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ktinkel
08-02-2005, 04:11 PM
… I read crime stories these daysWhat sort? True life or fiction? (I am a long-time mystery fan.)

Michael Rowley
08-03-2005, 07:35 AM
KT:

True life or fiction?

Oh, fiction. I had three reissues of books by Josephine Tey last week, an English author (long dead) that started writing in 1929 and went on to at least 1949. It is curious that I hadn't heard of her before: otherwise I knew the books of most of the prewar and postwar detective-story writers, though only a few American ones, such as Rex Stout and Ellery Queen.

ktinkel
08-03-2005, 08:31 AM
Oh, fiction. I had three reissues of books by Josephine Tey last week, an English author (long dead) that started writing in 1929 and went on to at least 1949. It is curious that I hadn't heard of her before: otherwise I knew the books of most of the prewar and postwar detective-story writers, though only a few American ones, such as Rex Stout and Ellery Queen.Josephine Tey is one of my all-time favorites. She has long been out of print (here, anyway); glad to hear you found some reissued titles.

She wrote only half a dozen books, all (I’m pretty sure) about Inspector Alan Grant:


The Man in the Queue (1929) — also called Killer in the Crowd
A Shilling for Candles: the Story of a Crime (1936)
The Franchise Affair (1948)
To Love and Be Wise (1950)
The Daughter of Time (1951)
The Singing Sands (1952)
My favorite is Daughter of Time, but I do not remember ever being disappointed in her. She is even better than Dorothy Sayers and Ngaio Marsh in most aspects, but there are just those six little books (the others were more prolific), and I enjoy them as well.

I like Sayers’s Gaudy Night — but assume you have read that one for sure.

Michael Rowley
08-03-2005, 10:20 AM
KT:

You've omitted Miss Pym Disposes (1946) and Brat Farrar (1949), which are not 'Inspector Grant' stories; both are entertaining, and both have been reissued here, but I don't remember the publisher.

I think I remember The Franchise Affair, but perhaps it was the film I remember. The Man in the Queue wasn't published under her name in 1929, but the reissue was published as by her. She bequeathed all her copyrights to the National Trust.

annc
08-03-2005, 02:15 PM
Josephine Tey is one of my all-time favorites. She has long been out of print (here, anyway); glad to hear you found some reissued titles.

She wrote only half a dozen books, all (I’m pretty sure) about Inspector Alan Grant:




The Man in the Queue (1929) — also called Killer in the Crowd
A Shilling for Candles: the Story of a Crime (1936)
The Franchise Affair (1948)
To Love and Be Wise (1950)
The Daughter of Time (1951)
The Singing Sands (1952)
My favorite is Daughter of Time, but I do not remember ever being disappointed in her. She is even better than Dorothy Sayers and Ngaio Marsh in most aspects, but there are just those six little books (the others were more prolific), and I enjoy them as well.

I like Sayers’s Gaudy Night — but assume you have read that one for sure.I'm a great fan of Josephine Tey also. Have read and reread them all, but can't offer a favourite. My old paperbacks are in very poor condition now, unfortunately.

Gaudy Night is also my favourite Dorothy L. Sayers (mustn't forget the L, must we?) <g> The first time I read it, I cried when the chess set was smashed.

ktinkel
08-04-2005, 05:18 AM
KT:

You've omitted Miss Pym Disposes (1946) and Brat Farrar (1949), which are not 'Inspector Grant' stories; both are entertaining, and both have been reissued here, but I don't remember the publisher.

I think I remember The Franchise Affair, but perhaps it was the film I remember. The Man in the Queue wasn't published under her name in 1929, but the reissue was published as by her. She bequeathed all her copyrights to the National Trust.Ooof. I was worse than that. I knew there were more than six titles, but that was all I had in my little database, so lazily replied.

In addition to Pym and Brat, which I had read, there were other novels I had overlooked or never seen: Kif: An Unvarnished History (1929); The Expensive Halo (1931); and The Privateer (1952). I found these listed online, along with the information that Brat Farrar was also known as Come and Kill Me.

I first read all her books in paperback in the 1960s and 70s. I wonder if the less well-known novels came out that way? I think I would have picked up anything with her name on it.

ktinkel
08-04-2005, 06:18 AM
I'm a great fan of Josephine Tey also. Have read and reread them all, but can't offer a favourite. My old paperbacks are in very poor condition now, unfortunately.

Gaudy Night is also my favourite Dorothy L. Sayers (mustn't forget the L, must we?) <g> The first time I read it, I cried when the chess set was smashed.I don’t think these novels are still popular. No bosomy babes with Botoxed lips and low necklines and heavy weaponry (or six-pack guys, ditto) to put on the cover. Too bad.

Michael Rowley
08-04-2005, 07:55 AM
KT:

I wonder if the less well-known novels came out that way?

My knowledge of mystery/crime/detective novel tends to be patchy, as from 1946–1955 I was either at boarding school, in the army, or at university, and when I married in 1956 I was catching up on 'the classics', partly for the benefit of my wife, who wanted to find out about English literature; then from 1967 to 1988 I was in Germany with very little access to English books.

The genre has changed enormously, so that a crime novel without a half-dozen gory murders and lots of sex scenes is nowadays almost unthinkable. Rex Stout wouldn't find a publisher these days—or would he?

terrie
08-04-2005, 10:17 AM
May I recommend Jasper Fforde's wonderful books...

The Eyre Affair (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0142001805/qid=1123179392/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-8255223-9117455?v=glance&s=books) is the first and it's just delightful...

From the Amazon.com Publisher's Weekly review:

"From Publishers Weekly
Surreal and hilariously funny, this alternate history, the debut novel of British author Fforde, will appeal to lovers of zany genre work (think Douglas Adams) and lovers of classic literature alike. The scene: Great Britain circa 1985, but a Great Britain where literature has a prominent place in everyday life. For pennies, corner Will-Speak machines will quote Shakespeare; Richard III is performed with audience participation … la Rocky Horror and children swap Henry Fielding bubble-gum cards. In this world where high lit matters, Special Operative Thursday Next (literary detective) seeks to retrieve the stolen manuscript of Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit. The evil Acheron Hades has plans for it: after kidnapping Next's mad-scientist uncle, Mycroft, and commandeering Mycroft's invention, the Prose Portal, which enables people to cross into a literary text, he sends a minion into Chuzzlewit to seize and kill a minor character, thus forever changing the novel. Worse is to come. When the manuscript of Jane Eyre, Next's favorite novel, disappears, and Jane herself is spirited out of the book, Next must pursue Hades inside Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece.Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc."


The book is full of wonderful literary and typographic allusions...pay attention to the character names...they're a hoot...

Terrie