The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Story TitleThe Daughter of Time
Author Name:  Josephine Tey
Category:   Published Book
Category: Historical Novel, Mystery
Story Url: Story Link
Content Rating:  All Ages
Status: Published
Length:   206 Pages
Amazon Summary:  Voted greatest mystery novel of all time by the Crime Writers’ Association in 1990, Josephine Tey recreates one of history’s most famous—and vicious—crimes in her classic bestselling novel, a must read for connoisseurs of fiction, now with a new introduction by Robert Barnard.

Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world’s most heinous villains—a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother’s children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England’s throne? Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.

The Daughter of Time is an ingeniously plotted, beautifully written, and suspenseful tale, a supreme achievement from one of mystery writing’s most gifted masters.

Gioia’s Rec:
A friend suggested this to me when I bemoaned my ignorance about British history.  I loved – absolutely loved – the creative style in which the mystery unfolds.  The entire book is through the perspective of a Scotland Yard detective who is laid up in the hospital recovering from a fall.  When boredom sets in, he starts investigating the “case” against King Richard III, accused of murdering his young nephews in the 15th century.  As he and a newly-made American friend begin researching the case, all the evidence is laid out for the reader without the history feeling dry or disconnected, thanks to the witty, ongoing commentary by the Detective and his researcher.

I wish I had known a bit more about English history before reading this, as I had to keep going back and checking the family tree in the front of the book several times when I got lost on all the names.  However the fact that the researcher in this story was an American who wasn’t as well acquainted with the English monarchs either, meant that the Detective had an excuse for explaining things a bit more fully than he might have otherwise.  Sort of like a Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson setup.

The mystery was fascinating and I’m glad it was so factual.  It’s nice to put down a book feeling both entertained and educated.  I found myself doing more research on Richard III afterwards, to see how the rest of the world views him (and what his picture looks like).  All the non-fictional material was very creatively cited throughout this book.

I loved the book and was inspired to find more like it.  Thanks to a recent gift, Book #2 will be a continuance of my new education.

This book was originally rec’d in 2008.  I am categorizing it as both fiction and non-fiction, as it is a fictional detective story about the non-fiction facts surrounding Richard III.

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About Gioia

I'm a wife and mother and, when not tied up with responsibilities, I read non-stop. I love to share my favorite stories with others, thus the existence of my blog.
This entry was posted in Character Study, Drama/Angst, Historical, Historical Novel or Setting, Mystery/Crime Novel, Mystery/Suspense, Non-Fiction Book, Published Novel. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

  1. Marte says:

    I love this book, too! After reading it, I’m irritated whenever I come across the Richard III as villain myth. I wish such myths weren’t so hard to fight.

    • Gioia says:

      Oh, I have the same reaction! It’s amazing how pervasive that idea is.. I am also annoyed that although Shakespeare wasn’t an historian, it is his characterization which seems to be the primary reason so many are convinced of Richard III’s villainy!

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