Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Daughter of Time

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
Touchstone, 1951
206 pages
Historical; Mystery
4/5 stars

Source: Bough

Summary: Everyone's heard of the Princes in the Tower and their murder by their cruel uncle Richard III as immortalized by the Bard.  However when Inspector Alan Grant is laid up in bed due to a broken leg, he begins to reinvestigate the case and makes for himself a surprising discovery.

Apparently this book helped spur reevaluations of Richard III's character and whether or not he could have committed the murders.  Personally I was swayed by the motivations of Henry VII as the driving force behind the murders as opposed to Richard.  Henry's claim to the throne was so shady and tenuous, something I was not aware of.

However I'm not entirely sure I'm convinced by the research methodology employed and what might have been left out of the story. I would prefer to read an actual historian's take on this mystery, preferably one for Richard as the murderer and one against.

Additionally I felt that the non-Richard parts were somewhat repetitive as Alan interacted with his nurses in a most impatient and somewhat condescending manner.  I always looked forward to the research parts but not the present-day information.  Plus Alan's abilities caused skepticism in me; he can tell the general good or badness of a person just by looking at the face, which prompts his investigation.  There has to be a more scientific explanation, right?

I am interested to read more of Tey's work as the book touts her as "one of the greatest mystery writers of all time."  A completely fictional novel is what I want to read from her.

Read for British Books Challenge


  1. I just love this time period! I also believe that Henry VII had something to do with the murders/disappearance of the Princes. Richard III did not really have a reason to dispatch them, whereas Henry did. Seems like a very interesting read.

  2. I haven't still made my mind up, but in the last book I read..well Henry, I do believe it might have been his side

  3. This book is on my shelf, waiting. Thanks for reminding me of it. I've been reading about this time period recently. I should pull this one off the shelf and open it!

  4. This must be an interesting read. A different version as well.


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