant series, he is active in it from the beginning. A young man disappears – or is disappeared – and Scotland Yard has assigned Alan Grant the responsibility of figuring out whether it is by fair means or foul.

Once again, I am impressed by the writing and Josephine Tey’s excellent grasp of psychology. How and why people take the actions they do is always in depth and real in her characters. As many other writers of her era, the main character gets t
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In my opinion, Josephine Tey is up there with the best British crime novelists of the last century. She wrote intriguing mysteries in clear, crisp and witty prose. Her detective, Inspector Grant, is well-developed and interesting without having any of the obvious eccentricities many crime writers choose to foist upon their detectives. Tey was also good with the minor characters, although in this novel it's fair to say that some are more believable than others.

Here, Inspector Grant is sent to inv
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To Love and Be Wise boasts another absolutely gorgeous cover by Pamela Patrick. This is one time when I understand the Goodreads folk who obsess about uniformity in a series. My editions are a ragtag group; someday I'd like to have the matched set.

The story: A disconcertingly beautiful young man becomes part of the lives of an extended family – and then disappears. He leaves behind amidst the bewilderment a girl who loves him despite herself, her fiancé who is all at once a suspect in foul play
Emma Rose Ribbons
God can this woman write anything worthy of less than five stars? How is she not more famous? Her talent is so underrated. I'm consistently impressed with her work. In To Love and Be Wise (which is a lovely title) it's fair to say the investigation makes absolutely no progress for 90% of the book, and yet so much happens. Tey is unparalleled at drawing vivid, jump-off-the-page characters. I have never met a more self-confident author. Her voice can be incredibly hilarious at the most unexpected ...more
Feb 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tey does things with her apparently simple plots that no one, but no one else can manage. A deliciously sly woman.
Josephine Tey is the pseudonym for Elizabeth Mackintosh (1896-1952). Both a playwright (under the pseudonym Gordon Daviot) and novelist and due to a fierce predilection to keeping her life private, little is known about this author. She guarded her life jealously, avoided the press, side-stepped photographers, and never did any interviews. Biographers for the most part are therefore fairly well pissed-off about the whole secretive thing.

Josephine Tey

And that's actually why Tey's novels are a bit of a game wi
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went into this looking for a light read to suit my mood and came to discover that this classic mystery is still strikingly modern in its central issues of identity and gender. It has set my brain ticking on how these issues crop up in other of Tey's novels. Why has no one has written a serious work of criticism about these novels? Val McDermid wrote an excellent piece several years ago that you can find here:

I want more! More context, more interpretatio
Marti Booker
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as stellar as The Daughter of Time, but thoroughly enjoyable. Well, it took me like three hours to read it all, without pausing except to stop the dog from barking at the coyotes. That should tell you how much I enjoyed it!
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To Love and Be Wise is the 4th book in the Inspector Grant mystery series by Josephine Tey. If you enjoy Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh or Dorothy Sayers, you'll also enjoy this classic writer of mysteries.
Inspector Grant is a Scotland Yard inspector who has been assigned to investigate a disappearance of an American. It turns out that Grant had previously met this American when he was attending a party with his actress acquaintance, Marta Hallard. The American, photographer Leslie Searle, meets
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful mystery story with Alan Grant as the debonair detective. Grant does police work because he likes it. A relative has left him a legacy on which he could retire, but he keeps at his job and is good at it. In this story a young photographer goes missing in the night. Was it murder? Suicide? A practical joke? I'm proud that I detected the key to the mystery, even if I didn't get it completely correct.

I especially like the part where two policemen recite poetry to each other and then bur
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
3.5 stars. This is one of the slightly odder plots among Tey's mysteries—but, oh, how I do like Inspector Grant. He and Sergeant Williams are getting to be one of my favorite detective duos in fiction. Grant is the observant connoisseur of human nature that's usually found among the amateur detectives, the sidekicks and the chroniclers, yet he's also a highly professional and efficient police inspector, which makes for a fascinating combination. Tey's writing is wonderful too, and her plots alwa ...more
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a wonderful surprise to read this. The characters were all well-drawn, the plot fluid and engaging, and the ending was quite unexpected. What was so refreshing was the absence of ludicrous plot-twists and clichéd characters that one finds in so many of the detective stories written during this so-called 'golden age' of English crime fiction. There was also none of the stifling class rigidities that usually plagued such works. I find Agatha Christie and her ilk quite unreadable now, and on ...more
All terribly British. Full of eccentrics, a chap who dancers, famous names, life in the country estates, and a disdain for everyone from the US. As with other novels in this series, the characters are from the theatre and there is an American link.
In this case a famous American photographer goes missing. Murder, kidnapping, an accident or a practical joke? And the denouement must have created waves at the time with the introduction of transvestism.
Free download at Project Gutenberg Australia

With this book, I just finished the Inspector Alan Grant series.

5* The Daughter of Time
4* The Franchise Affair
3* The Singing Sands
4* Brat Farrar
4* A Schilling for Candles
4* The Man in the Queue
4* To Love and Be Wise
TBR Miss Pym Disposes
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I solved the puzzle before the end of the book!!!! I rarely know what's going on before it's revealed by the detective, so that was quite a coup for me. Of course, lots of little hints are dropped throughout the narrative. (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a tad disappointed by the last Tey novel I (re)read, The Singing Sands, so approached this one, which I hadn't read before, with a little caution. I needn't have worried. The solution is highly ingenious, albeit impossible in real life, (view spoiler) but that's almost the least part of the joy of a novel that's deliciously written and intent more on characterization and exploring the nature of love.

