I really enjoy the work of the amazing paper company, Cambridge Imprint. You can look at all their beautiful projects on their website: www.cambridgeimprint.co.uk.They also do a wonderful blog which you can access there. A recent post talked about the writers and artists retreat in Sussex called Charleston Farmhouse. It was the retreat of the early twentieth century Bloomsbury Group of writers and artists. Cambridge Imprint has a whole set of products designed from Charleston Farmhouse, and they wanted to call attention to this place and its financial need in the pandemic. You can find out more at www.charleston.org.uk.
Immediately after reading the blog post, the next book I picked up to read (well, opened my Kindle to read) was Nicola Upson’s latest Josephine Tey novel, Sorry for the Dead. And it is set at Charleston Farmhouse! One character that appears briefly is the ballerina Lydia Lopokova. (Upson does a wonderful job of incorporating real people and places in her novels.) Lopokova was the wife of the King’s College, Cambridge, economist John Maynard Keynes. When I was at the King’s College Archive Center in March 2019, another woman in the room was researching – wait for it – Lydia Lopokova’s letters!
Upson’s latest novel is as good as the others. I appreciate her skill at not only bringing in the real places, facts, and people of the early 20th century but also inviting us into the thoughts and feelings of people finding their way in new relationships. The plot in this book is quite intriguing, and the conclusion was rather surprising to me, although you can trace it all back.
I totally recommend Nicola Upson’s novels featuring a fictionalized Josephine Tey. Tey, writing in the early part of the 20th century, was most famous for her mystery The Daughter of Time. Upson has done a great job of bringing us Josephine Tey as a very sympathetic character as she makes her way through all the changes and the wars of the time. You’ll also meet familiar people like Alfred Hitchcock!
Here are Upson’s books in order (should be read that way) with a picture of the latest.
An Expert in Murder (2008)
Angel with Two Faces (2009)
Two for Sorrows (2011)
Fear in the Sunlight (2012)
The Death of Lucy Kyte (2014)
London Rain (2016)
Nine Lessons (2017)
Sorry for the Dead (2019)