‘A recurrent sleuth has always been a favoured device for thriller-writers: Agatha Christie had her Hercule Poirot, Dorothy L. Sayers her Lord Peter Wimsey. However, in my opinion no one has ever invented a detective to equal the style and charm of Inspector Alan Grant.’ Clarissa Burden, Slightly Foxed, Issue 71
The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey was named the 11th greatest mystery novel of all time in 1990 by the Crime Writer’s Association
Marion Sharpe and her mother seem an unlikely duo to be found on the wrong side of the law. Quiet and ordinary, they have led a peaceful and unremarkable life at their country home, The Franchise. Unremarkable that is, until the police turn up with a demure young woman on their doorstep. Not only does Betty Kane accuse them of kidnap and abuse, she can back up her claim with a detailed description of the attic room in which she was kept, right down to the crack in its round window.
But there’s something about Betty Kane’s story that doesn’t quite add up. Inspector Grant of Scotland Yard is stumped. And it takes Robert Blair, local solicitor turned amateur detective, to solve the mystery that lies at the heart of The Franchise Affair.
A Smooth Man in a Trilby
I was 13 and mad about horses when I was presented with Brat Farrar. The name of its author, Josephine Tey, meant nothing to me at the time and the title didn’t tell me much either, but it had a...Read more
Wrestling with a Fine Woman
Josephine Tey was a writer of detective stories during the classic era from the 1930s to the 1950s, when Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, Edmund Crispin, Michael Innes and Dorothy Sayers were to...Read more