HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

No title (1948)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,237436,425 (3.9)187
Member:
Title:
Authors:
Info:
Collections:
Rating:
Tags:fiction, mystery, England, romance, 20th century, illustrated

Work details

The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (1948)

  1. 20
    Elizabeth is Missing, or, Truth Triumphant: An Eighteenth Century Mystery by Lillian De La Torre (bmlg)
    bmlg: one is a modern (20th c.) revisioning and the other a historical examination of the Canning Wonder
  2. 00
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (lahochstetler)
    lahochstetler: Mystery/horror stories with a Gothic twist, about the particular horror that can come from an entire small town turning against you.
  3. 01
    The Privateer by Josephine Tey (wildbill)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 187 mentions

English (42)  Dutch (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
In a word, delightful. It's no surprise to me that I enjoy a 1940s british mystery. Tey crafts interesting characters, a suspenseful plot, and good dialogue, and I don't need much more in a mystery. Also, this was a folio society publication and that of course made it even more fun to read. ( )
  japaul22 | Jun 15, 2014 |
Ho-hum, another book and author I had never heard of before LT. I honestly can’t remember what kind of books I read BLT (Before LT) but since 2009 I’ve discovered a boatload of really, really good books by people I never heard of yet were well-known and very highly regarded in their time. Josephine Tey joins a long line of such authors. She has been called one of the best (maybe THE best) mystery writers of all time and if The Franchise Affair is any indication, I can see why.

Robert Blair was about to call it a day at his prestigious law firm when the phone rang. On the other end was Marion Sharpe who, along with her mother, resided at the fairly run down country house known as the Franchise. It seems she and her mother were in a fair amount of trouble and even though Blair’s firm handled mostly wills and estates and had never had a criminal case in all their years of existence, Robert agreed to help the women out. They were being accused of abducting, beating and holding a young girl, Betty Kane, prisoner in their home. He was startled to discover, as was Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, that even though the women claimed that the girl had never been in their home, she knew an awful lot about the house in general and the attic room where she was supposedly held, in particular. Yet there’s something about Kane’s story that just doesn’t seem right to solicitor Blair, and he settles in to investigate an unbelievable mystery. The fact that Tey reached back into history where a crime very much like this took place makes it all the more unbelievable.

Tey’s prose is smooth and delightful and moves the narrative along at breakneck speed. The book was first published in 1948 and I expected it to be dated but saw no evidence of that at all. Her deft touch produced many memorable moments and her sense of humor shined through on more than one occasion. The neighborhood where the Franchise is located might be described as sketchy and Marion Sharpe warns Blair that he can leave his car overnight:

”’Shouldn’t leave your car. Take it with you.’

‘But it’s quite a little way isn’t it?’

‘Maybe, but it’s Saturday.’

‘Saturday?’

‘School’s out.’

‘Oh, I see. But there’s nothing in it---‘ ‘to steal,’ he was going to say but amended it to ‘Nothing that’s movable.’

‘Movable! Huh! That’s good. We had window boxes once. Mrs. Laverty over the way had a gate. Mrs. Biddows had two fine wooden clothes posts and eighteen yards of clothes rope. They all thought they weren’t movable. You have your car there for ten minutes you’ll be lucky to find the chassis.’” (Page 109)

And what a stroke of luck that I have six more Tey mysteries to read. Very highly recommended.
( )
8 vote brenzi | May 20, 2014 |
Quite entertaining, provides a fascinating picture if England in the late 1940s, and an intriguing plot. ( )
  annejacinta | Jan 21, 2014 |
Tremendously good read and I never expected that from the summary - the tale of two women being framed for a brutal kidnapping seemed incredibly far-fetched to me but I'd loved Miss Pym Disposes by the same author so I thought I might as well see if the rest of her work was as good.
Well, it is, and then some. Her writing is astonishing. The book isn't thick but the amount of detail she manages to put in is quite stupendous. After reading a particularly well-written passage, I often caught myself thinking 'I feel completely different about this character than I did two pages ago, how did she do this?' A great deal of her genius has to do with knowing her characters inside out - not two characters in this are the same and they all have a very distinctive voice. We might follow Robert but I know as much about the Sharpes and Aunt Lin. This is also a masterpiece of a mystery novel - until very late in the book, the author makes sure we just don't know whether or not the Sharpes are guilty and since we spend so much time with them and they're so endearing, it's quite a feast. The investigation is realistic and suspenseful and Tey's sense of timing is impeccable - she does know when to drop us a bone and when to leave us in the dark, it's incredible. The end trial could have been a case of deus ex machina if it weren't so well crafted and it becomes not only plausible but the only solution to the plot. The end is interesting and totally unexpected like the rest of the book - the romance hinted at throughout the novel finds a very unusual open-ended conclusion and I loved that. I can't tell you how vivid and deeply witty Tey's writing is - I will not only miss Marion, Mrs Sharpe and Robert but I'll really miss The Franchise, too. You're left with a very good impression of what everything and everyone is and closing the book is like parting with friends. Amazing author - I'll never doubt her again. ( )
1 vote RubyScarlett | Nov 11, 2013 |
One of my favorite Tey's -- a mystery that doesn't involve murder, but still immensely satisfying when Marion Sharpe and her mother are cleared of all charges. Especially since it also involves exposing Betty for the liar that she is!! ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Josephine Teyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barnard, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyd, CaroleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hogarth, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
It was four o'clock of a spring evening; and Robert Blair was thinking of going home.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Robert Blair was about to knock off from a slow day at his law firm when the phone rang. It was Marion Sharpe on the line, a local woman of quiet disposition who lived with her mother at their decrepit country house, The Franchise. It appeared that she was in some serious trouble: Miss Sharpe and her mother were accused of brutally kidnapping a demure young woman named Betty Kane. Miss Kane's claims seemed highly unlikely, even to Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, until she described her prison — the attic room with its cracked window, the kitchen, and the old trunks — which sounded remarkably like The Franchise. Yet Marion Sharpe claimed the Kane girl had never been there, let alone been held captive for an entire month! Not believing Betty Kane's story, Solicitor Blair takes up the case and, in a dazzling feat of amateur detective work, solves the unbelievable mystery that stumped even Inspector Grant.

