Mystery or History

The BrownBaggers Book Group decided on this blog entry title while discussing Josephine Tey’s book, “The Daughter of Time.”   Now you would think that the group would fall in line with the Crime Writers’ Association (British) who in 1990 proclaimed Tey’s book the best mystery ever written, but no, this group has a mind of its own and walked out the door still wrestling with mystery/history thing.

While Scotland Yard detective Alan Grant is convalescing from a work related fall, he is introduced to a portrait of England’s King Richard III and the story of Richard’s murdered nephews.  He finds a willing research assistant in American Brent Carradine who has a lot to prove beyond Richard III .  We take a trip through time to study the primary documents that open this ancient crime to modern crime solvers.  This meant that lots of English monarchical names (Edwards and Henrys, etc) are thrown around, and even though there are family trees included, many of us were quite confused and wondered if a Brit could get through this book better than we.

So the mystery: did Richard kill his nephews.  The history: everything else.  Most of us did enjoy the book so do give it a try.  The author was a contemporary of Agatha Christie and writes well.  Her name was actually Elizabeth MacKintosh.  She used a couple of pen names through her writing career.  She died in 1952 not long after “Daughter of Time” was published in 1951.  We did think that we might want to read another of her books to see how close to true mystery she might get.

Oh, and about the title: according to Wikipedia it seems to come from a Sir Francis Bacon quote: “Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.”

Check out JMRL’s holdings of her books.  And a keyword search for Richard III will bring up enough books for you to solve this mystery on your own.  I particularly liked Philippa Gregory’s “The Red Queen,” a book about Richard’s mother.

~ The Reluctant Blogger

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