The Franchise Affair

The Franchise Affair 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

  • Title: The Franchise Affair
  • Author: Josephine Tey Robert Barnard
  • ISBN: 9780684842561
  • Page: 464
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 BetRobert 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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    874 Comment

    • Jaline says:

      Named the 11th greatest mystery novel of all time in 1990 by the Crime Writer’s Association, The Franchise Affair was written in 1948. This is the only Inspector Grant novel where there is no murder, and the first one where Inspector Grant plays a minor role. For any mystery fan, this one is a treasure.Robert Blair is a lawyer in a small English town and used to dealing with wills, land transfers, and other small town legal concerns. In his early 40’s, he is a bachelor and lives with his Aun [...]

    • Carol Clouds ꧁꧂ says:

      I've been wanting to read this Tey title for a very long time &, other than the reader sees very little of Inspector Grant, it did not disappoint. This tale of the disappearance of a young girl & her bizarre accusations against a mother & daughter was very hard to put down and I wolfed through it in around 24 hours. As it is a Golden Age you have to put up with an author's foibles, & Ms Tey has the firm belief that you can tell a criminal by certain characteristics - in this book [...]

    • BillKerwin says:

      Josephine Tey is a Tory reactionary and a snob, but she writes like an angel. This mystery novel of the English middle class at bay under the post WW II Labor party is almost as good as her "The Daughter of Time"--and that is high praise indeed.

    • Nancy Oakes says:

      Actually, this is my second time with this book after having read it eons ago, and I enjoyed it much more this time around, since I read it now with more of a focus on character and postwar issues. The Franchise Affair is just a perfect gem of a novel, based on the real-life case of Elizabeth Canning in 1753 which you can read abouthere. Moving the case into contemporary times, Tey updated this story to reflect various postwar concerns, asSarah Waters notes, looking at the "moral panics - about [...]

    • Emma Rose Ribbons says:

      Tremendously good read and I never expected that from the summary - the tale of two women being framed for a brutal kidnapping seemed incredibly far-fetched to me but I'd loved Miss Pym Disposes by the same author so I thought I might as well see if the rest of her work was as good.Well, it is, and then some. Her writing is astonishing. The book isn't thick but the amount of detail she manages to put in is quite stupendous. After reading a particularly well-written passage, I often caught myself [...]

    • Leonie says:

      I really liked Brat Farrar and Miss Pym Disposes, so it's a shame I absolutely hated the next two books of Tey's I read. In the first place, this book is not a mystery. From the blurb, I expected something more ambiguous, where we wouldn't be sure which party was telling the truth and would hopefully have an interesting journey finding out. But no. Right from the start, it is made very clear that the Sharpes are the salt of the earth, and the girl accusing them, a slutty fifteen-year-old whose e [...]

    • Tracey says:

      This is most of my blog review: agoldoffish.wordpress/2012I read this thinking throughout "This book would make a fantastic movie. I can't believe it hasn't been adapted – it has everything." But it has been filmed, in Hollywood in 1950 only on VHS at the moment – co-starring Patrick Troughton, which means I really want it. The suspense throughout was amazingly well done – even without a literal life being at risk at any point, the stakes were quite high enough, and my involvement with the [...]

    • Rage says:

      There's no subtlety in this book. Betty Kane is, we're assured, rotten to the core, a completely nasty piece of work. People who are good and decent recognize Betty Kane as a poisonous liar (because of the color and/or spacing of her eyes), people who are stupid and vacuous think she's a harmless little dear. The mystery isn't really what happened to Betty so much as how to prove that she's a liar, which is to be accomplished in court so that the entire world can see that she's a liar and they w [...]

    • Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) says:

      Ahhhh, that's better. After a few disappointing reading choices of late, this well-written mystery without a murder was just my drop. It kept me engaged and interested to the very last. Trouble is, it doesn't fit my usual "mystery" shelves: we know whodunit (what little was actually done), it's neither noir fiction nor a police procedural, as the police basically don't see there's a case. It's about salvaging your reputation when you really are innocent, all indications to the contrary.Trial by [...]

