This is the fourth Alan Grant book by Josephine Tey. The Grant series is composed by: The Man in the Queue (as Gordon Daviot); A Shilling for Candles (which VERY lightly inspired Hitchcock's Young and Innocent); To Love and Be Wise; and The Daughter of Time; The Singing Sands. Despite its title, this is not a romance, but mystery novel. Miss Tey is an incredible writer and her books are a joy to read. Also, her sense of humor is captivating. I love Agatha Christie, but Tey has a quality in her writing few authors have. Her descriptions are not tiresome; on the contrary, I enjoy them. I detected the key to the mystery from the beginning, even if I didn't get it completely correct; yet, I still enjoyed reading it very much. I was momentarily disappointed that Grant makes a very quick appearance at the beginning, than only returns in chapter eight. But the story and characters are so well developed and woven, I actually forgot about him. Caveat: if you like filthy language, lots of sex, mental disorder and disturbing characters, you might like to pick another book. And the absence of these is another reason why I so much enjoy Tey’s books. I guess I am old fashioned… There is one paragraph in which Tey defines my idea of the characters of authors who write filth: “One of the most famous alienists in the country had once said to [Grant] that to write a book was to give oneself away. […] There was unconscious betrayal in every line, said the alienist.” They revel in filth, it is part of their inner selves, therefore they write it! But, still, you might like to give Tey a chance, even if you are not old fashioned: you might be surprised. Positively.
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