Sunday, February 2, 2014

Books: To Love and Be Wise (and more Josephine Tey)

I just finished Josephine Tey's To Love and be Wise, from 1951. (Hmm. Why do I keep thinking that her books are just a little bit older?)

I was going to go on to say, "This finishes my re-reading of all of Josephine Tey's books..." But then I went Googling to find a list, and found three books that I've never read: The Expensive Halo, Kif, and The Privateer. It appears that I can say that I have finished re-reading all of the Tey mysteries--these appear to be more in the category of odds and ends. I'll be reading them all the same. (Oh, and there's also something called Claverhouse. And two plays. Hmm.)

So. This finishes my re-reading of all of Josephine Tey's mysteries, a goal that I started in 2013. The full list, in roughly the order that I (re)read them, is:

The Franchise Affair
Brat Farrar
A Shilling for Candles
The Daughter of Time
The Singing Sands
Miss Pym Disposes
The Man in the Queue
To Love and be Wise

I'm very fond of these books. They give me the pleasure of a classic "cozy", but I find them more challenging and less predictable. They break the nice tidy cycle of a murder mystery that I was describing in my last book-related post--and come to think of it, they don't always have a murder. And I want to meet the characters; they're so very likable, in a way that's sensible and quirky and dry all at once.

In the new introduction to the new printing of all of these books, Robert Barnard says, "Her readers...give to their favorite Tey novel what they once gave to their favorite books of childhood, to The Wind in the Willows, Little Women, or whatever: unconditional enthusiasm." Yes. Exactly. I think that mine is The Franchise Affair, though that may just be because I read it the longest ago, so my craving is the strongest.


That seems to be all.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.


  1. ooh- I am going to try and get my hands on The Franchise Affair. I need a cody mystery type book in my life right now..and i've never read her. so thanks!

  2. i meant cozy of course..
    i have sort of told myself that I am not going to write or comment about perfume/on perfume blogs till I get a certain piece of work done..but had to comment here. but this is a book post so doesn't count no?

  3. The Daughter of Time is one of my favourite books and one of the few that I re-read often.

    -- Lindaloo

  4. Yo, Lavanya! Yes, it's very much worth reading, especially if you're no a cozy mood. And of course it doesn't count!

  5. Hey, Lindaloo! Yes, I love the format of the immobile murder mystery. If you see what I mean.

  6. Ooh ooh, I have read several of Josephine Tey's books but haven't heard the name in forever!

  7. Yo, Vanessa! Yes, read 'em again! I'm sad that I can't find The Franchise Affair. I may have to buy it again.