The Man in the Queue, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (4 ratings)


Outside a London theatre a throng of people wait expectantly for the last performance of a popular musical.

But as the doors open at last, something spoils all thought of entertainment: a man in the queue is found murdered by the deadly thrust of a stiletto...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780099556725

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

The first book in Josephine Teys’ series that introduces Scotland Yard’s Inspector Alan Grant, The Man In the Queue is a fascinating look at the solving of a murder in the days before forensics and computers. A deceptively simple murder of a man standing in line for a theatre performance. Unfortunately neither the identity of the victim or the murderer will come easy to Inspector Grant.The story follows along as the Inspector painstakingly tracks down each miniscule clue in order to firstly identify the man that was stabbed in the back, and then to build a picture of his life and who was in it that could possible be the murderer. The story, the language and it’s careless and casual racism are all a bit dated, but it is interesting to look at this early mystery of hers simply for the influence she has had on future writers. Her many references to World War I, even years after that event, certainly highlight the impact this war had on a generation. Although the ending seems to come out of the blue, the clues are there, but as we are so firmly embedded in Alan Grant’s mindset, we, like him, don’t pick them up.The story, like the solving of this murder, tends to plod along until we switch to the Scottish Highlands, at that point the story took off for me, and I read avidly to the end. I would say not the best of her work, but certainly interesting enough to encourage me to continue with the series.

Review by

Rather a disappointment. I had looked forward to reading this book, remembering how much I enjoyed Tey's "The Daughter of Time" which I read as a teenager more than thirty years.Sadly this book had noting of the sterling qualities of "The Daughter of Time", and subsided into mindless tweeness lacking any semblance of feasible plot or plausible characters.

Review by

This is the first time I'd heard of Josephine Tey or read one of her books. It was a rather odd mystery, as Inspector Grant spends the entire time zeroing in on a particular suspect and feeling like something was not quite right...and then the twist comes at the end and the truth is revealed but no thanks to his abilities as a police inspector.For a huge Agatha Christie fan, this felt tame as a mystery, but I found the characters intriguing and drawn subtly enough to keep my interest.I see that some of Ms. Tey's other works have gotten higher ratings here, so maybe I will try one of them some time.

Review by

I've been on a Josephine Tey kick lately (she's one of the Golden Age writers I came to late). And while I've enjoyed the others I've read, especially _Miss Pym Disposes_, I have to say that this one was difficult. I was put off by the casual racism in the use of the word "Dago" to describe the prime suspect, and even understanding that as part of the historical context didn't keep Inspector Grant's insistence on using it from bothering me a lot. I will note, though, that it's interesting how, once Grant has a name for his man, he stops calling him a Dago and actually empathizes with him. Still, by that point, the damage had been done.Someone's review of _Miss Pym_ mentioned the reliance on factors like phrenology and breeding (i.e., eugenics) to solve the case...and with that interesting observation in mind, I couldn't help but see the same kind of plot playing out here. _The Man in the Queue_ is rescued, however, by the twist that keeps it from falling in line with that kind of "logic."Despite all that, though, this is another clever, witty mystery by Tey, with some interesting characterizations and some gorgeous descriptions, such as this one:"He lingered in the door to watch the flat purple outline of the islands to the west. The stillness was full of the clear, faraway sounds of evening. The air smelt of peat smoke and the sea. The first lights of the village shone daffodil-clear here and there. The sea grew lavender, and the sands became a pale shimmer in the dusk."

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