Tuesday, 9 May 2000

Josephine Tey: A Shilling for Candles (1953)

Edition: Pan, 1959
Review number: 495

One of the most conventional of all the crime novels written by Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles is a straightforward mystery. Inspector Grant is investigating the death by drowning of film star Christine Clay, which would seem to be suicide except for signs that she struggled. The case is interesting for the way in which everyone knows who Christine is, but hardly anyone knows anything much about her.

The plot is very well put together (though it requires unnecessary coincidences to widen the field of potential suspects), the characters interesting and their psychology convincing, but the brilliance of most of her other novels is missing.

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