This weeks letter in Crime Fiction Alphabet is T and who better to highlight for T than Josephine Tey!
Ms. Tey was born Elizabeth Mackintosh in 1896 in Inverness Scotland. She attended Inverness Royal Academy and Anstey Physical Training College in England. She taught physical training at various schools in England and Scotland but returned home to care for her invalid father in 1926. It was then that she began her writing career.
She wrote many plays under her own name, several books under the name Gordon Daviot (including her first mystery 'The Man in the Queue') and wrote 7 other mysteries under the pseudonym of Josephine Tey, her mother's first name and the surname of her English grandmother. In 5 of her mysteries her hero is Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant and in one he appears as a minor character.
Miss Tey was a very private person and information on her is scarce. I did find two great sites on her though and you can check these out for yourself...
The Mystery of Josephine Tey and Josephine Tey a Very Private Person
Several of her books were dramatized. Here is a clip of Vincent Price introducing her and Brat Farrar on Masterpiece Mystery so long ago!
You can watch this whole show on YouTube in 11 installments.
I have read 'Miss Pym Disposes' and you can read my report here.
I am currently reading 'A Shilling for Candles' and will post a report soon. I do enjoy Ms. Tey's mysteries. She has a gentle humor and very interesting characters and settings.
Josephine Tey's Bibliography:
Mystery novels Inspector Alan Grant novels
- The Man in the Queue (or Killer in the Crowd) (1929) [as Gordon Daviot]
- A Shilling for Candles (1936) [as Josephine Tey] (the basis of Hitchcock's 1937 movie Young and Innocent)
- To Love and Be Wise (1950)
- The Daughter of Time (1951) (voted greatest mystery novel of all time by the Crime Writers' Association in 1990)
- The Singing Sands (1952)
- Miss Pym Disposes (1946)
- The Franchise Affair (1948) [Inspector Grant appears briefly at the beginning, mentioned a few times]
- Brat Farrar (or Come and Kill Me) (1949)
- Kif: An Unvarnished History (1929) [as Gordon Daviot]
- The Expensive Halo (1931)
- The Privateer (1952)
- Claverhouse (1937) [as Gordon Daviot] (a life of the 17th-century cavalry leader John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee)
- Richard of Bordeaux (1932)
- The Laughing Woman (1934)
Click here to read interesting reviews of several of her mysteries.
And here and here to listen to podcast reviews from Les Blatt @ Classic Mysteries. Les has many of these podcast on his site for many classic mysteries. Check it out here
And since Ms. Tey is from Scotland this pic is keeping in with our theme somewhat.
This is for you Peter!
Some old book covers from Josephine's books...