    • Lcitera says:

      When the author Louise Penny recommends a book as one of her top five mystery-reads it is good to explore her choice. THE FRANCHISE AFFAIR, penned in 1948, is a mysteryfreshingly so, not a murder mystery. Beautifully written with much descriptive, very very British, far more depth than a "cozy". A dusty relic on the library shelf!

    • Chip says:

      Josephine Tey was recommended to me as an excellent classic mystery author, and various online reviews of her work supported that view. I chose The Franchise Affair as the first of her books to read based on the number of online references thereto and positive reviews thereof. However - it's not good; rather, it is incredibly dated and, worse, terribly lazily written (e.g "her intelligent eyes") and plotted. Far too many things didn't ring true: the protagonist lawyer's assumption that the Sharp [...]

    • Paul says:

      An undemanding read and a clever mystery novel. It portrays Britain in the 1940s and its idiosyncrasies very well. The dilemmas of the more impoverished middle classes who could not now afford servants are documented without judgement. The story concerns a mother and her middle aged daughter who are accused of kidnapping and beating a 16 year old girl with a view to forcing her to work as a maid. They are defended by a country solicitor who takes up their cause. They are pilloried by the tabloid [...]

    • Jane says:

      “The first dark germ of The Little Stranger, however, came to me from another genre entirely. The book has its origins in my response to a detective novel from 1948: The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey, a novel I first read more than a decade ago, and which has fascinated and troubled me, in about equal measures, ever since.”Josephine Tey’s novels have been sitting on my shelves for a while now, but it was Sarah Waters who finally make me pick this one up. I’m very glad that she did.Th [...]

    • Damaskcat says:

      Marion Sharpe and her mother live in a house called The Franchise - left to them by a distant relative. They lead a quiet and uneventful life until they are confronted out of the blue by a young girl - Betty Kane - who accuses them of kidnapping her, keeping her locked in an attic room and beating her black and blue. Something about the story doesn't ring quite true to Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard but everything about the girl's description of the house ties up and it seems as though sh [...]

    • Eleanor says:

      I'm strolling through Josephine Tey's mysteries in and between other books, having read them all many years ago.This one is an interesting reworking of a real case that happened in the 18th century, and is enjoyable. There are a few jarring notes where individuals say they would like to beat up the girl who claims to have been abducted, beaten and held hostage, because the speaker believes she is lying. There is a tone of "no better than she ought to be" and a looking down on someone seen as com [...]

    • Emilia Barnes says:

      What a fascinating book to read in this day and age! Just as we are having a discussion about believing survivors or rape and abuse, I read a novel in which the reader is invited to cordially hate and despise the accuser in a case of abuse. Of course, it was written in the 1940s, and thus must be treated as a product of its time. And it doesn't add much to the discussion of how a situation, in which it's the word of the accuser against the word of the accused should be treated. In this book we'r [...]

    • Ree says:

      This book is in a genre unto itself: nationalist mystery or maybe, conservative mystery, or imperialist mystery. One implies the others I suppose. This might be a common genre (common sense tells me it should be, because it would have sold well in that age), but this is the first book from the Golden Age of Mystery I have read that is so overtly vicious to liberalism and anti-imperialism. Coming from a country that was a British colony and from a century that recognises anti-imperialism for the [...]

    • Barbara says:

      SPOILERS AHEADI really like Josephine Tey and think her 'Daughter of Time' one of the best and most original 'mysteries 'ever written. I ordered it and the Franchise Affair and a couple of others in Kindle recently to have the pleasure of re-reading old favourites. All I can say is I must have been very young when I read The Franchise Affair, before the age of being politically aware of much, or surely I would have remembered the all-pervading air of class and gender judgement. Threaded througho [...]

