Joanne’s Mystery Picks

71kfsvthyrlTHE DAUGHTER OF TIME by Josephine Tey

When the remains of Richard III were found in a city council car park (once the site of Greyfriars Priory Church) in Leicester, England in 2012, a whole new conversation was started about the “Princes in the Tower”.  For years Richard III was considered to be the instigator of the deaths of his nephews Edward and Richard of Shrewsbury.  However, time has painted Richard in a much more favorable light, leaving many doubting his culpability in their deaths.

Tey tackles this very subject in The Daughter of Time, published in 1951.  When Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is in pursuit of a known criminal, he falls through a trap door, breaking his leg.  While convalescing in hospital he is given a portrait of Richard III in amongst his reading material.  The portrait strikes him as anything but the malevolent murderer that history would have us believe Richard to be, so Grant decides to investigate the disappearance and murders of the two Princes.

With the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, Grant amasses a wealth of information about the people surrounding Richard III right up until his death in 1485 at Bosworth Field.  He presents a compelling tale of deceit, collusion, and murder by many of those sworn to support their King.

Tey’s novel, in my opinion, is one of the most brilliant mysteries ever written.  It is a work of sheer genius – from its clever plot to its beautiful writing.  It’s a book worth reading over and over again (which I’ve done many times).

Richard III’s remains were buried in Leicester Cathedral on March 26, 2015.  May he rest in peace.

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