Friday, February 1, 2013

The Evolution of the Mystery Genre

The Daughter of Time


                                     Josphine Tey

Alan Grant, Scotland Yard Inspector is feeling bored while confined to bed in hospital with a broken leg. Marta Hallard, an actress friend of his, suggests that he should amuse himself by researching an historical mystery. She brings him some pictures of historical characters aware of Grant's interest in human faces. He becomes intrigued by a portrait of King Richard III. He prides himself on being able to read a person's character from his appearance, and King Richard seems to him a gentle and kind and wise man. Why is everyone so sure that he was a cruel murderer?

With the help of other friends and acquaintances, Grant investigates Richard's life and the case of the Princes in the Tower, testing out his theories on the doctors and nurses who attend to him. Grant spends weeks pondering historical information and documents with the help of Brent Carradine, a likeable young American researcher for the British Museum. Using his detective's logic, he comes to the conclusion that the claim of Richard being a murderer is a fabrication of

     Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by Elizabeth Mackintosh a Scottish author best known for her mystery novels. She also wrote as Gordon Daviot. In five of the mystery novels she wrote under the name of Tey, the hero is Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant. The most famous of these is The Daughter of Time 1951 one of her last novels. In 1990, The Daughter of Time was selected by the British-based Crime Writers' Association as the greatest mystery novel of all time; The Franchise Affair was eleventh on the same list of 100 books. Also listed as #4 on the top 100 best mystery novels of all time by the Mystery Writers of America.

Inspector Alan Grant novels
• The Man in the Queue (or Killer in the Crowd) (1929) [as Gordon Daviot]
• A Shilling for Candles (1936) [as Josephine Tey]
• To Love and Be Wise (1950)
• The Daughter of Time (1951) The Singing Sands (1952)

These novels are set in the same time and location as the Inspector Grant novels.
• Miss Pym Disposes (1946) [as Josephine Tey][5]

• The Franchise Affair (1948) [Inspector Grant appears briefly at the beginning, mentioned a few times] (filmed in 1950 starring Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray)
• Brat Farrar (or Come and Kill Me) (1949)
• Kif: An Unvarnished History (1929) [as Gordon Daviot]
• The Expensive Halo (1931)
• The Privateer (1952)

Josephine Tey (25 July 1896–13 February 1952)


  1. How interesting. I've never heard of this woman before. I'll have to see what I can find.


  2. I love Tey's novels. I'm a big fan of Brat Farrar. Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh as well as Christie and Tey . . . the British greats.

  3. I have read the Franchise Affair and Brat Farrar. Very satisfactory and thanks for reminding me of her for when I run out of great books for read.

  4. I'm loving the research as I get farther into these articles. Finding great books to read. I purchased The Daughter of Time on my Kindle. Not finished yet but I find the main character, Inspector Grant fascinating. Thanks for the comments, ladies.

  5. I read A Shilling for Candles and Brat Farrar after watching Hitckcock's The Young and the Innocent, which was loosely based on A Shilling for Candles. I enjoyed the books and the movie.