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Sorry for the Dead Reviews

Sorry for the Dead by Nicola Upson

Sorry for the Dead

Nicola Upson

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 7 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9780571337361

In the summer of 1915, the violent death of a young girl brings grief and notoriety to Charleston Farmhouse on the Sussex Downs. Years later, Josephine Tey returns to the same house - now much changed - and remembers the two women with whom she once lodged as a young teacher during the Great War.

  • The Sunday TimesCrime Book of the Month
4 stars out of 5
Joan Smith
17 Nov 2019

"one of the most memorable books in this superlative series"

For many years, Charleston farmhouse has been synonymous with the Bloomsbury group. But its earlier history includes a period when it was run by two women as a boarding house, a little-known fact that has inspired Nicola Upson’s haunting new novel, Sorry for the Dead (Faber £12.99). It’s 1938 and her heroine, crime writer Josephine Tey, is one of the country’s most celebrated authors...

It’s a touching insight into the fictional Tey’s insecurities, and one of the most memorable books in this superlative series.


4 stars out of 5
21 Nov 2019

"wonderful twists and turns which single out Upson as a talented author of historical crime"

Perhaps drawing on Mackintosh’s real-life experiences at a Physical Training College in Birmingham and subsequently as a teacher of sport for girls, Upson’s story recounts, in a series of flashbacks, Tey’s time at the horticultural college where Dorothy dies. Upson creates a sense of time and place beautifully, from the theatre where Tey is offered the opportunity to direct her own play, to the farmhouse in East Sussex where the tragic death took place... While containing wonderful twists and turns which single out Upson as a talented author of historical crime, the rich background of Tey’s life adds an extra layer to this particular novel – especially for fans of her previous work, who will relish an insight into a favourite character’s backstory.