To Love and Be Wise (Inspector Alan Grant Series #4)

To Love and Be Wise (Inspector Alan Grant Series #4)

by Josephine Tey

Hardcover(Library Binding - Large Print Edition)

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A witty and sophisticated mystery featuring bestselling author Josephine Tey’s popular Inspector Alan Grant, a beloved character created by a woman considered to be one of the greatest mystery writers of all time.

Literary sherry parties were not Alan Grant's cup of tea. But when the Scotland Yard Inspector arrived to pick up actress Marta Hallard for dinner, he was struck by the handsome young American photographer, Leslie Searle. Author Lavinia Fitch was sure her guest "must have been something very wicked in ancient Greece," and the art colony at Salcott St. Mary would have agreed. Yet Grant heard nothing more of Searle until the news of his disappearance. Had Searle drowned by accident or could he have been murdered by one of his young women admirers? Was it a possible case of suicide or had the photographer simply vanished for reasons of his own?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780851193366
Publisher: Macmillan Library Reference
Publication date: 01/01/1985
Series: Inspector Alan Grant Series , #4
Edition description: Large Print Edition

About the Author

Josephine Tey began writing full-time after the successful publication of her first novel, The Man in the Queue (1929), which introduced Inspector Grant of Scotland Yard. She died in 1952, leaving her entire estate to the National Trust.

