The Franchise Affair

The Franchise Affair

Book - 1998
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Robert Blair was about to knock off from a slow day at his law firm when the phone rang. It was Marion Sharpe on the line, a local woman of quiet disposition who lived with her mother at their decrepit country house, The Franchise. It appeared that she was in some serious trouble: Miss Sharpe and her mother were accused of brutally kidnapping a demure young woman named Betty Kane. Miss Kane's claims seemed highly unlikely, even to Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, until she described her prison -- the attic room with its cracked window, the kitchen, and the old trunks -- which sounded remarkably like The Franchise. Yet Marion Sharpe claimed the Kane girl had never been there, let alone been held captive for an entire month! Not believing Betty Kane's story, Solicitor Blair takes up the case and, in a dazzling feat of amateur detective work, solves the unbelievable mystery that stumped even Inspector Grant.
Publisher: New York : Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1998
Edition: 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction ed
ISBN: 9780684842561
0684842564
Branch Call Number: TEY J
PR6025.A2547 F7 1998
Characteristics: 299 p. ; 21 cm

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c
Catwriter
Jul 26, 2016

One of my favourite authors!
Inspector Grant, also featured in Tey's other mystery novels, and local solicitor Robert Blair work together to determine if Mrs Sharpe and her daughter Marion have kidnapped local girl Betty. We believe their innocence then maybe we don't. There are uncertainties.
But it's not just about the story line. It's the amazing writing, the character development, the use of language.
Unfortunately Josephine Tey (Elizabeth MacKintosh) left us with just 5 mystery novels. They are all wonderful literary works to savour repeatedly.

EuSei May 13, 2015

I enjoyed The Franchise Affair from the first to the last page; I was disappointed it ended! Very well written—unlike more modern books. In the middle of the book I was struck by the feeling that Miss Sharpe is Tey’s alter ego. No, not physically, exactly; just look at a picture of Tey and you will realize she would never live up to Marion’s mysterious beauty. Although Tey had a narrow face, just like her description of Marion’s, there the physical similarities ends. Yet, for some reason, I find Marion too much a “real human being” and wonder if Tey didn't transfer her personality to the character… Mrs. Sharpe was my favorite character, though. Her bluntness, straightforwardness reminds me a lot of someone I know quite well: myself! :-) Miss Tey's ideas on penal servitude (expressed through Robert's ruminations about lawyer Kevin McDermott's opinion) would most definitely not make her popular among the modern "learned" crowds... Anyway, this is an incredibly good, well written, well-thought book. Worth your time. I am looking forward to her other books.

readtoday Jul 31, 2014

Having discovered her books, and her writing style; cannot think of reading anyone else right now but Josephine Tey!

Great suggestion for Book Club members. Readtoday

a
alex59
Oct 08, 2013

Greatly enjoyed this book. Characters and storyline not dated but as relevant today as when it was written. Keeps the brain cells going till the end. Loved the characters. I highly recommend it.

Read_and_Write May 21, 2012

21 May 2012
Written 70 years ago - with characters that keep entertaining.
It's the language and flow that is without peer.

The antagonist is just fascinating.

Tell your friends.

p
Pinetree1
Oct 24, 2011

Tey is always wonderful and this is a great book!

a
afalgwenwyn
Mar 24, 2011

Awesome. As usual, Tey is absolutely brilliant. Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend :)

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EuSei May 13, 2015

Tomes have been written trying to define the criminal, but it is a very simple definition after all. The criminal is a person who makes the satisfaction of his own immediate personal wants the mainspring of his actions. You can’t cure him of his egotism, but you can make the indulgence of it not worth his while. Or almost not worth his while.

EuSei May 13, 2015

Kevin’s idea of prison reform, Robert remembered, was deportation to a penal colony. An island community where everyone worked hard. This was not a reform for the benefit of the prisoners.

EuSei May 13, 2015

Nowadays, it was the untried who bore the pillory and the guilty went immediately into a safe obscurity. Something had gone wrong somewhere.

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