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Two for Sorrow: A New Mystery Featuring Josephine Tey (Josephine Tey Mysteries) Paperback – August 9, 2011


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Two for Sorrow: A New Mystery Featuring Josephine Tey (Josephine Tey Mysteries) + Angel with Two Faces: A Mystery Featuring Josephine Tey (Josephine Tey Mysteries) + Fear in the Sunlight
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Product Details

  • Series: Josephine Tey Mysteries
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Edition edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061451584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061451584
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This excellent entry in this highly recommended series provides all the classic detective components with a contemporary kick. The case is intricate and surprisingly intimate, weaving in and out of two historical periods and featuring that Upstairs Downstairs class element.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“Excellent. . . . Upson upsets readers’ expectations with a surprise that keeps the suspense high to the satisfying conclusion. Puzzle fans as well as admirers of psychologically rich crime authors such as Ruth Rendell will find a lot to savor.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Upson illustrates the ripple effects of misdeeds here and her smoothly flowing dialogue and deftly handled plot mark this worthy addition to the series.” (Booklist)

From the Back Cover

They were the most horrific crimes of a new century: the murders of newborn innocents for which two British women were hanged at Holloway Prison in1903. Decades later, mystery writer Josephine Tey has decided to write a novel based on Amelia Sach and Annie Walters, the notorious “Finchley baby farmers,” unaware that her research will entangle her in the desperate hunt for a modern-day killer.

A young seamstress—an ex-convict determined to reform—has been found brutally slain in the studio of Tey’s friends, the Motley sisters, amid preparations for a star-studded charity gala. Despite initial appearances, Inspector Archie Penrose is not convinced this murder is the result of a long-standing domestic feud—and a horrific accident involving a second young woman soon after supports his convictions. Now he and his friend Josephine must unmask a sadistic killer before more blood flows—as the repercussions of unthinkable crimes of the past reach out to destroy those left behind long after justice has been served.


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

This book deals with a great many issues that were significant at the time (and remain significant.
Sires
Too many confusing allusions to a previous story that made this one a little too wobbly to stand alone.
JJBBone
Also, if you are going understand some of what is going on here, start the series with the first book.
mellu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sires on November 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I downloaded this book from Audible during one of their recent sales. I had no previous experience with either the author or the narrator. Davina Porter does a good job. Her voice is a bit mature, but the historical inflections (Edwardian and 1930's) are quite good. It was a pleasure to listen to her read this book. A good narrator adds a whole new dimension to a story.

On to the book. This book deals with a great many issues that were significant at the time (and remain significant.

It opens with a scene in a women's prison where a prisoner is being prepared to go to her death. The viewpoint is that of a female prison warden. The prisoner is an actual historical figure, the operator of a lying-in house where women could go to give birth. She was convicted of being an accomplice in the death of at least one child left in her hands by desperate mothers. She leaves behind a daughter of her own in the care of her husband, who was not considered a party to her crimes although they lived in the same house. This scene (in the book)was written by Miss Tey, based on information provided to her by a former school mistress.

The plot is too complicated to go into more detail. However it deals with betrayal, familial love, death penalty and its unintended consequences, poverty, careers for women and social history. There's also some entertaining gossip about historical figures of the theatre.

It's important to remember that after World War I there were changes in English society. The death or disability of a good portion of a whole generation of young men left women with new responsibilities and opportunity. Sexual relationships were both more open and more divergent from the stated norm.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. Greer on August 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
One of my jobs as an inclusion teacher is to go into the language arts classroom to help my students. Since a lot of my students have trouble with reading, I spend a lot of time in there. One of the things I've learned is how a story should be written. The graph of the storyline should look something like a hill. The story goes up the hill, reaches a climax, and then goes down the hill.

I have never read a book that illustrates this so well as Two for Sorrow: A New Mystery Featuring Josephine Tey by Nicola Upson. The story starts slowly. It sets the tone and develops the characters. The main character is Josephine Tey. She is writing a fictionalized account of two women, Amelia Sach and Annie Walters, who in 1903 were hanged for murdering babies. In order to write her novel, she interviews people who knew the women and who were at the hanging.

Just when you are lulled into thinking that it's going to be a lovely little mystery having to do with the history of the women, you are jolted with the gruesome murder of a seamstress who may have ties to the women. And from that point on the story picks up speed rapidly. I could not put it down. It was full of surprises. There was actually one part where my mouth dropped open, I had no clue what was coming next.

This is a perfect blend of good old fashioned mystery, with enough gruesomeness for those that like that sort of thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laurie A. Kelley on May 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read the first two Josephine Tey Mysteries I was very much looking forward to reading Two for Sorrow. I found the book to be disappointing from several aspects. First, this was not a "Josephine Tey Mystery"...it was an Archie Penrose Mystery. Miss Tey had no involvement in the murders or the investigation other than to be a sounding board for Inspector Penrose after his questioning of a suspect or witness. The aspect of the story involving baby farming, and the lives it destroyed was fascinating but in reality a (SPOILER ALERT) red herring. I identified the murderer (and the why as to the murders) soon as their involvement in the story were mentioned. The murders were almost cursory to the plots of the baby farming and...I hate to even mention it, because it was the worst part of the book for me because it actually diverted you from the supposed purpose of the book...the mystery...Miss Tey's personal quandary! I fear that this book is a precursor of what is to come...and if I wished to know more about Miss Tey's sexual escapades I would read her biography. I am actually saddened that this author has taken the life of such a talented writer and private person and opened it up what can only be speculation on their part.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Warnock on November 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
In "Two for Sorrow", the real-life mystery writer Josephine Tey (nee Elizabeth Mackintosh) travels from her home in Scotland in 1936 to the Cowdray Club in London and quickly becomes wrapped up in a congruence of lies, secrets, and long-held plots of revenge. She is there to work on her latest novel; an account of two women hanged at Holloway Prison in 1903 for the crime of "baby farming". While investigating the details of their lives and crimes, there are two more murders. At the outset these latest deaths don't appear to be related to the past or to each other. Soon, however, soon she finds that they are closely intertwined. It seems as though everything and everyone else is, as well.

Although Josephine is a writer of mysteries and, in the book, is a close friend of Detective Inspector Archie Penrose who investigates the murders, she does little sleuthing herself and seems almost unaffected by all the turmoil the subject of her book has caused. She is merely there to take notes which seems odd for a writer so closely associated with writing mysteries in real life. It would appear as though everyone at the Cowdray Club has some sort of tie to Holloway and to each other - this many coincidences is distracting and, to some extent, unbelievable. The Motley sisters, cousins to Archie, work on costumes for a nearby theater, which has put on productions of Josephine's plays and they are involved in a charity event at, where else, the Cowdray Club. The Club is associated with a Nursing School and the administrator there (and manager of the Club) was once a teacher. And one of her students? Josephine. Perhaps if all this interconnectedness (and many more instances) weren't so pervasive the story would be much more engaging. Having said that, there are a few of characters that are well drawn.
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