#FridayReads 2021-01-08 ‘The Man In The Brown Suit’ and ‘The Man In The Queue’

This week, I’m going back to England as it was in the 1920s and putting myself in the hands of two of the best writers of Golden Age Mysteries.

With Agatha Christie’s 1924 ‘The Man In The Brown Suit’, I’m hoping to get an exciting adventure that’s more thriller than murder mystery. With Josephine Tey’s 1929 ‘The Man In The Queue’, I’m curious to meet Inspector Alan Grant on his first outing.

‘The Man In The Brown Suit’ by Agatha Christie (1924)

I’m reading ‘The Man In The Brown Suit’ as this month’s book for the Agatha Christie Centenary Celebration group on GoodReads.

This is new territory for me, I’d never heard of the Colonel Race books. Still, I’d never heard of the Tommy and Tuppence books either and yet I really enjoyed ‘The Secret Adversary’. I’m hoping that this book will have the same kind of energy as the Tommy and Tuppence books.

I like the idea of Agatha Christie writing thrillers with young women her own age, more or less (she was thirty-four when this was published), getting involved in outlandish intrigues and surviving through pluck, luck and brains.

I’ve picked a new audiobook for ‘The Man In The Brown Suit’ which is part the ‘Alison Larkin Presents’ set of audiobooks.

‘The Man In The Queue’ by Josephine Tey (1929)

Josephine Tey is often described as ‘a very private person’. From what I’ve read, she seems quite an outgoing person, just not someone who would today choose to document her life on TikTok. Her real name was Elizabeth Macintosh. She wrote her novels (six Alan Grant mysteries and four stand alone mysteries) under the name Josephine Tey and her plays and screenplays (she had hits at the West End and wrote scripts for Hollywood movies) under the name Gordon Daviot. The best short biography I’ve found is THIS ONE in ‘The Scots Magazine’

Over the past two years, I’ve read two of her stand alone mysteries ‘Brat Farar’ and ‘Miss Pym Disposes’ and revisited the fifth Alan Grant mystery, ‘The Daughter Of Time’ which I first read at school. I’m hooked now and want to read all of her books. Knowing this, my wife bought me ‘The Man In The Queue’ for Christmas. It was the first Josephine Tey book and it introduced Inspector Alan Grant. She didn’t return to him until seven years later, when she wrote ‘A Shilling For The Candles’ (which Hitchcock made into ‘Young And Innocent’ in 1937).

I’m hoping this will be a good Golden Age Mystery read and I’m looking forward to seeing what Josephine Tey’s writing was like in her first novel.

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