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The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  6,416 Ratings  ·  424 Reviews
A stabbing murder in the midst of a London theatre crowd sends Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant on a far-flung investigation.
Paperback, 254 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Collier Books (first published 1929)
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(showing 1-30)
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Bill  Kerwin

This first mystery by Josephine Tey, a genius of the genre, reveals some of Tey the genius to any reader determined to look for it, but it also discloses much of Tey the novice writer too.

It begins well, with a magnificent set piece. A festive atmosphere envelops the line of people waiting for tickets to the musical comedy hit Didn't You Know?, and we watch as this London crowd (accosted by attendant buskers) push against each other, move forward, and eventually reach the box office where “the m
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Jaline
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-completed
This book is the first one Josephine Tey wrote in her Inspector Alan Grant series. First published in 1929, it is a product of its time in some ways, and in other ways, it is timeless.

This book takes place in England (mostly London) and in Scotland. The writing is fine although at first I was conscious of words wearing strange apparel. For example, if I recall, one gentleman was labelled as plenitudinous instead of simply calling him ‘stout’. There were a few other examples where older expressio
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Kim
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, kindle
For some reason the only novels by Josephine Tey that I have read previously are The Daughter of Time and The Franchise Affair, both in my long-distant teenage past. I loved the former of these books and liked the latter, but until now I had not felt inspired to seek out Tey's other works.

I'm glad that I finally did, for there's a lot to love about this example of British Golden Age detective fiction. Tey writes beautifully. Her prose is intelligent, lucid and witty and she deals equally well wi
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Susan
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Josephine Tey mystery, featuring Inspector Alan Grant. The novel begins on a March evening in London, where there are long queues outside the many theatres, including the Woffington; currently playing the long running show, “Didn’t You Know?” This is coming to the end of a long run and so the crowds are intense, with a patient crowd inching forward and hoping to get to see the beautiful Ray Marcable. As the doors open though, a man in the queue is murdered and Inspector Grant i ...more
Susan
This is the first Josephine Tey mystery, featuring Inspector Alan Grant. The novel begins on a March evening in London, where there are long queues outside the many theatres, including the Woffington; currently playing the long running show, “Didn’t You Know?” This is coming to the end of a long run and so the crowds are intense, with a patient crowd inching forward and hoping to get to see the beautiful Ray Marcable. As the doors open though, a man in the queue is murdered and Inspector Grant i ...more
Tracey
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After a long absence, Alan Grant returns to my life. (Which is a different way of saying "I haven't read this in a long time".) It's obvious that Josephine Tey didn't originally intend to write mystery novels: not to in any way belittle mystery novels, which I love, but there is an intelligent uniqueness to her story and her writing that is a pure joy, an approach to the task which is fresh and unique.

Alan Grant is … lovely.

A friend noted in her recent review of a different edition that she wa
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Melissa McShane
How could I have guessed that the author of The Daughter of Time, one of my favorite authors ever, could have written such a lumpy first novel? I mean, Tey's a great stylist, she writes description so well that you hardly mind that it's pages and pages of the stuff. And even in this novel, Alan Grant is a vibrant and interesting character, even if he does love fishing. But it's unfortunate that Tey chose to make such broad characterizations of cultural and national groups. The murder (the stabbi ...more
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
I read this book over the weekend. I have never read anything by Tey before and after reading this first novel of hers, consider her a gem of a find.


People are crowding each other in a line outside a theater to see a final performance of the wonderful Ray Marcable's "Swan" performance before she sails off to America. A fat woman (her description, now we would say a "woman of size") is trying to pay for her ticket while she is being pushed by the man and the crowd behind her.


She turns around to
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Leonie
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not too bad. I liked the resolution. Tey is still Tey, ie the only Golden Age mystery writer whose racism, classism and sexism I bother really taking issue with, because she really is that much worse than her contemporaries. People decide what personalities other people have based on their face and their race; it's a crass, naïve philosophy and hard to have patience with at the best of times. The detective's thoughts at the end say an awful lot about Tey. He thinks about the murder victim, and t ...more
Jane
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful opening pulled me straight into the 1920s. And straight into London’s theatreland.

It was beautifully written and it was clear that Josephine Tey, already a successful playwright, knew and loved the world she was writing about. And that she understood the importance of the big picture, of the small things, and of the psychology of her characters.

