Praise for Sorry for the Dead:
"Magnificent...Upson couples an engrossing plot with a nuanced and poignant look at human passions and frailties. Fans of golden-age mysteries will be more than satisfied."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Achingly perceptive about forbidden relationships and the unreasoning hatred they can provoke, then as now."
"Upson’s eighth Josephine Tey mystery intriguingly combines murder with stories of love in the face of hateful bias. A notable addition to this fine series."
Praise for Nine Lessons:
Shortlisted for CWA Best Historical 2018
“Superlative…Upson successfully incorporates moving and complex interpersonal conflicts involving her main characters into an intricate, credible whodunit story line.”
—Publishers Weekly starred review
“Fans of historical British mysteries, such as Jacqueline Winspear’s ‘Maisie Dobbs’ series, will delight in this old-fashioned whodunit starring characters with depth and heart.”
“Accomplished…A skillful blend of fact and fiction with compelling plot lines and vivid evocation of 1937 England.”
In the eighth "Josephine Tey" mystery from Upson (after Nine Lessons), Josephine is directing a play in Cambridge in 1938 when events that occurred during World War I return to haunt her, placing her reputation and her current relationship with screenwriter Marta at risk. At Marta's suggestion, Josephine travels to Sussex to revisit the horticultural college where she taught briefly. The story flashes back to 1915, a stormy night, and an accidental death that may not have been an accident. At the college, Josephine first acknowledges her attraction to women and then sees the consequences of such a relationship as the two women who run the college are vilified in the aftermath of a student's death. As she unravels the mystery of that death, Josephine must also come to terms with her own actions toward another teacher. VERDICT A challenging murder mystery, a look at the social pressures on those who were nonconformists, and a strong sense of place combine to make this a fascinating read. Fans of historical British mystery series and Tey's books will find much to enjoy.—Terry Lucas, Shelter Island P.L., NY
Real-life mystery writer Josephine Tey's eighth encounter with fictional crime toggles back and forth between her brush with murder during her early years as a teacher and the time a generation later when the chickens come home to roost.
Hearing about the 1938 London production of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour floods Josephine, whose play The Laughing Woman is premiering at Cambridge's Arts Theater, with traumatic memories of the summer of 1915, when rumors about the affair between Georgina Hartford-Wroe and Harriet Barker, partners in the horticultural school Moira House, came to a head with the death of Dorothy Norwood, who, like Hellman's schoolgirl Mary Tilford, had lodged scandalous accusations against George and Harry. Although the coroner's court delivered a verdict of death by misadventure, the damage was done: The neighbors' suspicion and hatred of the couple, fanned by the assumption that Dorothy was murdered, flared out against George and Harry, forcing them to close the school overnight and sending them into exile. In 1938, Daily Mirror reporter Faith Hope, who as Charity Lomax was attending Moira House when the scandal erupted, seeks to resurrect it, linking it to Hellman's well-known play. When she descends on Josephine, the author and playwright has the best reason in the world to bridle, for on the very day Dorothy Norwood died, she consummated her love with fellow teacher Jeanette Sellwood, a secret Charity already seems to know even though Josephine (Sorry for the Dead, 2019, etc.) has never shared it even with her current lover, screenwriter Marta Fox, who helped Alfred Hitchcock bring Tey's 1936 novel, A Shilling for Candles, to the screen as Young and Innocent. When will the scandal of Moira House finally be laid to rest?
Achingly perceptive about forbidden relationships and the unreasoning hatred they can provoke, then as now.