Review of ‘Two For Sorrow’ by Nicola Upson

‘Two For Sorrow’ by Nicola Upson is an immersive and beautifully written Josephine Tey mystery, set in 1930s London. Josephine is back in London researching her next book on the baby farmers of the early part of the century. Amelia Sachs and Annie Walters were executed for their crimes, but Miss Tey is more interested in the aftermath of their crimes. How others were also affected. While staying at her club in town, Josephine is drawn into a case investigated by her friend Detective Inspector Archie Penrose. Danger lurks all around and the pair must find the killer before it is too late.

There’s a depth to the story that you don’t see coming, and I must admit it took my breath away. The author weaves a story of personal tragedy, with a wider stain on society. And the years have not wiped away that stain. 

London of that era was so perfectly described, as Josephine meets with her London theatre friends and mixes with high society. There’s plenty of name dropping- which is an absolute delight. We saw the lives of women of different classes and the choices they had to make. And we also saw the consequences of those decisions.

Nicola Upson cleverly ties in the tiny threads of her story and brings it all together with such skill. 

I was left profoundly moved by the stories within ‘Two For Sorrow’. It’s a stunningly well written and researched story and would make a wonderful film/tv adaptation.

I was given this ARC for review.

My Best Books of 2021!

This year has been another difficult one, but authors have stepped up and given us some amazing stories. I struggled to whittle my favourite books of the year down to a reasonable number. There was no way I could stop at a Top Ten, but I managed a Top Fifteen. These are the books that made my year, and I highly recommend each and every one. Here they are, listed in no particular order:

  1. The Tell Tale by Clare Ashton

2. A Corruption of Blood by Ambrose Parry

3. The Island Between Us by Wendy Hudson 

4. The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan 

5. Ignis by KJ

6. The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

7. Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily R Austin

8. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

9. The End Of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird

10. Her Last Request by Mari Hannah

11. The Dead Of Winter by Nicola Upson

12. Song Of Serenity by Brey Willows

13.The Appeal by Janice Hallett

14. Katharine Parr, The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir

15. Shiver by Allie Reynolds

Review of ‘The Dead Of Winter’ by Nicola Upson

‘The Dead Of Winter’ by Nicola Upson is a Josephine Tey mystery, set at Christmas 1938, when the threat of war is again looming over Europe. Josephine has been invited to Cornwall for the holiday, along with Marta and Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose. Their base is the  beautifully picturesque St Michael’s Mount. Excitement abounds as a famous film star will be there too. When death occurs it is up to Archie to investigate as the group are cut off from the mainland. Can he uncover the truth before anyone else dies? 

This story is reminiscent of a Golden Age country house mystery and it works. Combining real characters and events with a cracking plot adds a certain frisson and kept me intrigued throughout. The individuals stuck on the island are a strange bunch, all with secrets of their own. Some more serious than others. The author build the tension perfectly, and not just regarding the murder. You know that revelations will happen and there will be repercussions, but how she chooses to do it is so skilful. I loved the real characters in the novel and the real setting. Josephine Tey maybe the starting point for the mysteries, but she is not a dominant character. She plays her part, but it is Archie Penrose who takes the lead here. The strength of the story is getting to know the various characters and the setting. Building it up. It tugged at my emotions and surprised me. A great story.

I was given this ARC for review.

Some Great New Books To Read

Coming February 2022
Nicola Upson’s Josephine Tey mysteries

I received some very welcome mail this week, in the form of new paperbacks to review. I must thank Faber Books for the opportunity to read these new books from two great authors- Tove Alsterdal and Nicola Upson.

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