And in the very first chapter there was the crime. Such an elegant, clever scenario:

” ‘Chap fainted,’ said someone. No one moved for a moment
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Nikki
May 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
I expected to like this a lot. Golden Age crime fiction, I'm pretty sure my mother mentioned liking it, etc, etc. But I couldn't get past the endless racism, and the general feeling that Josephine Tey would be a men's rights activist now. I mean, a woman on the stage overshadows her male co-stars, and yet the whole tone is not, wow, her skill and grace and so on, but that she is secretly a conniving bitch. The whole story serves to hammer home that she's a woman who only cares about herself -- w ...more
Arwen56
Dal punto di vista della scrittura, non c’è proprio da lamentarsi. E’ indubbiamente scritto bene. Alcune rapide osservazioni riescono a delineare benissimo i personaggi e a definirli in maniera efficace, persino quelli minori.

Tuttavia, come “romanzo giallo” è un po’ carente di ritmo e il finale non mi è piaciuto per nulla. A dire il vero, non ho neanche ben capito la dinamica dell’omicidio e se possa davvero essere andata come viene narrato. Nonostante la ressa della coda, mi sembra un po’ impr
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Laura
Free download at Project Gutenberg Australia

I just realized this is the first book of the Inspector Alan Grant series.

As the previous book I've read this week, A Schilling for Candles, the plot is captivating and the investigation work follows the masters of the mystery genre. There is one more book of this series to be read, To Love and Be Wise.

5* The Daughter of Time
4* The Franchise Affair
3* The Singing Sands
4* Brat Farrar
4* A Shilling for Candles
4* The Man in the Queue
TBR To Love and Be Wis
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Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Golden Summer (May-September 2013).

Inspector Alan Grant has been given the infamous Queue case. A man with no identification was stabbed in a busy queue outside the Woffington Theatre as fans waited to see the final hurrah of Ray Marcable in the smash hit Didn't You Know? With just a knife and a handful of witnesses that didn't see anything, Inspector Grant is able to quickly build a case against the mysterious man he nickn
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Negin
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This started out quite interesting. Once the investigation started however, it became thoroughly boring and dull.
Abbey
1929, #1 Inspector Alan Grant, London and Scotland; also published as "Killer in the Crowd".
The Man In the Queue gets himself murdered, and the chase is on! Her weakest novel, but still very good stuff. Cosy police procedural, three-and-one-half stars.

Playwright Elizabeth Mackintosh's first novel, originally published under the "Gordon Daviot" name in 1929 and later as "Josephine Tey", is a true 1920s' thriller, based on the police procedural format, very similar in style and tone to Philip McDo
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Published in 1929, there's a definite "Maigret" vibe to the first Inspector Grant novel--and coming from me that's a compliment. Like Maigret, Grant is stolid and silent but very aware of everything that goes on around him--visible as well as hunches, le flair as they say in French. ("Flair" means "sense of smell" like a good hunting dog.) Well Grant has it in spades--the ability to smell out facts as well as the English idea of "flair" meaning style. However, some of his deductions had me grinn ...more
Katrina
What an intriguing, engrossing mystery. It had a bit of a slow start, and I have to drop a star for the hero - Grant - who is the least interesting character in this oddly elaborate tale. I suppose that's part of the point, to create a bit of a blank slate who can adapt to his circumstances and shine the spotlight where needed. The cast of characters is otherwise full of quirky, hilarious, off-beat Dickensian personalities. They're delightful to meet, and some of my favorite parts of the book ha ...more
Mmyoung
Apr 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Although an “interesting” first mystery novel -- and a very promising one -- this book has a number of flaws. It is unclear what “type” of mystery novel Tey (Elizabeth Mackintosh) was attempting to write. Was it a police procedural? An action adventure? A discourse on the realities of justice? Insightful examination of the moral and intellectual quandaries of a detective? All these different types of mystery novels seemed to have been wedged together into one and unfortunately, the seams do show ...more
Daniel Clark
The mystery was all there, but the ending wasn't executed like I expected. I liked the setup and I was able to keep track of characters and follow the train of thought of Inspector Grant. The best part was the notion that an inspector has to believe he really has the guilty party, because if there is any doubt the moral foundation fails. The big fault I would say was the big reveal at the end. It was satisfying in that it tied up the loose ends, but it was unsatisfying in the way it was revealed ...more
Sarah
Well, they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover... I'd have to add "or by its author's reputation or by its Goodreads score!"

