Saturday, 28 January 2012

Two For Sorrow by Nicola Upson

I was a bit disappointed with the last book in this series, so I was really hoping to enjoy this one. And I did - I thought it was great.
The heroine, Josephine Tey is back in London. She is researching a true crime novel about 'baby farmers'. These were women who would for a fee, take in unmarried pregnant women (the book is set at the beginning of the twentieth century), then when the baby was born they would pretend to get the baby adopted, but would in fact kill it. Josephine has a tenuous connection with one such case, a former teacher of hers was a prison warden in Holloway Jail when two baby farmers, Amelia Sachs and Annie Walters were executed. This former teacher, Celia Bannerman now works at the Cowdray Club, where Josephine stays when she is in London.
There is a particularly gruesome murder of an employee of Lettice and Ronnie, Josephine's good friends. This brings into the picture Archie Penrose, the policeman who Josephine has a close, but confused relationship with. The dead girl was a former prisoner at Holloway Jail, and it seems as if there might be a connection with the Cowdray Club.
There is a glamour to this book, and the first in the series which I felt was lacking in the second. The world of the theatre in which Josephine moves is exciting and Lettice and Ronnie in particular, as successful costumiers evoke the glitzy, glamourous life of the wealthy in the 1920s. This contrasts with the squalor of the crimes, and the poverty that was so close by.  I loved this book, and can't wait for the next one.

When we had the cold snap last week we went out with our cameras to try and get some good frosty pictures. My camera is just a little point and click one, so my method was to try and get as close up as possible.

 Billy borrowed his dad's camera and we walked through the churchyard down to the ecology park. The churchyard is a good place for spotting wildlife, we often see squirrels there. 


  1. I keep meaning to try this series but have never got round to it. I'm intrigued by the mention of the baby farmers, after reading The Ghost of Lily Painter by Caitlin Davies, which was also about Amelia Sach and Annie Walters.

  2. The photos are a lovely addition to your blog, Joanne. Is it still continuing as cold as this?

  3. Helen - of the 3 in the series I've read, I definitely liked this one the best. I'm not sure whether Nicola Upson has written a fourth one yet.

    Karyn - thank you, I thought I'd try and make the blog a bit more personal this year. It's still cold, though a damp cold, not the crisp frosty cold we had on the day we took the pictures. It is more wintry further south though, so you might be lucky and get a bit of snow!

  4. Interesting that you liked this after being disappointed with the book before, because I was disappointed with the book before and have been wondering whether to give this one the benefit of the doubt. Maybe one day.

  5. Jane, I would definitely recommend this one, I enjoyed it so much more than the one before.

  6. I think there is a new book out this year. I have enjoyed all of them. I think Nicola Upson is still finding her feet, book wise and it must be a challenge featuring Tey as her protagonist.

    1. Thanks for letting me know that Jo, I'm looking forward to reading it.