Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Man in the Queue

The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant #1) Josephine Tey. 1929. 255 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: IT was between seven and eight o'clock on a March evening, and all over London the bars were being drawn back from pit and gallery doors. Bang, thud, and clank. Grim sounds to preface an evening's amusement.

Premise/plot: Some murder mysteries make you wait for the murder to occur. That is not the case with Josephine Tey's The Man in the Queue. In the first chapter, the body is discovered. As the line--the queue--moves forward, a man collapses to the ground: he's dead. He was murdered--stabbed--while in line. Inspector Grant faces days of frustration before a few clues come to light. How could a man be murdered in public--with dozens of possible witnesses--and no one notice a thing?!

This mystery introduces the detective Inspector Alan Grant.

My thoughts: The Man in the Queue was the very first mystery novel I ever read. I enjoyed it well enough to become enthusiastic about a new-to-me genre. I have since read all the Inspector Grant books in the series. The Daughter of Time is my favorite and best. Not just my favorite and best Grant novel, but my favorite mystery of all time. (Those that have read it may question the appeal since this mystery takes place while Grant is in the hospital, and the mystery is centuries old. But I stand by my choice.) I would recommend The Man in the Queue.

Favorite quotes:
"Are you hurt?" Grant asked.
"Only my ribs," said Struwwelpeter. "The abnormal excitation of the intercostal muscles has nearly broken them." He struggled to his feet.
"Well, that's twenty minutes wasted," said Grant, "but I had to satisfy myself." He followed the hobbling artist through the dark passage again.
"No time is wasted that earns such a wealth of gratitude as I feel for you," said Struwwelpeter. "I was in the depths when you arrived. I can never paint on Monday mornings. There should be no such thing. Monday mornings should be burnt out of the calendar with prussic acid. And you have made a Monday morning actually memorable! It is a great achievement. Sometime when you are not too busy breaking the law, come back, and I'll paint your portrait. You have a charming head."
A thought occurred to Grant. "I suppose you couldn't draw Sorrell from memory?"
His heart did not jump—that would be doing him an injustice; C.I.D. hearts are guaranteed not to jump, tremble, or otherwise misbehave even when the owner is looking down the uncompromising opening of a gun-barrel—but it certainly was guilty of unauthorized movement. It may have been resentment at his own weakness in being taken aback by a photograph, but Grant's eyes were very hard as he looked at the smiling face—that famous, indeterminate smile. And though his mouth may have curved, he was not smiling as he read the many captions: "Miss Ray Marcable, a studio photograph"; "Miss Marcable as Dodo in Didn't You Know?"; "Miss Marcable in the Row"; and lastly, occupying half the centre page, "Miss Marcable departs from Waterloo en route for Southampton"; and there was Ray, one dainty foot on the step of the Pullman, and her arms full of flowers.
 "Well, Inspector," he said, "how are you getting on? Do you know, you and dentists must be the most unhappy people in the world. No one sees you without remembering unpleasant things."
"Tut, tut, Grant, you've been at the Yard for I don't know how many years, and you're looking at this late stage for reasonable murders. 
© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Carol 5:02 PM  

I LOVE Josephine Tey's books and Inspector Grant is so much more human than many of the other detectives in books. I jumped in at the middle with her books so I really want to go back & read the book above and A Shilling for Candles. I have her last (I think??) Insp Grant book, To Love & Be Wise but i'm saving it until I read the earlier books I haven't got to so far. Thanks for the review.

Joy Weese Moll 5:49 PM  

This looks fun -- I haven't read Josephine Tey before.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP