Marion Sharpe and her mother seem an unlikely duo to be found on the wrong side of the law. Quiet and ordinary, they have led a peaceful and unremarkable life at their country home, The Franchise. Unremarkable that is, until the police turn up with a demure young woman on their doorstep.
Not only does Betty Kane accuse them of kidnap and abuse, she can back up her claim with a detailed description of the attic room in which she was kept, right down to the crack in its round window. But there’s something about Betty Kane’s story that doesn’t quite add up.
Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is stumped. It takes Robert Blair, solicitor turned amateur detective, to solve the mystery...
©1948 Josephine Tey (P)2011 AudioGo Ltd
I loved this book, a real English countryside detective novel. It is sensitively written and subtle, with events slowly but surely overtaking the main characters. I don't want to give away the story, but if you enjoy Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, or the other detective novels written in the same era, you will love this one. I will definitely explore this author further.
This book was beautifully read. Every character was distinct, and I never felt muddled as to who is speaking. There is a world of difference between performances and this one for me was top shelf - you are able to forget the speaker completely and immerse yourself in the story.
Both excellent for different situations
The moment when the evidence finally all came together.
All equally good
The last scene on the plane.
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
Robert Blair is a sedate solicitor and the current head of a well established and respectable family firm in a small English town. He lives a quiet and predictable life with his aunt, who feeds him well. One day, he receives a surprising phone call from Marion Sharpe, the current resident of The Franchise, a old and run down house just at the outskirts of town. She asks him for help in a strange case; a young girl, Betty Kane, accuses Ms. Sharpe and her mother of kidnapping and imprisoning her in their attic and of having beaten her repeatedly, presumably in an attempt to bully her into becoming their servant. As strange and unlikely as the case may seem, the girl has a blameless reputation and is able to describe the house down to it's tiniest details to Scotland Yard, while the Sharpe ladies on the other hand are none too popular in the small town by virtue of them living at The Franchise. Our solicitor takes a liking to Ms Sharpe, decides the accused women cannot have committed such horrific acts, and sets out to prove their innocence.
I had heard many good things about Josephine Tey, and they were all true. Her characters and dialogue are unusual, and there are plenty of strange elements which kept this reader on her toes. Although this is the third book in the Allan Grant series, he plays a very minor role here, which makes it as good a start as any. Carol Boyd is a new narrator to me and has become an instant favourite, as has Josephine Tey.
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