An unknown man is stabbed in the queue of a theatre show's last night. Inspector Alan Grant struggles all through the book to find out the who and the why.

This is apparently Josephine Tey's first novel, so I might just be able to forgive her for the dreadfully contrived ending and the disappointment I felt. But I certainly cannot recommend it.
Barbara
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-mystery
Well, I raced through this book to find out who did it and why. I really enjoyed it and the solution was fairly unexpected, though not a complete surprise. I liked the style of the writing and the descriptions of the Scottish countryside. Easy to see that Tey (real name Elizabeth MacKintosh) was an Inverness lady. AND someone who knew her way around theatres. I'll be reading more Inspector Grant books.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Very much a period piece. Including frequent use of the term "dago."

Probably about 2.5 stars.
Leah
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, detective
I was expecting this to be another one of Tey's hard-to-define detective novels - unique settings, out-of-the-way crimes, a dash of flair in both the situation and its resolution - and what I got instead was a really, really good procedural, written in 1929.

This is not, NOT, a whodunnit. This is a procedural. It is thorough, methodical, cleanly-paced and driven.

Inspector Grant is clever but not infallible, experienced rather than gifted. He is dry, and determined, and a good Inspector. He think
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Ginger
Apr 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
C.
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Man In The Queue” is Josephine Tey's first novel with this pseudonym and her famous series' début. Though her catalogue is short, this Scotswoman unfortunately dead at only 52, Elizabeth Mackintosh is renowned among the leading authors of mystery. She has true skill. She is a lady of letters, adept at fashioning a labyrinthine plot out of bare bones. Three stars are modest, which take several factors into consideration. My enjoyment and admiration rank highly among them.

Police fiction does
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Rage
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth
I have not read many classic mysteries. I admit I have leaned towards contemporary thrillers that tend to be more riveting than this one was. I found though, that this is a different kind of mystery with its own merits. I enjoyed the understated tone with a focus on Grant's crime solving skills, particularly his work related fishing trip. I also found it interesting that we learned very little about Grant as a person outside of his job. Again, a different kind of mystery, a different era. Today ...more
Whistlers Mom
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The case is airtight, but Inspector Grant isn't satisfied.

Published in 1929, this was the first of Tey's eight mysteries. It was considered to be a brilliant first novel and won several awards. She was already a skilled writer and there's nothing tentative or amateurish about it.

It introduces intelligent, likable Alan Grant, a handsome, well-to-do bachelor whose life revolves around his office at Scotland Yard, his comfortable flat, and the exclusive restaurant where he's a favorite of the snobb
...more
Jonathan
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
By the standards of a Josephine Tey novel, The Man in the Queue is rather amateurish. (To be fair, it was the first novel Elizabeth Mackintosh wrote.) There is a noticeable strain to make sure that every gun of Chekhov's goes off (or at least is planned to): every loose end is tied up, every subplot wraps up neatly in the order it was introduced, and there's a nice little bow on top. It's difficult to discuss without giving away the plot, but suffice to say that the actual murder could have been ...more
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Read, Share, Enjo...: * General Comments 6 15 Feb 21, 2017 07:46AM  
Reading the Detec...: June 2016 - The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey 46 44 Jun 13, 2016 01:54PM  
Preconceptions 1 10 Jan 07, 2015 11:20PM  
  • Thus Was Adonis Murdered (Hilary Tamar, #1)
  • Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, #6)
  • Why Shoot a Butler?
  • The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion Mystery #1)
  • The Case of the Gilded Fly (Gervase Fen, #1)
  • Lord Peter Views the Body (Lord Peter Wimsey, #4)
  • Death at the President's Lodging (Sir John Appleby, #1)
44023
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)
  • 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 Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant, #5)
  • The Singing Sands (Inspector Alan Grant, #6)

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“The light died on the window-sill as the last survivor of a charge dies on the enemy parapet, murdered but glorious.” 4 likes
“The jury, having swallowed at one nauseating gulp the business of viewing the body, had settled into their places with that air of conscious importance and simulated modesty which belongs to those initiated into a mystery.” 0 likes
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