Much of the plot of Two for Sorrow revolves around the hanging of two women at Holloway Prison in 1903 for baby farming, resulting in the death of most of the babies. Thirty years later repercussions from this event are still affecting the lives of families affected by the crime and its outcome.
Josephine Tey is researching the story for a novel that she plans to write and draft chapters of the book are interspersed among the chapters outlining the investigation by Detective Inspector Archie Penrose and his team of two murders which are suspected to be related to the events of 1903. One of the themes discusses the difference between fact and fiction and whether factual events should be used as the basis for a fictional work. An examination of friendship between men and women as well as between women is another theme in the book. This book by Nicola Upson has almost 500 pages but I found that I was so involved in the intricacies of the plot that I had to keep reading.