The Daughter of Time

by Josephine Tey

Monday, April 15, 2002

Featured image for The Daughter of Time

I read all the rest of Josephine Tey’s books as a teenager and really enjoyed them. I could never persuade myself to read this one though. History wasn’t my thing (and still isn’t) and this book sounded as dull as dishwater to me.

Another lifetime later I’m pleased to find that this is a very entertainingly different mystery. It reminded me a little of the Lury.Gibson book Dangerous Data that I read recently though Tey writes a much better story. Nothing happens in the book, we just have Inspector Grant laid up in hospital with a gammy leg bored out of his mind. He gets interested in a portrait of Richard III that one of his visitors brings him. Not realising at first who the picture portrays he can’t see it as the face of a murderer. So he goes on to rake through historical records with the aid of a young American researcher to find out if Richard really did murder the princes in the tower.

I’ve no idea if the history in this book is realistic or not and I find that I don’t really care. The point is that there’s always more to any situation than you see on the surface and that often the facts that are found in the details are more revealing than the “facts” found in reported accounts. I found this story fascinating and I’m sorry that it took me so long to get around to reading it.