(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Although Alan Grant is a recurring character in Josephine Tey’s detective novels, he is not always the main character. As in To Love and Be Wise (1950), he may be introduced at the beginning of a novel but not figure prominently until a crime has been committed. In The Franchise Affair (1948), he plays only a minor role. Tey is exceptional in not following the conventional plots of mystery and detective stories. She is more interested in human character. Grant is important insofar as he comes into contact with murder victims and suspects, but usually the human scene is fully described before Grant appears. Consequently, Tey’s novels never seem driven by a mere “ whodunit” psychology. She is interested, rather, in human psychology as it is revealed in the commission of a crime, a disappearance, or a case of imposture. Often readers who do not like the conventions of detective stories like Tey because her novels seem organic; that is, they grow out of what is revealed about the characters. If Tey writes mysteries, it is because human character is a mystery.

Josephine Tey Bibliography

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Dubose, Martha Hailey, with Margaret Caldwell Thomas. Women of Mystery: The Lives and Works of Notable Women Crime Novelists. New York: St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2000. Tey is compared to such other novelists as Patricia Highsmith and Dorothy L. Sayers.

Hanson, Gillian Mary. City and Shore: The Function of Setting in the British Mystery. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2004. Analyzes Tey’s use of setting in A Shilling for Candles and The Singing Sands. Bibliographic references and index.

Keen, Suzanne. Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction. Buffalo, N.Y.: University of Toronto Press, 2001. Tey is compared with a variety of other writers, from H. P. Lovecraft and Henry James to Umberto Eco and Edmund Spenser. The point of comparison is each author’s representation of the archive and the function of those representations both within and without the text.

Kelly, R. Gordon. “Josephine Tey and Others: The Case of Richard III.” In The Detective as Historian: History and Art in Historical Crime Fiction, edited by Ray B. Browne and Lawrence A. Kreiser, Jr. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 2000. Analyzes the use to which Tey and others put history and the ways in which they represent history while exploring and exploiting the life of King Richard III.

Klein, Kathleen Gregory, ed. Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994. Contains an essay on the life and works of Tey.

Reynolds, Moira Davison. Women Authors of Detective Series: Twenty-one American and British Authors, 1900-2000. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2001. Examines the life and work of major female mystery writers, including Tey.

Roy, Sandra. Josephine Tey. Boston: Twayne, 1980. Biography of Tey combined with literary analysis of her works.

Talburt, Nancy Ellen. Ten Women of Mystery, edited by Earl F. Bargainner. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1981. Compares Tey to nine other famous female mystery writers.