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Summer 1936. Mystery writer Josephine Tey joins her friends in the resort village of Portmeirion, Wales, to celebrate her fortieth birthday. Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, are there to sign a deal to film Josephine's novel, A Shilling for Candles. But things get out of hand when one of Hollywood's leading actresses is brutally slashed to death in a cemetery near the village. The following day, as fear and suspicion take over in a setting where nothing—and no one—is quite what it seems, Chief ...
Summer 1936. Mystery writer Josephine Tey joins her friends in the resort village of Portmeirion, Wales, to celebrate her fortieth birthday. Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, are there to sign a deal to film Josephine's novel, A Shilling for Candles. But things get out of hand when one of Hollywood's leading actresses is brutally slashed to death in a cemetery near the village. The following day, as fear and suspicion take over in a setting where nothing—and no one—is quite what it seems, Chief Inspector Archie Penrose becomes increasingly unsatisfied with the way the investigation is ultimately resolved. Several years later, another horrif ic murder, again linked to a Hitchcock movie, drives Penrose back to the scene of the original crime to uncover the shocking truth.
Verdict This novel is the fourth installment (after Two for Sorrow) in Upson’s mysteries featuring real-life playwright and novelist Tey. This latest work is more concerned with concocting a tale about Tey’s personal life, of which very little is actually known, than with weaving a compelling mystery. An abundance of characters and an overly intricate plot make for a long slog to the finish line. Recommended for purchase only if you have a strong following of the series.—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph, MI
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Posted April 26, 2013
Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson is a mystery novel taking place in 1936. This is the fourth book in a series starring author Josephine Tey.
Author Josephine Tey and her friends go to celebrate her 40th birthday at the resort village of Portmeirion. They are to meet Alfred Hitchcock and his wife to discuss
turning Josephine’s novel into a movie. When a Hollywood starlet gets murdered in a nearby cemetery Chief Inspector Archie Penrose becomes involved, yet he is unsatisfied with the way the investigation was resolved.
Several years later, another murder happens, also linked to a Hitchcock’s movie. Penrose goes back to the scene to try to uncover the truth.
The reason I chose to read Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson was because Alfred Hitchcock was in the story, I had no idea it was part of a series and probably wouldn't have noticed either until I read it somewhere.
I was looking forward to read a good mystery which was somewhat involved in Hitchcock’s movies. However the famed director is a character in this novel much like anyone else. Granted, not everyone has his insecurities and eccentricities but there is no Hitchcock specific take on the story.
The story was very slow to start but once it got going it held my interest until the end, but the large cast of characters kept me confused and I had to re-read some sections to make sure I had the story correct.
I felt the author was trying to do several things in this novel, while interesting none of them really shine or come to the front. The mystery, Josephine Tey’s personal life, Hitchcock’s personality, marriage, show business, police work and others are all part of the story. However, it seemed that Ms. Upson was also trying to tie her story to Hitchcock’s themes of voyeurism, suspense, mistaken identities, the charming sociopath, as well as wink and nods to the great director’s films (staircases, bell tower and more). While as a movie buff I appreciated those nods, I felt they pushed the actual story to the background. I was less interested in Ms. Tey’s part of the story and wanted to read more about Chief Inspector Penrose who I felt was a more interesting character.
This novel needs to be read with care and attention, simply breezing through it would confuse the reader due to the several stories and timelines. After a slow start, the novel is a worthwhile read which delivers on the mystery aspect being promoted.
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Posted October 22, 2013
Let me see if I have this straight - the pseudonymous author, Josephine Tey, is really lesbian and the male Detective Penrose is still pining for her years after her death? How VERY unlikely! Apparently I missed the outrage Upsom perpetrated earlier, where she had Tey in a torrid love affair with an actress.
Upson has said in an interview that she and her "partner" discovered and decoded an extended love letter to the real Tey from an actress, and you could tell from the gloating that followed that they could hardly wait to out her. I cannot tell you how much I despise people who take it upon themselves to shine spotlights on things people MAY have fone and kept private (I say MAY! because I've found no cofirnation if this eksewhere and I am not going to take the word odf such an unscrupulous agenda-pusher).
Posted November 21, 2013
Hesitate to try next as there is too much about bi sex and not straight mystery till you just want to cut the vacation short. Getting more N ational Inquiry than period decore. Will borrow next before buying. Disappointed. Read another series with edna ferber and first was good then next same thing when she got to hollywood she wrote giant and showboat m aWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2013
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Posted November 1, 2013
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