TITLE: THE SINGING SANDS
AUTHOR: JOSEPHINE TEY
Details: #6 Alan Grant
When Inspector Alan Grant finds himself battling claustrophobia and panic attacks as a result of overwork, he takes himself on a fishing holiday to Scotland.
At the end of his overnight train-ride he stumbles on the body of a young man who has died during the night. Because he is on his holidays he doesn’t get involved in the recovery of the body or the subsequent inquest. While in the dead man’s compartment he accidentally picks up a newspaper on which he discovers the handwritten lines of an unknown poem. Lines that speak of “the stones that walk” and “the singing sands”.
Intrigued Grant decides to try and find out where the poem comes from and what the mysterious lines mean. Initially though his enquiries only lead to more questions. Who exactly was the young man on the train and did the papers found with him actually belong to him? And most importantly, did he die as a result of an accident, as the inquest concluded, or was this in fact a case of a very diabolical murder?
This was a wonderful mystery. It starts of very leisurely and had me, for a long time, wondering if there actually was a mystery to be solved in this book. However, once it becomes clear that there is more to be discovered than the origins of a poem, the story takes off and suddenly the pace picks up.
Josephine Tey in this book has written an intriguing mystery in the most beautiful language. Her descriptions of people and places are vivid and clear while her view of people and their characteristics are to the point, if not always kind.
I found myself reading this book with a constant smile on my face, something that doesn’t happen very often and am very glad that there are three more Alan Grant mysteries that I’ve yet to find and read.