The Man in the Que is the first of the author's novels starring Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant. The stabbing murder in the midst of a London crowd sends Inspector Grant on a far-flung investigation. (Description edited from the description on the back cover of the paperback edition of The Man in the Que.)
This is the first Josephine Tey novel I've read, and I really enjoyed it. It reads something like a cozy mystery, even though it really isn't, since much of the action takes place out-of-doors. In many ways, this novel, and I'm only going by this first Josephine Tey novel, is like those of Ngaio Marsh. Heretical as it might seem, I think that Josephine Tey is the more interesting of the two writers, again going just by the one novel I've read of hers. Inspector Alan Grant seems a more thoughtful, insightful, and multidimensional character than Inspector Roderick Alleyn, and the same could be said of the other characters in The Man in the Que and the story itself.
Now for the negatives, and one might ask how could there be negatives when I've heaped so much praise on it and given it a five-star rating. The negatives, or to be more charitable, quibbles, to which I refer have nothing to do with the book, itself, but with this particular edition. BeeGee Publishing House, in Nuremberg, Germany, is the publisher, and the title verso shows a copyright date of 2015. Right above that, the title verso also shows it was copyrighted in 2015 by Josephine Tey, Now, Josephine Tey died in 1952, so it's more likely that the estate of Josephine Tey owns the copyright, or to be more precise, the National Trust for England. It seems like BeeGee Publishing should have noted that the book originally was published in 1929 and probably renewed several times. In addition, and perhaps more irritating, the print is annoyingly small.
A bit disappointing ending. The book starts interestingly enough with <*SPOILERS AHEAD*> murder taking place in a queue. There are a number of promising red herrings. However the end is a bit of a damp squib. I've noticed this problem with some of Tey's mysteries. Most of them start off with a novel situation, but some of them end lamely. Almost as if having written half the novel, the writer doesn't quite know how to end it, or is too impatient to end it on a high note. Maybe that is Tey's intent at times. After all life doesn't always end on a high note all the time.
This is Tey's first novel in the Inspector Alan Grant Series. It is beautifully written with well developed characters. The novel is witty and clever as are other Tey novels.
oldie but goodie
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