To Love and Be Wise

To Love and Be Wise

Book - 1950
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Literary sherry parties were not Alan Grant's cup of tea. But when the Scotland Yard Inspector arrived to pick up actress Marta Hallard for dinner, he was struck by the handsome young American photographer, Leslie Searle. Author Lavinia Fitch was sure her guest "must have been something very wicked in ancient Greece," and the art colony at Salcott St. Mary would have agreed. Yet Grant heard nothing more of Searle until the news of his disappearance. Had Searle drowned by accident or could he have been murdered by one of his young women admirers? Was it a possible case of suicide or had the photographer simply vanished for reasons of his own?
Publisher: London, P. Davies, 1950
ISBN: 9780432165096
Characteristics: 255 p


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EuSei Aug 23, 2015

This is the fourth Alan Grant book by Josephine Tey. The Grant series is composed by: The Man in the Queue (as Gordon Daviot); A Shilling for Candles (which VERY lightly inspired Hitchcock's Young and Innocent); To Love and Be Wise; and The Daughter of Time; The Singing Sands. Despite its title, this is not a romance, but mystery novel. Miss Tey is an incredible writer and her books are a joy to read. Also, her sense of humor is captivating. I love Agatha Christie, but Tey has a quality in her writing few authors have. Her descriptions are not tiresome; on the contrary, I enjoy them. I detected the key to the mystery from the beginning, even if I didn't get it completely correct; yet, I still enjoyed reading it very much. I was momentarily disappointed that Grant makes a very quick appearance at the beginning, than only returns in chapter eight. But the story and characters are so well developed and woven, I actually forgot about him. Caveat: if you like filthy language, lots of sex, mental disorder and disturbing characters, you might like to pick another book. And the absence of these is another reason why I so much enjoy Tey’s books. I guess I am old fashioned… There is one paragraph in which Tey defines my idea of the characters of authors who write filth: “One of the most famous alienists in the country had once said to [Grant] that to write a book was to give oneself away. […] There was unconscious betrayal in every line, said the alienist.” They revel in filth, it is part of their inner selves, therefore they write it! But, still, you might like to give Tey a chance, even if you are not old fashioned: you might be surprised. Positively.

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