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An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson
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An Expert in Murder (2008)

by Nicola Upson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Josephine Tey Crime Series (1)

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6483822,605 (3.42)106
  1. 10
    Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (lahochstetler)
    lahochstetler: Female detectives solve mysteries centering on the devastating consequences of WWI.
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English (37)  French (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson; bk 1; (3 1/2*)

While I enjoyed this mystery and fairly flew through it, I found it to be just a bit tedious and overcomplicated. So many theatrical characters; too many for this reader to keep track of. Also a great many small plot lines carrying on at the same time. And while that is consistent with a lot of mystery tales it didn't work well for me this time.
All that being said, I did like the book well enough to continue the series. I am sure that part of that is based on the fact that I adore Josephine Tey's writing. ( )
  rainpebble | May 8, 2019 |
Interesting, yet predictable. I needed predictable to get out of my reading slump. I don't know if I will read more. I liked the post WW1 setting, the London theater scene. Original Tey is really, historical cozy mystery Tey is more a thin caricature of a mystery writer forcefully turned 🕵️‍♀️ because Tey is not the lead character here, Archie Penrose is. Even, Penrose's second in command is a stronger character than Tey. Josephine coukd have been any writer because that character reacts at best and when the plot can't avoid it, she acts but in a way that puts her in jeopardy, of course.

I liked how the same sex relationships were presented in a every day life with the caveat of the times. I think what bugged me was the hook aka Josephine Tey as a 🕵️‍♀️ which it isn't.

Still, this broke my reading slump. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Dec 26, 2018 |
Very well-written, very evocative of England (and particularly London) between the wars, interesting info about Josephine Tey (whose books I enjoy). However, I'm not reading any more of these. This was way too grim and depressing for me. Every single character (except possibly Elspeth) had dark secrets, most of which were tangled with those of the other characters. A lot of apparent coincidences turned out to be engineered; those doing the engineering were (both, or all) rather obsessed with a single event years in the past and its consequences. "Josephine" is rather a side character, despite being there at at least one of the climaxes; she's mostly caught up in the engineering. She was a clearing-house for other characters to deposit information so that it got passed on, and did very little herself. And, of course, none of these events happened to the actual author (so most of the facts divulged about her are fictional, or marginally true). If you like dark mysteries, you might enjoy this very much; if you love Tey, it's eh. I prefer cozies and like Tey, so not for me. It did make me want to read Richard of Bordeaux, though. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Nov 10, 2018 |
Boring ( )
  ramrak | Jan 4, 2018 |
An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson is the first volume in the Josephine Tey mystery series. It begins in 1934 when Tey is traveling to London to celebrate the last week of her successful play Richard Bordeaux.

One of the passengers sharing Tey's compartment is traveling to London to visit relatives and to attend Tey's play with her new love interest. What a coincidence that he works at the theatre where the play is staged.

On leaving the train, Tey is met by friends and doesn't realize the young woman hasn't left the train. In fact, she is murdered before she can. An investigation has just gotten underway when the play's manager is also murdered. The same detective, who happens to be a long time friend of Tey's, is the senior detective investigating both. Oh, and the friends meeting Tey at the train are also involved in the play and are relatives of the detective.

To say this plot is convoluted is an understatement. Most events that move the plot along are unrealistic happenstance. It's unlikely I'll continue the series. ( )
  clue | Sep 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nicola Upsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Duncan, SandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Phyllis and to Irene, for their wisdom
and belief, with love from us both
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Night was falling when at last he sat down, ready to write.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061451533, Hardcover)

An expert in Murder is the first in a new series which features Golden Age crime writer Josephine Tey as its lead character, placing her in the richly-peopled world of 1930s theatre which formed the other half of her writing life, and using real events as the basis for an original murder mystery. It's March, 1943, and Tey is travelling from Scotland to London to celebrate what should be the triumphant final week of her celebrated play, Richard of Bordeaux. The play has been the surprise hit of the season, with pacifist themes which strike a chord in a world still haunted by war, but a seemingly senseless murder - which takes place as soon as Josephine arrives in London and which Detective Inspector Archie Penrose feels sure is connected to her work - puts her reputation, and even her life, under threat. A second killing confirms Penrose's suspicions that somewhere amongst this flamboyant theatre set is a ruthless and spiteful murderer. As his investigations lead him from the romance of the West End to the stark reality of the trenches, he must confront his own ghosts in a search for someone who will kill again to right the wrongs of a past generation. Cleverly blending fact and fiction, this book is both a tribute to one of the most enduringly popular writers of crime and an atmospheric detective novel in its own right.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:48 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Traveling to London in 1934 to celebrate the triumphant final week of her play Richard of Bordeaux, popular writer Josephine Tey is caught up by the murder of a fellow train passenger, in a case that raises the suspicions of Detective Inspector Archie Penrose.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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