Sorry for the Dead

by Nicola Upson
Sorry for the Dead
by Nicola Upson

The settings for the Josephine Tey mysteries are as much a draw to me as the characters - past books have featured Portmeirion, Suffolk, Cambridge and this time the action occurs at Charleston Farmhouse, Sussex. One of my favourite places!

The story takes place in two time periods. Josephine is lodging at the farmhouse with two teachers in the summer of 1915. The place is being run as an alternative school project. There are links to the Bloomsbury set, who subsequently made the farmhouse their home, but this is on the periphery.

We move on to 1939 when Josephine is at the height of her fame but threatened with a potential scandal. A newspaper article associates her with the death of a girl at the farmhouse, so she is eager to find out the truth.

The novel is hugely atmospheric and I felt completely immersed in the story. The characters are engaging and believable, the dialogue is natural and extensive, the plot is compelling. And as we near the conclusion, there are twists and turns which wrongfoot me on each occasion.

It's a beautiful book, not least because of the glorious artwork of the cover!

Review date: November 2019