Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Not As Good As I'd Hoped

I collected this from Ferndown Library on my return from Norfolk. Another of the Josephine Tey mysteries. This one is set in 1936, Edward VIII has become King, and JT inherits a cottage in Suffolk. The cottage is in Polstead, the little village which gained notoriety in 1827 as the location for the murder of Maria Marten in the Red Barn. Just over a century later, Tey finds the villagers are still sensitive about the events, and suspect all 'incomers'.
This one was a disappointment. The plot was complicated with lots of references to the earlier murder, and ghostly intrusions. 
But what really put me off was an error which jumped off the page at me. Somehow the fact that the author had not done a simple bit of research to check her accuracy irritated me. 
This is not a plot spoiler, it is quite irrelevant to the story, but having read it, I found myself doubting the other parts. 
Tey and her partner, Martha, go to the Harvest Festival at church. The author describes in detail how badly the woman in the pew behind Marta sings a particular verse of the hymn How Great Thou Art . But it is a verse which Stuart Hine wrote in 1949! Surely somebody should have bothered to check the date when the hymn was written? 
I shall not give up though, if I can find other books in the series available through Dorset libraries, I will give them a try. 


  1. This is the only one in the series that I didn't finish, can't remember why but it seemed poor compared to the rest. I've just read the most recent, set in Cambridge - thought it a really good read

  2. Thank you for your comment - relieved to know someone else found it didn't live up to expectations.

  3. I still want to read these! I'll need to visit my new library (one of the FEW facilities my new town has!!)


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