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To Love and Be Wise (DO NOT ORDER - UK Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
LaurieRKing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tey does things with her apparently simple plots that no one, but no one else can manage. A deliciously sly woman.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've recently been rereading the Josephine Tey mysteries. Sadly, there aren't many--only eight of them. One of the pleasures of reading To Love and Be Wise after almost all of the others was recognizing allusions to the prior novels, such as Jerry Lamont, a suspect in The Man in the Queue; Jammy Hopkins, the sensationalist journalist from A Shilling for Candles; and several characters that would get a mention in The Daughter of Time such as Benny Skoll, and novelists Lavinia Fitch and Silas Weekly.Lavinia Fitch actually has a prominent role in this novel, as she plays hostess to American photographer Leslie Searle. Inspector Alan Grant meets the "beautiful young man" briefly at a party. Weeks later he'll be investigating Searle's disappearance and possible murder. Lavinia says of Searle she's "sure that he was something very wicked in Ancient Greece" and her guest has an unsettling effect on all around him. Her Inspector Alan Grant has rather grown on me through the novels. He's no Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. He's not at all flashy or eccentric and his strong suit isn't brilliant deductions, but what his superior calls "flair." In other words, he's an intuitive detective--sometimes his gut doesn't match his head, and sometimes his gut and his prejudices lead him wrong. He's about the most fallible detective protagonist I've ever read. I love Tey's style--spare, lyrical and witty and her characters are delightfully individualized. Even though I don't think this is one of her best novels, it may be her best mystery. Tey tends not to care much about devising perfect little puzzle pieces. She certainly plays fair this time--the clues are all there, even if very quietly dropped in, and I do remember the twist as a surprise first time reading, which makes for a delicious denouement.
victorianist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Mackintosh (1896 or '97 - 1952) used two pseudonyms. She wrote about two dozen plays under the name of Gordon Daviot and her best known books were written under the name Josephine (for her mother) Tey (the surname of her English grandmother). It is in these novels we meet the famous Detective Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard. In To Love and Be Wise, Inspector Alan Grant introduces a charismatic, magnetic young American man by the name of Leslie Searle to famed author Lavinia Fitch at a literary party in London. Later on, Grant is called to Ms. Fitch's home in the artist colony of Salcott St. Mary to investigate Leslie Searle's disappearance. Tey writes mysteries for people like me who don't read mysteries. Her prose is smart and tight, the dialogue wonderfully believable and the characters populating her narratives are rich, vibrant and authentic. They are people you've known, or would like to know. Her main protagonist, Inspector Alan Grant has none of the eccentricities that plague many mystery detectives. He is fluid, honest, sagacious and unpretentious, not to mention totally charming. Josephine Tey's talent and skill lie in her brilliant storytelling and characterization. If you haven't yet read Josephine Tey's witty and sophisticated mysteries, you are in for a treat.
elwyne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love it, love Josephine Tey. Great mystery, great characters, great story.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
American photographer Leslie Searle has gone missing near an artist's colony called Salcott St. Mary. The local officials call in Scotland Yard to run the investigation. Inspector Grant is sent. Has the young man made a run for it? Did he accidentally fall into the river? Was he murdered? Was there some other explanation for his disappearance? Grant must puzzle out the case that reminds him of the lady who is sawed into two pieces in magic shows. We meet an interesting cast of characters. This book started out slowly for me since there was no disappearance until page 79. Once the investigation began, the tempo of the book picked up. I found Inspector Grant to be likeable.
GTTexas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Better than average mystery which I read to get a taste of Tey's mystery style.
BeckyJG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
DI Alan Grant meets unsettlingly handsome photographer Leslie Searle at a party celebrating the release of Miss Lavinia Fitch's latest bestselling dumb damsel in distress novel. Literary sherry parties, we're told, are not Grant's cup of tea, but he's there to pick up actress Marta Hallard for dinner. After helping the beautiful young man find Lavinia Fitch and introducing them, Grant and Marta make a break for it, and Grant thinks nothing more of Searle until he's called out to the country to investigate the photographer's disappearance.Between the party and DI Grant's arrival at Lavinia Fitch's country estate we are treated to a classic British weekend in the country. We meet the aliens--the artists who have taken up residence in sleepy Salcott St. Mary--and the locals, all of whom are deliciously eccentric or cranky, quirky or curmudgeonly, and all of whom are both drawn to and repulsed from Leslie Searle.So when he comes up missing, well, it could have been anyone who caused his disappearance. DI Grant, always cool and elegant, investigates methodically, but despite his best efforts he is baffled. The answer, when it comes, does so in a flash of insight, and is surprising and a bit shocking.Josephine Tey writes in a spare, lyrical style, perfectly suited to luscious description of everything from the English country side (often somewhat ironically distilled through the consciousness of one or another of her characters) to the disarray that lurks in most human minds. To Love and Be Wise is a great whodunit and a great foray into the the human psyche, why we do what we do and how we understand and interpret it, as well.
JonRob on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An entertaining read as always with Tey. Here her series detective Alan Grant is faced with the problem of the disappearance of the charismatic American photographer Leslie Searle. Has he been murdered by one of the family or the villagers? Did he fall in the river accidentally? Or is there another possibility? Grant's intuitive approach solves the mystery, as usual.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
American photographer Leslie Searle is the perfect house guest -- charming, polite, thoughtful, and unusually attractive. Yet his presence oddly disrupts the household of Trimmings and the village of Salcott, acting as a catalyst for interpersonal conflict. Searle's sudden disappearance only heightens the tension. Is he alive or dead? If he is dead, was his death accidental or deliberate? If deliberate, was it suicide or murder? It is up to Inspector Grant of Scotland Yard to piece together the details and solve the mystery.Josephine Tey's talent as a mystery novelist is apparent in this story. She had a gift for illustrating character with an economy of words, exposing a person's essence with precise and succinct detail. The dialog is witty and not clichéd. This book is peopled with writers of various sorts of literature, from popular romance novels to serious social commentary, and I particularly enjoyed Tey's detached observations on writing and writers.Tey didn't always follow the conventions for mystery novels, and she does hold some information back. The reader might be told that Grant has discovered something important, but Tey doesn't tell you what that something is until she is ready for you to know. Thus, I was pleased when I noticed a clue before Grant did, and was able to figure out some aspects of the mystery before he worked it out in the novel!
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tey rarely disappoints. The puzzle mechanics here are below her usual standard, but she provides fabulous incidentals. The child throwing rocks against a door Grant: "can't you think of a better game to play?" Child: "No." The casual cruelty of Leslie Searle. All nicely done.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love it. This one's got assorted selfish and unpleasant people (as opposed to the usual one-who-is-the-villain), a very nice mystery, Tey's usual wonderful characters, and a happy ending - even a funny one. Those who suffered in the course of the story pretty well brought it on themselves. Grant 'pulls a Lamont' - I wonder if Tey put that in because The Man in the Queue was originally published under her other pseudonym and she wanted to claim it? Anyway. Lovely all over, and a real laugh (a LOL) at the end. And particularly interesting to me because many of the characters here are the authors Grant was being scathing about in The Daughter of Time (which remains absolutely my favorite Tey. But this is a good second).
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And the quality of the writing and the unusual mystery always remembering the era it was writen in please try sample chapter as had problem with format of one tey mom