Inspector Alan
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Josephine Tey, and can't believe I hadn't read this book before.
Jean Cole
I am a relative newcomer to the works of Ms. Josephine Tey. I have since learned that Josephine Tey was the pen name of one Elizabeth Mackintosh who was born in Inverness in 1896. She wrote murder mysteries in a style I would describe as English Country House Murder with a touch of Flapper Flair. She was a very private person, never granting interviews and shunning publicity which no doubt accounts for why she doesn't have the notoriety of, say, Agatha Christie.
In any case, To Love and Be Wise
Whistlers Mom
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tired of mysteries where the bodies keep piling up? Try this one.

Agatha Christie believed that when a mystery gets boring, the solution is to bring on another body. Josephine Tey felt confident that the fans of her quirky, character-driven novels would be content with NO body if the story line was good. This is one of her later books (it was published two years before her death) and I think one of her best.

The scene is the small village of Salcott St. Mary, where best-selling romance novelist La
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Lovers
I've recently been rereading the Josephine Tey mysteries. Sadly, there aren't many--only eight of them. One of the pleasures of reading To Love and Be Wise after almost all of the others was recognizing allusions to the prior novels, such as Jerry Lamont, a suspect in The Man in the Queue; Jammy Hopkins, the sensationalist journalist from A Shilling for Candles; and several characters that would get a mention in The Daughter of Time such as Benny Skoll, and novelists Lavinia Fitch and Silas Week ...more
May 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
In ‘To Love and Be Wise’, Leslie Searle is a handsome, mysterious photographer who disappears after an alleged argument. Inspector Alan Grant chases several leads only to meet dead ends. Had Leslie been murdered or kidnapped? Perhaps he had drowned? It’s up to Grant to solve the baffling mystery.

Although the storyline piqued my interest, the writing simply didn't appeal to me. It wasn’t engaging and was frustratingly long-winded most of the time. Several characters made up the pool of suspects b
Donna Robbins
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of literary police detective stories
This is the 3rd or 4th Inspector Alan Grant novel (depending on whether you count The Franchise Affair) and it's surprising how dissimilar the plots are. I've been reading them in order, and her plotting and characterization seem to get better and better, while Tey's terrific prose and wit has made reading all of them a pleasure. This book is dryly funny and thoughtful, and reveals more of Tey's insight into human nature; and as a bonus, it seemed to include a bit less of the prejudices (classis ...more
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Mackintosh (1896 or '97 - 1952) used two pseudonyms. She wrote about two dozen plays under the name of Gordon Daviot and her best known books were written under the name Josephine (for her mother) Tey (the surname of her English grandmother). It is in these novels we meet the famous Detective Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard.

In To Love and Be Wise, Inspector Alan Grant introduces a charismatic, magnetic young American man by the name of Leslie Searle to famed author Lavinia Fitch
Kate  K. F.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To Love and Be Wise is an intriguing mystery because its much less a murder mystery and more a look at a group of people. These are my favorite kinds of mysteries and I find the best of the mystery writers of this era tend to be good at creating believable glimpses into moments of time. In this one its a look at a village that has become a spot for fashionable and artistic people from London. As I'm currently living in a beachside resort town that's changing as more retirees come to live in it, ...more
Theobald Mary
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unusual murder mystery--why, I can't say or the ending will be ruined. I will say that I've never read a murder mystery like this one, and I've read a lot of them. Josephine Tey, British author, published this the year before she died in 1952, and it stars her Inspector Grant, a police detective with a "flair" for sensing when things just aren't right. Written as a contemporary mystery, it reads today like a wonderful historical, set in a small English village that has been "taken over" by ec ...more
May 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I bought this in San Francisco because I just had to find a Josephine Tey book to read. It was the mood I was in and I don't ignore my mood when I'm looking for a book to read. Neither of the books I brought grabbed me at all. This one didn't disappoint. An excellent ending and a great story with the very unpoliceman-like Inspector Alan Grant.
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Inspector Grant yet. Different from the first two in that he's hardly in it for the first half - it's one of those mysteries where you meet all the characters before the ... incident to be investigated occurs.
Totally didn't see the solution coming, and it was a brilliant one. Can't say more, but highly recommend.
It was a bit slow to get going but in the end it was a very enjoyable story.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimethriller
Tricky little mystery, but not as good as some of her later works, picked it up because The Daughter of Time is one my favourites.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Io vedo solo una situazione molto strana. Una notte di primavera in Inghilterra, e un giovane americano che sparisce nel chilometro che c’è fra il paese e il fiume.

Leslie Searle è un giovane fotografo americano, estremamente affascinante, una di quelle persone che è impossibile non girarsi a guardare una seconda volta.
È in Inghilterra per incontrare Walter Whitmore, e ricordare insieme a lui un comune amico morto un anno prima.
Lavinia Finch, affermata scrittrice e zia di Walter, lo inviata a fe
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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)
  • The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant, #1)
  • A Shilling for Candles (Inspector Alan Grant, #2)
  • The Franchise Affair (Inspector Alan Grant, #3)
  • The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant, #5)
  • The Singing Sands (Inspector Alan Grant, #6)
“One of the secrets of a successful life is to know how to be a little profitably crazy.” 517 likes
“There was no room in his life for Marta, and none in her life for him; but it was a pity, all the same.” 1 likes
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