A Writers Writer – Nicola Upson


If you read mysteries you probably recognize the name Josephine Tey,  a pseudonym used by Elizabeth Mackintosh (25 July 1896 – 13 February 1952), a Scottish author. She also wrote as Gordon Daviot, a dozen one-act plays and another dozen full-length plays with an historical theme. The most famous of these is The Daughter of Time. Tey appears as a main character in a series of novels by Nicola Upson called the “Josephine Tey Mysteries.”  Nicola Upson, whose debut novel, An Expert in Murder, uses Tey as the detective protagonist.


1. An Expert in Murder (2008)
2. Angel with Two Faces (2009)
3. Two For Sorrow (2010)
4. Fear in the Sunlight (2012)
5. The Death of Lucy Kyte (2013)
6. London Rain (2015)

Upson uses the form of the Golden Age detective novel (1919-39) with the addition of contemporary sensibilities. One of my favorite things about these well written mysteries is the meticulously created architectural and interior design features of the story’s locations. Her characters are based on disguised identities of people who populated the London theater world of that era. The puzzles are layered and satisfying. I find the ensemble characters always well drawn and a welcomed addition. Be sure and read them in chronological order!  th-1

I’m reading The Death of Lucy Kyte now and feel I can recommend the series to you at this point. The jacket of a book, the cover thumbnail, is an essential first step when I select a book. I won’t bother to pick up a book with a cover that doesn’t appeal to me. If a book passes the cover test, I read the blurb, if there are key words that call to me, I open the cover and read the opening few lines of the book. I wanted to tell you about the artist of these covers. Research got me no where. I have written Nicola Upson. I hope she responds with the name of the artist of these wonderful jacket designs. I will add the information to this post if I can. Happy Reading!

The designer for Upson’s book covers is Mick Wiggins. Click HERE to see more of his work.  Thank you for sending this info, Nicola.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in A Writer's Writer and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Writers Writer – Nicola Upson

  1. dino0726 says:

    Great recommendation, Stepheny. This is actually a new author to me. 🙂
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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