When a woman's body washes up on an isolated stretch of beach on the southern coast of England, Scotland Yard's Inspector Alan Grant is on the case., but the inquiry into her death turns into a nightmare of false leads and baffling clues. Was there anyone who didn't want lovely screen actress Christine Clay dead?
A Shilling for Candles was the basis for Alfred Hitchcock's Young and Innocent.
(Description from a New York Times review.)
Originally published in Great Britain in 1936.
First published in the United States in 1954 by Macmillan Publishing Company.
Josephine Tey was a “Golden Age of Detective Fiction” writer. Like other writers of that era, such as Ngaio Marsh, these are more “whodunit” stories than police procedural stories, though both genres feature the police. A Shilling for Candles epitomizes this genre. We are presented the crime and Inspector Grant and his force gather the evidence and solve the crime. We, the reader, try to figure out “whodunit” before the detectives do.
Similar to Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey presents the crime, provides the evidence, and catches the criminal all in 250 pages or less.
That's one of the things I liked about this book. Among other things I liked?
Robert Barnard's brief but useful introduction.
The detailed narrative Tisdall gives Inspector Grant about how he blew through his inheritance.
The conversations between the charmingly innocent but knowing sixteen-year-old daughter of the chief constable and the charmed but world-weary Inspector Grant.
In short, I liked just about everything in A Shilling for Candles.
Another fantastic book by Josephine Tey (Miss Elizabeth Mackintosh's nom de plume). Miss Tey wonderfully crafted story and prose will grip you from the very beginning. Highly recommend.
This police procedurak is a good read frin the first golden age of English mystery writers. The plot moves briskly and shuttles between many points of view as the story moves along. Ms. Tey has a way with words. It was a great read and had me to the end.
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