As much as I am enjoying the book, there are a few things that I could do without:
- Upson telling us constantly how someone is feeling
- the pushing of a social issues agenda. As much as I may agree with it, I really didn't come here for a discussion of prison reform or adoption, etc.
- the romance angle. I hope it does not develop further. I've already had as much gushing cheesiness as I can reasonably deal with.
- Upson's decision to interpret something into Tey's bio, which, according to her biographer, is not evidenced. This is not entirely jarring, but it is a bit odd.
Overall, I'm enjoying the mid-30s London theatrical setting, tho, and I am really keen to find out how the mystery is resolved and what happens to all of the characters. Yes, I actually care about the majority of the characters, which is something that has not happened a lot last week.
Oh, and I loved this scene:
‘I’ll go and make the calls,’ Archie said, grimacing at the chaos. ‘See you back here in a minute.’
She found the girls in a spacious room leading off the foyer which was usually used for private meetings.
‘I take back everything I said about this place being deathly dull,’ Ronnie said, dropping the bale she was carrying and coming over to give Josephine a hug. ‘The first thing we heard about when we got here was the fight in the foyer, and we half-wondered if we’d have to slap each other as some sort of induction ritual.’
‘What fight? What on earth are you talking about?’
‘Oh, Geraldine Ashby and the Bannerman woman decided to recreate the Battle of Bosworth in the foyer. The lunchtime queues were getting a bit restless, apparently, so they staged a distraction all of their own.’
‘She’s exaggerating,’ said Lettice, ‘but there was a bit of bother. Geraldine slapped Celia because of something she said, and it was all very public.’
‘Yes, the skeletons are all so firmly out of the closet that we’ll probably end up dressing them for the gala as well,’ Ronnie added cynically, hauling another tailor’s dummy in from the foyer. ‘And if that was lunch, I think I’ll book myself in for dinner now. Which is the best table?’
‘God, I think that might be all my fault,’ Josephine said, and both sisters turned to look quizzically at her.