Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: An Expert in Murder

Mystery writer Josephine Tey appears in this book as the protagonist, an amateur detective in a case that develops from the last performances of her play, Richard of Bordeaux. On the train to London, Josephine meets a young woman who later turns up dead. It appears that the victim and all the suspects had connections to Richard of Bordeaux. Josephine's friend Archie Penrose is the Scotland Yard inspector on the case. Josephine undertakes her own investigations too, trying to find the killer of the woman on the train, Elspeth Simmons.

This is a good mystery, and Tey is an essential part of the story. I was somewhat concerned that Tey might be merely a gimmick, but really the story could not have happened without her. The play and its environs involve a group of rather histrionic theater folk, but this is not overdone. Generally this is a solid story full of suspense. I didn't necessarily feel like I was connecting with the same Tey as when I read Tey's own works, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book all the same.

Nicola Upson, An Expert in Murder (Harper, 2008) ISBN: 0061451533 

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