The Singing Sands

The Singing Sands

The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Published posthumously, I’d like to think that Ms Tey would have revised this novel if she had lived.

Because there is a lot to be admired about this story in which a burnt out (Nervous breakdown? PTSD?) Inspector Grant goes on sick leave. Grant’s mental struggles are sympathetically described and this part of the novel works really well – as is the description of the death of a young man in a train’s department and Grant being on hand for the body’s discovery.

As beautifully written as some of the narrative was, the Scottish part of the story rambled a bit for me,although some of it was very witty.

Wee Archie was wielding a shepherd’s crook that, as Tommy remarked later, no shepherd would be found dead with, and he was wearing a kilt that no Highlander would dream of being found alive in.

The story really picked up with the arrival of (view spoiler)[ Tad Cullen (hide spoiler)] and it becomes nearer to a true detective story. Unfortunately there is also a (view spoiler)[written confession (hide spoiler)] which I think takes a little away from some of the detective work.

So this one is a flawed gem. Certainly far better than some of her early work like The Man in the Queue, but not up to her best efforts The Daughter of Time / Brat Farrar

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