A REAL mystery

Ok, this is something I have been looking for for ages, Josephine Tey´s "The Daughter of Time". It´s an old novel that was first published in Great Britain in 1951, this swedish translation came 1959. It was at the library the whole time, can not think why I didn´t find it. The swedish title is very different from the english original ("An old scandal"), this might have had something to do with it.

It´s a detective story of sorts: inspector Grant from Scotland Yard is convalescing at the hospital after having broken his back trying to heroically catch a bad guy, and he is bored at his wit´s end when one of his friends bring him a stack of portraits - the inspector is most of all interested in faces and making character assessments from them. Not sure that theme would really work today... Anyway, he becomes fascinated with old king Richard III, who is credited with the murder of his two young nephews, as dramatized by Shakespeare and others. But Grant thinks this is not the face of a crook, and with the help of a young historian researcher, he starts to investigate the case.

It´s all really exciting, a pretty well dramatized "real story". And it´s nice to see Richard vindicated, he is one of those shakespearian anti-heroes that one kind of sympathise with, a bit like one does with Brontë´s Heathcliff. Turns out, the real Richard was young, popular and didn´t even have a hump or a withered arm! And was happily married. And guess who the real villain is? I´m not giving it away...

As a modern reader, I do find inspector Grant a bit stuffy, old-fashioned, and prejudiced, but when one picks up an older novel like this, it is to be expected. I´ll still recommend it to anyone who likes an puzzle, or political history. Or Shakespeare´s plays.

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