On My Bookshelf: The Daughter of Time


I'll be honest: I bought this book mostly for the cover. It was a $1.50 at the book fair and said something about a 'detective story' on the inside cover, and it has that classic penguin cover in green(!).

I had vague plans to maybe-actually-probably-should read it one day. But after a quick Google, I discovered that it was "selected by the British-based Crime Writers' Association as the greatest mystery novel of all time" (source) in 1990. Now I had to read it!
Goodreads, Wikipedia, Amazon
From Goodreads:
        Without leaving his bed, Inspector Alan Grant investigates the evidence in the case of Richard III & the Princes in the Tower, arriving at a convincing solution by means of acute historical detection. A critical piece of evidence in this unabashedly Ricardian tale is the Bill of Attainder brought by Henry VII against Richard III, which makes no mention whatsoever of the princes—certainly suggestive to Grant of their being alive at the time.
        Critics point out that this is a work of fiction. Rightly so. Despite that, in the decades since it was printed it's turned many of the idly curious to devout Ricardianism. Anthony Boucher called The Daughter of Time “one of the permanent classics in the detective field”. Dorothy B. Hughes termed it “not only one of the most important mysteries of the year, but of all years of mystery”.

The rest of my thoughts after the jump!

When I found out that it was a mystery novel set in 1950's England and the mystery dated back to Richard III, I was so intrigued. Firstly, I love everything British and especially their history. I took 3 or 4 courses in university that covered several periods of English/British history and loved them.

Now, the premise of a bed-ridden detective solving a centuries old crime might not sound very thrilling, but Tey tells the story beautifully and I was so hooked and excited to find out what the characters discovered.

It is the 5th Alan Grant novel by Josephine Tey, but I certainly didn't feel like I was missing a ton not having read the previous books. I am definitely interested in reading them though and now know not to pass on any Josephine Tey books I might find at book sales!

I was definitely surprised by this book, but in the best way. I love finding little gems and this book definitely was one. I kind of like that the cover didn't reveal the story to me (some have portraits of Richard III) and I could discover and enjoy it on my own.

If you love all things British, or historical, or even just a good bit of detective work, then you will thoroughly enjoy this book!

xo,
B