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Angel with Two Faces: A Mystery Featuring Josephine Tey (Josephine Tey Mysteries) Paperback – June 29, 2010


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Angel with Two Faces: A Mystery Featuring Josephine Tey (Josephine Tey Mysteries) + Two for Sorrow: A New Mystery Featuring Josephine Tey (Josephine Tey Mysteries) + Expert in Murder, An: A Josephine Tey Mystery (Josephine Tey Mysteries)
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Product Details

  • Series: Josephine Tey Mysteries
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; English Language edition (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061451576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061451577
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. No classic detective fiction aficionado will want to miss Upson's compelling sequel to 2008's An Expert in Murder, which introduced mystery author Josephine Tey (1896–1952) as sleuth. In 1935, Tey's close friend, Scotland Yard Inspector Archie Penrose, has returned on holiday to Cornwall, his childhood home, where he ends up attending the funeral of estate worker Harry Pinching, who drowned in Loe Pool, rumored to take a life every seven years. Most locals believe Pinching's death was an accident, but Penrose and Tey, who joins the inspector in Cornwall, soon pick up on ominous undercurrents in the community that suggest otherwise. As the pair attempt to uncover the truth, Penrose witnesses another death that's unquestionably murder. The subtle prose succeeds both at evoking the quiet splendor of the Cornish landscape and in capturing the tragedy and torment that plague many of the characters. The psychological sophistication will resonate with Charles Todd fans. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The death of a daredevil young man brings Scotland Yard inspector Archie Penrose back to his family estate in Cornwall for the funeral. Josephine Tey, the real-life playwright and author introduced as a part-time sleuth in Upson's An Expert in Murder (2008), is visiting friends at a Cornish estate. At this point in Tey's career, in the mid-1930s, she has written one novel (The Man in the Queue, under the pseudonym Gordon Daviot) and several successful plays for London's West End. Quicker than you can say, “Curl up with a cozy,” Penrose is consulting his longtime friend Tey about the drowning of the estate worker, which he regards as suspicious. The young man's drowning in Loe Pool embodies a local myth that the pond takes a life every seven years. Penrose and Tey set out to place the blame on human, rather than supernatural, causes. Brilliant Cornish scenery and village atmosphere make up for the somewhat pat plotting and unlikely pairing of Penrose and Tey. --Connie Fletcher

More About the Author

Nicola Upson is the author of four previous Josephine Tey mysteries, including An Expert in Murder, and two works of nonfiction. She has worked in theater and as a freelance journalist. A recipient of an Escalator Award from the Arts Council England, she splits her time between Cambridge and Cornwall.

Customer Reviews

And not just from one character, but from several.
Cate Bruckman
In this one, she has no essential connection to the events; any intelligent woman would have served.
Michael Anson Wright
I'm definitely disappointed after her first book, and I won't be bothering with her third.
E. A. Snyder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kelly McPherson on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
PLOT SPOILERS. I loved An Expert in Murder so I saved this sequel for my vacation. Unfortunately, it wasn't worth the wait. The mystery itself is well plotted, but too much of the the book was taken over by disturbing and, I think, entirely unnecessary exposes of sexual deviance by various characters. Incestuous rape, incestuous love affairs, one man's unrequited love of his best friend, the abortion of a young teen's pregnancy -- I couldn't help but feel that Upson had an agenda she was trying to put across in this book, but I couldn't pick it out from the general sexual despair that hangs over the whole novel. The book was so depressing I started finding it funny and the ending was just what I expected - how else could all that hopelessness end? All in all, Upson's writing continues to impress and her characters are endearing and interesting. I hope the next installment lives up to Upson's promise. I left this book in the hotel room.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Bales on March 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I want to be depressed and read excellent writing I will pick up another book by Nicola Upson. I feel that when an author writes a book with such skill and yet the book continually " beats you up" then what is the point. This author clearly does not like people or her readers, don't waste your time.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Cate Bruckman on August 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
BEWARE. PLOT SPOILERS:

As far as the mystery went, it was marginally well put together. Yet there seemed to be a strange empathy for the incestuous relationship between a brother and sister. And not just from one character, but from several. I didn't find it very believable. On top of this, there's an odd lack of sympathy for the parents that were murdered as a result of the relationship (almost as though they deserved to be burnt to death because they didn't support the relationship). Odd, and disturbing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Snyder on May 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
After an enjoyable first novel, the author has hidden heavy-handed moralizing behind a "Golden Era" mystery. However, there's nothing golden about this bleak and bizarre justification of incest and murder. The novel is at once depressing and aggressive, as if the author has an axe to grind and wants to make the reader pay. Incest and murder are both justified in the name of "love," which is sickening enough, but then incestuous rape, forced prostitution, and cruel violence are thrown in for good measure. I don't understand why the author tries so hard to defend the revolting acts of her characters, but it definitely has a "The Lady protests too much, methinks" quality. The mystery behind the story sadly offers little enjoyment to offset the bleak nature of the book. I'm definitely disappointed after her first book, and I won't be bothering with her third.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Anson Wright on June 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I finished the author's first novel "An Expert in Murder" only because P.D.James gave
it a glowing review. In my opinion the writing was leaden, the plotting obvious, the
characters wooden and predictable, with the exceptions of Ronnie and Lettice. The only
saving grace was the atmosphere of the theatre, which the author seems to know well. I
excused that novel as being the author's first; and hoped she would grow in technique
and authority.

"Angel with Two Faces" is just awful. Leaving aside the author's attitude towards
the morality of the plot twists (which other reviewers have bemoaned), I found the
writing even more heavy-handed than in the first book. The style is lifeless and
plodding; the "atmosphere" is laid on with a trowel. You can see the author planting
obvious clues and red-herrings every few pages, then slowly linking them together; and
yet the final revelation is a cheat. The book feels like a novel where the author first
devised an intricate plot, then forced characters into molds to carry out the action.
In the first book, Josephine Tey had an integral relation to the plot. In this one,
she has no essential connection to the events; any intelligent woman would have
served. Josephine's relationship with Archie, which seemed hopeful at the end of the
first book, does not develop. And Ronnie and Lettice make only brief and disappointing
appearances.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on August 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the second book in the JOSEPHINE TEY series which began with AN EXPERT WITNESS. The premise for the series is that author Josephine Tey, rather than being only the pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh, is a real person. This novel begins a few months after the close of the previous story. Tey is joining her friend, Insp. Penrose for a holiday at his family home in Cornwall. The two had been looking forward to the opportunity to quietly sort out their rather complicated relationship but once again events seemed to conspire against them. A young local man had drowned casting a pall over the local village's annual celebration. When a second death occurs in the midst of the festivities old scandals and tragedies begin to emerge demanding all of Tey's and Penrose's attention.

The premise of making Tey a character in these stories, incorporating events and people from Mackintosh's life with the fictional events and characters could easily become too cute and cozy, particularly when Penrose is introduced as the inspiration for Tey's literary detective Gant. Upson manages to instead make the characters, both those she borrowed from Mackintosh and those she invented herself, come to life. Even though the series has the potential to be a cozy romance, Tey and Penrose are attracted to each other, there is a significant group of recurring characters the two novels of the series so far do not venture into this realm at all. The series is rather dark, touching on serious themes of an 'adult' nature. This one deals with brother/sister incest, child molestation and homosexuality - definitely not 'cozy' material. The plot is full of intriguing twists and turns that will keep the reader eagerly turning pages until all is revealed.
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