Monday, April 11, 2011

Classic Mysteries

I've been rereading the golden-age British mysteries of Josephine Tey.  Much better written novels than Agatha Christie's and less high-falutin' than Dorothy Sayers's can get, though I love her Lord Peter Whimsey.  Tey wrote beautiful books - with the cleverest slip-in-the-backstory I've seen in Bratt Farrar.

My all-time top favorite - Bratt Farrar.  A tale of impersonation and mystery...  Is there a murder?  Which is the evil twin?  Very English.  With horses.  A wonderful novel.  Next in my affections come the other stand-alones: Miss Pym Disposes, The Franchise Affair, then any with her regular detective.  Her theory was that real evil-doers (not the exasperated spouse who bops their beloved with a bottle, but real evil) are motivated - or freed perhaps? unchained? - by a grossly swollen vanity, a no-one-matters-but-me ego.  The definition of a sociopath.  Having read the horrifying real-crime detection book The Murder Room, I suspect she has a point.

Readers interested in the controversy of Richard III will find The Daughter of Time fascinating.

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