An Expert in Murder

by Nicola Upson

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I’d seen enough good reviews of this to check it out in hardback since it had a very interesting premise. It’s set in the 1930s and features the crime novelist Josephine Tey as a character. I devoured all Tey’s books (there are only about six) as a teenager and have been meaning to reread them for years now.

I was aware before I started that there were elements of truth in the storyline but that it was mostly fiction - Josephine Tey was a pseudonym so Upson has had the freedom to create a real historical character who didn’t really exist. This book does revolve around a real play of Tey’s though Richard of Bordeaux which was written under another pen name: Gordon Daviot. It’s not as complicated as I’m making it sound! I felt that the author pulled off the blend of fact and fiction pretty well and I’m pleased to find out that people who know more about it that I do think so too.

Anyway, there is a reasonable crime novel here as well as a nice period piece. This book does rather revolve around bringing Tey to life but there is promise of a series and I’ll certainly be checking out the next one.