The 1903 execution of two women convicted for murdering babies, the inspiration for Josephine Tey's novel-in-progress, has serious repercussions more than three decades later in Upson's excellent third mystery featuring the author of The Daughter of Time (after 2010's Angel with Two Faces). Tey's former teacher, Celia Bannerman, who was the warder for one of the condemned women, aids Tey in her researches in London. Investigation of a seamstress's sadistic murder, which Tey fears may be a result of her own digging into the past, falls on Det. Insp. Archie Penrose, Tey's close confidante, whose relationship with the writer is complicated by her ambivalence toward another love interest. About three-quarters into the book, 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. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/20/2011 Release date: 08/01/2011 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.