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Josephine Tey Mysteries Books In Order

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Publication Order of Josephine Tey Books

An Expert in Murder (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Angel with Two Faces (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two for Sorrow (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fear in the Sunlight (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Death of Lucy Kyte (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
London Rain (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nine Lessons (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sorry for the Dead (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secrets of Winter / Dead of Winter (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dear Little Corpses (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shot With Crimson (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Josephine Tey Mysteries is a series of mystery novels written by well-known author Nicola Upson. The series comprises of five mystery novels revolving around the life of the main characters Josephine Tey and Archie Penrose, who is a Detective Inspector. The first novel of the series got published in the year 2008 and as of 2013 a total of five novels have been published. Nicola Upson has included the name Josephine Tey for one of the main characters of the series, which is the pen name of a former author named Elizabeth Macintosh. Elizabeth was also a mystery novel and Nicola Upson is inspired from her writings. The series is set in London in the era of the 1930s, an era in which author Josephine Tey actually lived and wrote mystery novels. The main character Josephine Tey lives in Cambridge along with her partner, Detective Inspector Archie Penrose. She spends most of her time in Cornwall, where the second novel of the series is set. The author has given a beautiful description of the characters and the plots of all the novels of the series. The character Josephine Tey is based on the actual life of the author Tey and Detective Archie Penrose is depicted as being Inspector Alan Grant of the Scotland Yard, Tey’s main protagonist in her novels. Detective Archie is an old friend of Josephine Tey. He joins forces with Josephine to solve the murder mysteries taking place around her play, ‘Richard of Bordeaux’.

The first novel of the series was titled ‘An Expert in Murder’ and was published in the year 2008 by Faber & Faber. It introduces Josephine as a crime writer and Detective Inspector Archie Penrose as her close friend. Sometime around 1934, Josephine is travelling to London from Scotland to appear for the final week of her play ‘Richard of Bordeaux’. The play is a highly successful one and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. All the joy of the celebration turns into horror as a murder takes place on the sets of the play as soon as Josephine arrives in London. Inspector Archie Penrose feels that the murder is related to the play. The play had been a seasonal hit with pacifist themes that strike a chord in the haunted world facing the crisis of World War. Archie believes that Josephine has been targeted for her success and reputation. She could possibly become the victim of her own reputation and success. Her life is possibly in danger and Detective Archie is determined to save her and at the same time trying to find he truth behind the murder.

A second murder takes place in a similar fashion and Detective Archie feels that his suspicion is leading him in the right direction. He tries to unveil the ruthless and the spiteful murderer among the flamboyant theatre set. The trails of the murderer lead Josephine and Detective Archie into the trenches of reality and they have to confront their own ghosts as the killer is not going to stop people one after the other. Author Nicola Upson has regarded the novel as a tribute to Josephine Tey for being the inspiration behind her writing career. The novel comes out as a rich detective novel in its own style. A drama based on the novel was developed by the BBC Scotland for the Woman’s Hour. It was adapted by Robin Brooks and was produced by Gaynor Macfarlane. Author Nicola Upson was highly appreciated for her writings and the fellow noteworthy authors praised her for bringing out his interesting mystery novel. Author PD James describes her as a new talent and motivated her to write many more elegant novels. The concept of the novel is quite ingenious and described very beautifully. It was successful as a result of the satisfying array of betrayals, long-buried secrets, backstage jealousy adultery and other tragic consequences.

The second novel of the highly successful Josephine Tey Mystery series was titled ‘Angel With Two Faces’ and was published in the year 2009 by Faber & Faber. The sequel is set in Cornwall, England during the time of 1935. The readers can get an overview of the plot of the novel by just reading the tag-line of the novel, which reads “Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead…..” The plot of the novel starts with Detective Archie Penrose inviting Josephine Tey to his home in Cornwall during the summer of 1935. The Cornwall district is described as a beautiful estate spread across a magnificent coastline stretch. Moving on from the past experiences of London, Josepehine decides to begin writing her second novel of the mystery genre. She feels inspired by the amazing landscape of Cornwall. There is a lake on the estate which is believed to take a life every seven years. Adjoining the lake is the Minack Theatre, which is an open air theatre overlooking the sea. Soon the dark clouds of horror cover the estate of Cornwall and the holiday of Josephine Tey is disturbed by several murders taking place in Cornwall.

As soon as Josephine arrives in Cornwall, a young estate worker is killed mysteriously in a road accident. Shortly after, a local boy goes missing. With audacious murders real life tragedies taking place at the Minack Theatre. Detective Archie feels the need to do his job even if it means to suspect his friends. He and Josephine team up again to confront the reality of an idyllic community which has violent colors. The community is believed to be having two faces, one in the present and the other looking back at the past crimes. Josephine and Detective Archie make sure that they do not leave any stone unturned in finding the truth behind the murders and bringing justice to the victims. This novel too was very well received by the readers like the first one. It received wide appreciations from one and all. The portrayal of the characters was done in a sympathetic and a perspective manner which was liked by the readers. The author was successful in showing how a good intention can turn into evil consequences. The success of the initial novels added to the fame of the series and it proved to be a promising one on the whole. The ending of the second novel is done in such a way that it brings about a consolidation of the mysterious plot and rightly paves the way for the other novels of the series. This shows the expertise of Nicola Upson in carrying out magic with her pen.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Josephine Tey Mysteries

One Response to “Josephine Tey Mysteries”

  1. Lorna Down: 6 years ago

    Did the character Josephine Tey die in ‘Fear of sunlight’? If so how come she is present in other novels in the series?


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