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Book Details

The Franchise Affair

50% complete
1 time
24 chapters
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 Inspector Alan Grant*
#3 of 6
Inspector Alan Grant*   See series as if on a bookshelf
A series of stories written by Josephine Tey.

1) The Man in the Queue
2) A Shilling for Candles
3) The Franchise Affair
4) To Love and Be Wise
5) Daughter of Time
6) The Singing Sands
It was four o'clock of a spring evening; and Robert Blair was thinking of going home.
May contain spoilers
"Oh, Robert, my dear," she said, "you can't imagine how revolting you are when you look smug!"
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Extract (may contain spoilers)
He was conscious of the feeling you get near the end of a dream, when waking is just round the corner, that none of the inconsequence really matters because presently you'll be back in the real world.

This was misleading because the real world came through the door with the return of Inspector Grant. Grant came in first, so that he was in a position to see the expressions on all the faces concerned, and held the door open for a police matron and a girl.

Marion Sharpe stood up slowly, as if the better to face anything that might be coming to her, but her mother remained seated on the sofa as one giving an audience, her Victorian back as flat as it had been as a young girl, her hands lying composedly in her lap. Even her wild hair could not detract from the impression that she was mistress of the situation.

The girl was wearing her school coat, and childish low-heeled clumpish black school shoes; and consequently looked younger than Blair had anticipated. She was not very tall, and certainly not pretty. But she had - what was the word? - appeal. Her eyes, a darkish blue, were set wide apart in a face of the type popularly referred to as heart-shaped. Her hair was mouse–coloured, but grew off her forehead in a good line. Below each cheek-bone a slight hollow, a miracle of delicate modelling, gave the face charm and pathos. Her lower lip was full, but the mouth was too small. So were her ears. Too small and too close to her head.

An ordinary sort of girl, after all. Not the sort you would notice in a crowd. Not at all the type to be the heroine of a sensation. Robert wondered what she would look like in other clothes.

The girl's glance rested first on the old woman, and then went on to Marion. The glance held neither surprise nor triumph, and not much interest.


Added: 14-Jun-2015
Last Updated: 31-Oct-2019


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Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jan-2016
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United States

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.
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Josephine Tey  
Birth: 25 Jul 1896 Inverness, Scotland, UK
Death: 13 Feb 1952 London, England, UK

Josephine Tey is the pseudonym that Elizabeth Mackintosh used in writing her fictional prose.  She was born in 1896 in Inverness, Scotland and died  in 1952 in London, England.  Her parents were Colin and Josephine Horne  Mackintosh.  She had two sisters who both married while she, herself,  never did.  Little is known of her personal life.  She was raised in  Inverness where she attended Anstey Physical Training College in  Birmingham and earned a living as a physical training instructor.  When  she quit work to care for her father, she began writing.  Her first  mystery novel was published in 1929 and her first play, Richard of  Bordeaux was published 1932.

She used the psuedonym Gordon Daviot when writing her plays, of which she  produced around twelve full length and about as many one-acts plays.  Only  four were given productions while she was still alive.  She also three  non-mystery novels, and a biography. 

She was a recluse and had no close friends and she never gave interviews.   She died soon after the publication of The Daughter of Time which  is considered her best work.


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  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI. There aren't a lot since this is an iffy way to do it - AI seems to make stuff up.
  • When specific publication dates are unknown (ie prefixed with a "Cir"), I try to get the publication date that is closest to the specific printing that I can.
  • When listing chapters, I only list chapters relevant to the story. I will usually leave off Author Notes, Indices, Acknowledgements, etc unless they are relevant to the story or the book is non-fiction.
  • Page numbers on this site are for the end of the main story. I normally do not include appendices, extra material, and other miscellaneous stuff at the end of the book in the page count.

See my goodreads icon goodreads page. I almost never do reviews, but I use this site to catalogue books.
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Presented: 26-May-2024 11:16:29

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