One of Tey’s finest novels, this suspenseful story centres on the mysterious death of a young man on a train, and the cryptic poem that gradually reveals the greed and envy behind his demise. Award-winning artist Mark Smith illustrates.
A Shilling for Candles
Illustrated by Mark Smith
Introduced by Laurie R. King
A thrilling classic of golden-age crime, in series with The Singing Sands, Miss Pym Disposes and The Daughter of Time.
When the body of a famous film actress is found beneath chalk cliffs on the south coast of England, it is initially thought to be a tragic suicide; the area is notorious for such incidents. However, it soon becomes clear that darker motives were afoot, and potential suspects in the death of Christine Clay stack up at a rapid pace. As the case grows murkier, the man who spent the last week of Clay’s life living with her in a remote cottage goes on the run, and Inspector Alan Grant must race to uncover the truth.
‘All around him hung the bright air, empty as yet of larks. In all the sunlit world no sound except for the screaming of some seagulls on a distant beach’
Bound in blocked buckram
Set in Dante with Station No. 5 display
Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations
9˝ x 5¾˝
Breaking the rules
In her introduction, American crime writer Laurie R. King discusses Tey’s willingness to break the rules of golden-age crime, her cheerful disregard of genre expectations and above all her exquisite prose, as sharp and as sly as a knife between the ribs. Nothing is to be taken for granted in Tey’s novels: her intricate plots are elevated beyond the simple whodunnit by a layer of psychological depth, and every character is capable of hiding secrets.
In A Shilling for Candles, Tey, a famously private person, turns a shrewd eye onto the destructive nature of celebrity. The author’s sympathy for the victim – hounded by the public even beyond death – is conveyed with her characteristic insight and wit. Noting the author’s double life as a playwright, King observes: ‘Tey’s novels are as concentrated as a play: slim in size, broad in emotion, and more thought-provoking than a sprawling epic.’
‘If this is your first time as a guest of Josephine Tey’s imagination, I guarantee it won’t be your last’
- Val McDermid
Produced in series with The Singing Sands, this edition features illustrations by Mark Smith, who won an award for his work on the previous volume. His spare, kinetic images capture both the period of the novel and the uneasy tension that runs through the story: a man sprints down a beach to a grisly discovery, while shadows linger menacingly in doorways.
About Josephine Tey
About Laurie R. King
Laurie R. King is an American detective fiction writer, best known for her detective fiction, in particular the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. She has won or been nominated for a number of prizes, including the First Novel Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger from Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association for her first novel A Grave Talent (1993), and the Nero Award for A Monstrous Regiment of Women (1996). Her books appear regularly on the best-seller lists and The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (1994) was named one of the 20th century’s best crime novels by America’s Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.
About Mark Smith
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