Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Shilling for Candles

The second book by Josephine Tey in the Inspector Alan Grant series.

Early one morning a woman's body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Initially it is thought that the death of the woman was due to suicide but when the body is examined a button is found tangled in her hair. Inspector Grant is called to investigate the murderer as well as determine why the crime was committed. The main suspect is a young man who was living in the same house as the victim however a number of other possibilities also keep Inspector Grant occupied as he tries to unravel the mystery.

Like many other Josephine Tey novels part of the plot is linked to the theatrical world. This time the victim is an actress. Inspector Grant investigates all the possibilities methodically and is assisted, and at times possibly hindered, by Erica, the daughter of a local policemen. The author is interested in people and spends time making her main characters human, including showing weaknesses. Grant makes mistakes from time to time and worries about having made them, however one of his strengths is his ability to examine and observe suspects as complex people in order to eliminate them from the enquiry.

Josephine Tey is considered one of the important authors in what is termed the Golden Age of British crime fiction along with Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L Sayers and Margery Allingham.

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