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London Rain (Josephine Tey Series #6)
     

London Rain (Josephine Tey Series #6)

by Nicola Upson
 

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Intrepid writer and amateur sleuth Josephine Tey returns in this sixth installment of Nicola Upson’s popular series—perfect for fans of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Jaqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs—that unfolds in 1930s London as England prepares to crown a new king.

London, 1937. Following the gloomy days of the abdication

Overview

Intrepid writer and amateur sleuth Josephine Tey returns in this sixth installment of Nicola Upson’s popular series—perfect for fans of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Jaqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs—that unfolds in 1930s London as England prepares to crown a new king.

London, 1937. Following the gloomy days of the abdication of King Edward VIII, the entire city is elated to welcome King George. Just one of the many planned festivities for the historic coronation is a BBC radio adaptation of Queen of Scots, and the original playwright, Josephine Tey, has been invited to sit in on rehearsals.

Soon, however, Josephine gets wrapped up in another sort of drama. The lead actress has been sleeping with Britain’s most venerable newsman, Anthony Beresford—and his humiliated wife happens to work in the building. The sordid affair seems to reach its bloody climax when Beresford is shot to death in his broadcasting booth at the deafening height of the coronation ceremony.

Josephine’s dear friend, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose, has the case wrapped up before long. But when a second, seemingly related murder throws Penrose for a loop, it falls to Josephine to unravel a web of betrayal, jealousy, and long-held secrets… caught all the while in a love triangle of her own making.

Charming and provocative, thick with the atmosphere of prewar England, London Rain is a captivating portrait of a city on the edge—and an unforgettable woman always one step ahead of her time.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/04/2016
The coronation of George VI in 1937 provides the backdrop for Upson’s psychologically complex and twisty sixth whodunit featuring real-life mystery writer Josephine Tey (after 2014’s The Death of Lucy Kyte). At BBC headquarters in London, where Josephine has come to view the rehearsals of a play of hers that has been adapted for radio and will air as part of the celebration, she happens to be present when Vivienne Beresford, a Radio Times editor, learns that her husband, Anthony, the BBC’s leading news announcer, is unfaithful. That revelation sets in motion a series of events that result in murder on the day of the coronation. That case, which is handled by Josephine’s close friend at Scotland Yard, Det. Chief Insp. Archie Penrose, seems to be open-and-shut, but that perception changes when a second corpse turns up. Upson adroitly confounds the reader’s expectations, and her subtle and emotionally intelligent exploration of Josephine’s relationship with her lover, Marta Hallard, adds depth. Agent: Gráinne Fox, Fletcher & Co. (Mar.)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Upson’s novel has beautifully rendered the modernist atmosphere of Britain between the wars. Her characters are developed richly…and her plot is a lovely layered puzzle.”
Booklist
“A deft and agreeably darker addition to the series.”
Sunday Times (London)
“Historical crime fiction at its very best.”
Boston Globe
“Lovely. . . . For fans of the British puzzle mystery, there’s a murder in a locked room, a secret passageway, a surfeit of clues, red herrings, and hidden identities.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Upson…possesses great skills in creating character-driven novels that evoke a strong sense of place, spins this sad but seductive story with grace and intelligence.”
P.D. James
“Nicola Upson has . . . given us a highly original and elegantly written novel.”
Suspense Magazine
“This book is what historical crime is all about.”
RT Book Reviews
“The author continues to blend history and fiction seamlessly…. A murder mystery that will keep readers guessing. The glimpses into the changing face of feminism and the politics of the BBC in the late 1930s prove equally intriguing.”
Library Journal
★ 02/01/2016
Writer and amateur sleuth Josephine Tey arrives in London from Scotland just in time for the 1937 coronation of George VII. In honor of the event, Tey's play Mary, Queen of Scots is being presented as a radio broadcast. On the day of the coronation, Anthony Beresford, a renowned announcer who once had an affair with the lead actress, is shot to death in his broadcasting booth during the live coverage of the ceremony. His wife, Vivienne, confesses to the murder, driven by her rage at his numerous infidelities. But Viv will not admit to the killing of his mistress, and Tey must investigate. VERDICT For fans of period British crime fiction, this sixth series entry (after The Death of Lucy Kyte) delivers deft plotting and evocations of the era through charming descriptions of London. As little is known about Tey, Upson's speculations on her life create intriguing (fictional) biographical footnotes.
Kirkus Reviews
2016-01-09
Revenge, murder, and royal pageantry in the fictional adventures of a real-life author. As visitors to London eagerly await the coronation of George VI and prepare to stand in line overnight for a glimpse of the solemnities, Josephine Tey is more interested in the adaptation of her play Queen of Scots for the BBC. When Josephine attends a read-through at Broadcasting House, she thinks her play may actually work better over the radio. To her disappointment, however, her friend Lydia Beaumont, who had the lead on Broadway, has to settle for a secondary role and yield the lead to the current mistress of Anthony Beresford, the best-known voice of the BBC. Although Beresford's wife, Vivienne, has her own career, she can't escape either the humiliation of her husband's infidelities or the notoriety of her dubious past. Evidence that Anthony is planning to run away to Canada with his inamorata pushes Vivienne to confront him in his broadcasting cubicle during the coronation, when thousands and thousands of cheering voices cover up the sound of a single gunshot. Although Vivienne admits to the murder, Josephine's friend DI Archie Penrose of Scotland Yard is initially sympathetic. So is Josephine, who's caught in a triangle of her own: she has to share Marta, the woman she loves, with Lydia. In an effort to keep Queen of Scots on track despite her personal issues, Josephine makes a shocking discovery that takes an even stranger twist as the truth about Vivienne's past and a long-ago death come to light. Although Upson (The Death of Lucy Kyte, 2014, etc.) keeps her readers anticipating action nearly as long as British subjects wait for the crowning of their king, the complexity of the overlapping relationships and a burst of momentum make her fictionalized heroine's sixth case a worthy sequel to its predecessors.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062418159
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/29/2016
Series:
Josephine Tey Series , #6
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
210,111
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Nicola Upson is the author of four previous Josephine Tey mysteries, including An Expert in Murder, and two works of nonfiction. She has worked in theater and as a freelance journalist. A recipient of an Escalator Award from the Arts Council England, she splits her time between Cambridge and Cornwall.

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