    • Gary says:

      I first read this book a few years ago but didn’t appreciate how much I enjoyed it until I read it again recently.This is considered one of Tey’s best novels and I can see why. She writes in a straightforward, clear way, making her prose easy and enjoyable to read. She knows her characters well and she knows human nature, treating us to snippets of back-story as she goes along, so we get to know them in stages, as if they were real people. We get inside their heads (the main ones, anyway) an [...]

    • Elizabeth says:

      Josephine Tey here explores how to prove a negative. Two English women (genteel enough to be educated and living on an inheritance but not wealthy by the standards of their class) are accused of kidnapping and beating an innocent-looking adolescent girl because they cannot otherwise get a maid for their remote house. In the process Tey gives a sympathetic but not uncritical view of smug English village life. She is occasionally heavyhanded with a couple of her pet peeves--the inane defense of th [...]

    • Jenn says:

      This was a sedate but somehow extremely lovely mystery set in a sleepy English town. Two women stand accused of abducting a young girl, holding her hostage for a month in their crumbling old home (the Franchise), and beating her severely when she refused to become their maid. The women, who swear they've never seen the girl before, reach out to a small town lawyer who's just beginning to realize how bored he is with his rather small and pleasant life. He takes their case on instinct alone. Most [...]

    • Margo says:

      Well I finished The Franchise Affair and I have to sat it's the first time I have been driven to finish a book by shear disgust at the ideas it puts forwards. I began to get a little uncomfortable both author ad charactors quite early into this novel but it was so well written that I decided to stick with it. What carried my on to the end was disbelief that anyone could take this woman seriously.A friend passed this link on to (spoiler alert)theguardian/books/2009It is a piece by Sarah Waters th [...]

    • Alisha says:

      Josephine Tey approaches Dorothy Sayers' level of literate mysteries. What I mean to say is, she's not just writing a "whodunnit." She's writing people, and they're pretty interesting.Although, I have to remark that out of three books of hers I've read, she's at 100% for making wild generalizations about someone's character based on eye color, shape of the face, etc. I thought the pseudo-science of phrenology had been abandoned by this time, but I must be wrong.

    • Leslie says:

      One of my favorite Tey's -- a mystery that doesn't involve murder, but still immensely satisfying when (view spoiler)[ Marion Sharpe and her mother are cleared of all charges. Especially since it also involves exposing Betty for the liar that she is!! (hide spoiler)]

    • Laurie says:

      Tey does things with her apparently simple plots that no one, but no one else can manage. A deliciously sly woman.

    • Melki says:

      The cover model for this edition is Blondie's own Debbie Harry:boingboing/2014/03/13/debb

    • tortoise dreams says:

      An elderly mother and her daughter accused of kidnapping and beating a young woman turn to their solicitor for a defense.Book Review: The Franchise Affair is unlike most mysteries, but charming and enjoyable nonetheless. The mystery is not a murder or even much in the way of violence. The "detective" is a rather staid solicitor and our ostensible hero, Inspector Grant, is a minor character at best. The story is both compelling and predictable, but all the more enjoyable for that. There's also a [...]

    • C-shaw says:

      This is my first Josephine Tey book. Thanks to my friend, Orinioco Womble, for recommending it! It is a mannered and very literate British mystery with entertaining characters. I loved the way it ended!"The trouble with you, dear, is that you think of an angel of the Lord as a creature with wings, whereas he is probably a scruffy little man in a bowler hat."

    • Connie says:

      How can I have forgotten this compelling plot? I was about 10 pages into The Franchise Affair when I remembered that I had read this Josephine Tey mystery some 30 years ago. But re-reading it, I couldn't do any better in predicting the outcomes than I evidently did back then. Terrific story, characterization. What a book!

    • Columbus says:

      Often regarded as one of the best mystery novels ever. This novels bears some similarities to Agatha Christie novels of the 40’s. I’m a big Christie fan so this is right up my alley. It’s a rather cozy whodunit where the crime doesn’t involve an actual murder but a beat-down of a 15 year old girl in England. Enjoyable and I intend to read more of her mystery novels.

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