A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey

A Shilling for Candles (Inspector Alan Grant, #2)

Well, this one kept me guessing until the end!

Josephine Tey is so good at what she does. I wish she had written twenty books!

Christine Clay, a popular actress, was well liked by everyone. Her fame was not so significant to her that she forgot to be kind, even to strangers. It is not going to be easy for Inspector Alan Grant to find a motive or the person behind her untimely death.

I had really pinned this one on her brother, who is wanted in several countries for fraud and other crimes, but then I changed my mind and decided it was obviously her husband. Reading further on, I thought, hmm, maybe not… maybe it was one of her fellow actresses? Without giving too much away, I was wrong all three times.

In between deciding with the author who had motive and opportunity, the reader is introduced to some delightful characters. Erica, the enterprising and not-easily-intimidated daughter of a constable, engaged my heart. Not too ‘uppity’ or prevented by her position to give help and practical aid (food!) to someone she is convinced to be innocent, Erica is an admirable young woman!

“Are you hungry?”

“Is that just an academic question, or – are you offering me food?”

Erica reached into the back of the car and produced half a dozen rolls, a glass of tongue, half a pound of butter, and four tomatoes…She split a roll with a penknife produced from her pocket and began to butter it.

Presently he said, “I suppose you know that all this is very wrong.”

“Why is it wrong?”

“For one thing, you’re aiding an escaped criminal, which is wrong in itself, and doubly wrong in your father’s daughter. And for another – and this is much worse – if I were what they think me, you’d be in the gravest danger at this minute. You shouldn’t do things like that, you know.”

And there is Robert Tisdall, who conveniently disappears when poor Inspector Grant is ready to arrest him. Robert who had so irresponsibly come to the end of his fortune and who had been ‘rescued’ by Christine Clay, tugs at the reader’s heart (as he is meant to.)

Good is good, and evil openly evil, in this book, but the reader must not be too naive and has to learn to examine and discern which is which.

Tey’s clever characterization and plot twists kept me going and I read and enjoyed this mystery.

4.5 stars!

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About Theresa

I live in an old farmhouse in upstate New York (no, *not* the big city!) in the country with my family, two dogs, two calves, and two horses. I love to cross stitch, quilt, read, and look at needlework blogs :) and I love coffee *and* tea!
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