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Publisher's Summary

Marion Sharpe and her mother seem an unlikely duo to be found on the wrong side of the law. Quiet and ordinary, they have led a peaceful and unremarkable life at their country home, The Franchise. Unremarkable that is, until the police turn up with a demure young woman on their doorstep.
Not only does Betty Kane accuse them of kidnap and abuse, she can back up her claim with a detailed description of the attic room in which she was kept, right down to the crack in its round window. But there’s something about Betty Kane’s story that doesn’t quite add up.
Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is stumped. It takes Robert Blair, solicitor turned amateur detective, to solve the mystery...
©1948 Josephine Tey (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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By Isia on 12-14-12

Beautifully written, engaging story

I loved this book, a real English countryside detective novel. It is sensitively written and subtle, with events slowly but surely overtaking the main characters. I don't want to give away the story, but if you enjoy Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, or the other detective novels written in the same era, you will love this one. I will definitely explore this author further.
This book was beautifully read. Every character was distinct, and I never felt muddled as to who is speaking. There is a world of difference between performances and this one for me was top shelf - you are able to forget the speaker completely and immerse yourself in the story.

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful


By Janice on 10-05-17

No way out

I have only recently discovered Josephine Tey, and so far, 2 out of 2 are real winners. The Franchise Affair is not a thriller, nor is the crime a desperate or violent one. Yet the accusations made by Betty Kane against the Sharp women are serious enough to genuinely wreck their lives, whether proven true or false. Who is lying and who is telling the truth?Without having to paint the canvas in adrenaline, Tey builds tension as she reveals the true character of her characters. She is a master with words as she constructs a mystery to care about and to hope for justice to prevail. Carol Boyd’s reading is flawless, making this an excellent audible experience.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By Jane on 06-17-11

A great reading

This is one of my favourite books from a favourite author. Carole Boyd is a great narrator. Please, please can we have more Josephine Tey, especially the Inspector Alan Grant stories.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Knucklebones on 07-23-11

Well-paced and intriguing

A well-constructed tale of how a solicitor is drawn unwillingly into disproving the allegations made against two women, and of how his life is jogged out of its complacency as a result. Some may find this story, set in an English market town in the late 1940's, too simple and unhurried, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Josephine Tey is a wonderful writer, bringing beautifully-observed detail and subtle wit to this intriguing story. And Carole Boyd is the perfect choice as narrator, with a well-paced and acerbic delivery that brings the characters to life. A wonderful gentle listen, and definitely one to play again.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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By oceanjasper on 05-05-17

An intriguing story beautifully narrated.

The Franchise Affair is my first experience with Josephine Tey and it won't be the last. The story has an intriguing set up and I couldn't predict where it was going. It turns out to be more of a howdunit rather than a whodunit.The prose is elegant, a pleasure enhanced by Carole Boyd's superb narration. Her expressive yet measured tones are perfectly suited to the material and help to recreate the bygone world of English village life.

Some of the characters' attitudes would be objectionable today, but this book is a product of its time and should be appreciated as such. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this beautifully written tale of mystery and suspense.

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