-------------------

Very snug indeed was Robert Blair’s life as a bachelor solicitor in Milford, England. He wouldn’t have been a man, though, if he hadn’t noticed the two women who lived in the atrocious Regency mansion known as “The Franchise.” He thought the older woman very, very forbidding, and the younger — well, not quite so forbidding.

Now, it seemed, both mother and daughter were in trouble — accused of imprisoning a young girl for a whole month, beating and half starving her. The victim was Betty Kane, a girl in a modest school-girl dress, with candid slate-blue eyes, and an appealing look of innocence. Betty remembered what had happened perfectly, and told a heart-rending tale of terror and escape.

But if Betty had not been at The Franchise, where had she been for a whole month, and what was she doing? With every sentimentalist mourning over “poor Betty Kane,” and a blatant tabloid fanning the flames, the women were in danger from more hands than those of the law.

-------------------

The Franchise Affair resembles some of the best work of Poe in its introduction of an apparently inhuman evil in an otherwise sedate country setting. Robert Blair, a lawyer who prides himself on his ability to avoid work of any significance, is interrupted one evening by a phone call from Marion Sharpe. Ms. Sharpe and her mother live in a run-down estate known as the Franchise, and their lives drew little attention until Betty Kane charged them with an unthinkable crime. Ms. Kane, having disappeared for a month, now says that she was held captive in the attic of the Franchise during her entire absence. While her story seems absurd, her recollection of minute details about the interior of the house sway even Scotland Yard.

Blair — who Ms. Sharpe has chosen for her defense because, as she says, he is "someone of my own sort"— must dust off his neurons and undertake some serious sleuthing if his client is to beat these serious charges. As with all fine mysteries, one has the sense of being in a sea of clues with a solution just out of reach. The Franchise Affair is a classic mystery, and also a superb record of country life in early twentieth century England.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684842564, Paperback)

Though Josephine Tey is not, perhaps, as well known as Agatha Christie, her contribution to the Golden Age of mysteries is unquestioned. In contrast to Christie, Tey rejected formulas and long-running series in favor of experimentation with new settings and odd conjunctions of character and subject matter. Her historical tale The Daughter of Time is frequently cited as one of the greatest mysteries of all time.

The Franchise Affair resembles some of the best work of Poe in its introduction of an apparently inhuman evil in an otherwise sedate country setting. Robert Blair, a lawyer who prides himself on his ability to avoid work of any significance, is interrupted one evening by a phone call from Marion Sharpe. Ms. Sharpe and her mother live in a run-down estate known as the Franchise, and their lives drew little attention until Betty Kane charged them with an unthinkable crime. Ms. Kane, having disappeared for a month, now says that she was held captive in the attic of the Franchise during her entire absence. While her story seems absurd, her recollection of minute details about the interior of the house sway even Scotland Yard. Blair--who Ms. Sharpe has chosen for her defense because, as she says, he is "someone of my own sort"--must dust off his neurons and undertake some serious sleuthing if his client is to beat these serious charges. As with all fine mysteries, one has the sense of being in a sea of clues with a solution just out of reach. The Franchise Affair is a classic mystery, and also a superb record of country life in early twentieth century England. --Patrick O'Kelley

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:33 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Marion Sharpe and her mother seem an unlikely duo to be found on the wrong side of the law. But Betty Kane accuses them of kidnap and abuse in their country home, The Franchise. It takes Robert Blair, solicitor turned amateur detective, to solve the mystery that lies at the heart of The Franchise Affair.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
15 avail.
35 wanted
4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.9)
0.5
1
1.5
2 11
2.5 1
3 53
3.5 25
4 135
4.5 24
5 48

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,466,246 books! | Top bar: Always visible