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Summary

Marion Sharpe and her mother seem an unlikely duo to be found on the wrong side of the law. Quiet and ordinary, they have led a peaceful and unremarkable life at their country home, The Franchise. Unremarkable that is, until the police turn up with a demure young woman on their doorstep.

Not only does Betty Kane accuse them of kidnap and abuse, she can back up her claim with a detailed description of the attic room in which she was kept, right down to the crack in its round window. But there’s something about Betty Kane’s story that doesn’t quite add up.

Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is stumped. It takes Robert Blair, solicitor turned amateur detective, to solve the mystery...

©1948 Josephine Tey (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Franchise Affair

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well-paced and intriguing

A well-constructed tale of how a solicitor is drawn unwillingly into disproving the allegations made against two women, and of how his life is jogged out of its complacency as a result. Some may find this story, set in an English market town in the late 1940's, too simple and unhurried, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Josephine Tey is a wonderful writer, bringing beautifully-observed detail and subtle wit to this intriguing story. And Carole Boyd is the perfect choice as narrator, with a well-paced and acerbic delivery that brings the characters to life. A wonderful gentle listen, and definitely one to play again.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great reading

This is one of my favourite books from a favourite author. Carole Boyd is a great narrator. Please, please can we have more Josephine Tey, especially the Inspector Alan Grant stories.

12 people found this helpful

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A Gentle Mystery

No gory murders or troubled detectives with issues, just a well written gentle mystery. The story kept my attention throughout and I'm looking forward to another by this author.

If your looking for an escape you can't go far wrong.

Great narration by Carol Boyd

8 people found this helpful

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A favourite story, with excellent narration

Any additional comments?

This is one of the (very few) books that I can read or listen to, again and again at intervals over the years, and find the same enjoyment each time.

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Excellent reading and compelling story, despite some outdated class and sexist attitudes. Really enjoyed it.

4 people found this helpful

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Clever but Showing its Age

I read this as a girl and remembered it with fondness, hence the purchase. Sadly, it shows its age. There is a rather nasty hint of bigotry of which I had not been aware all those years ago.

4 people found this helpful

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Great story-telling

I'm so glad I've discovered this author as she is a consummate story-teller. Though her novels are immersed in the comfortable and gentile middle-class era of of the first half of the 20th century she introduces crimes and frauds to disturb the equilibrium that make engrossing stories. I consumes the book in two days as I was eager to find out how the book would end. I'm certainly going to seek out more of her books.
Carole Boyd is one of the nest narrators and does a great job getting just the right accents for the era.

4 people found this helpful

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Well written and beautifully narrated

Charming, well drawn characters, interesting plot. This book meets the criteria of increasing ones understanding of other people and their motivation. You can't ask for more!

4 people found this helpful

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very enjoyable

I heard about this author on Woman's Hour and thought I would try her out.

4 people found this helpful

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Treat yourself!

This is a minature gem of a detective novel; by turns, evocative, intense, eerie and absorbing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Janice
  • 05-10-17

No way out

I have only recently discovered Josephine Tey, and so far, 2 out of 2 are real winners. The Franchise Affair is not a thriller, nor is the crime a desperate or violent one. Yet the accusations made by Betty Kane against the Sharp women are serious enough to genuinely wreck their lives, whether proven true or false. Who is lying and who is telling the truth?Without having to paint the canvas in adrenaline, Tey builds tension as she reveals the true character of her characters. She is a master with words as she constructs a mystery to care about and to hope for justice to prevail. Carol Boyd’s reading is flawless, making this an excellent audible experience.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Isia
  • 14-12-12

Beautifully written, engaging story

I loved this book, a real English countryside detective novel. It is sensitively written and subtle, with events slowly but surely overtaking the main characters. I don't want to give away the story, but if you enjoy Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, or the other detective novels written in the same era, you will love this one. I will definitely explore this author further.
This book was beautifully read. Every character was distinct, and I never felt muddled as to who is speaking. There is a world of difference between performances and this one for me was top shelf - you are able to forget the speaker completely and immerse yourself in the story.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Drwo
  • 25-02-17

A Great Novel from A Master

The narrator, Carol Boyd, is fantastic. Josephine Tey is one of the great classic British mystery of manners writers.

In this original and charming story, an eccentric woman and her daughter are accused of kidnapping and abusing a girl they picked up at a bus stop. She arrives home full of bruises and with the clothes on her back.

The girl's story is compelling and, of course, the women swear they've never seen her much less held her prisoner. The plot has some holes as large as the Chunnel but it's still a fun listen made better by a terrific narrator

If she wasn't held captive in the women's attic, where had she been for the month she went missing?

5 people found this helpful

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  • C. W. Johnson
  • 07-02-17

Loved it!

Very well done! You only have 2 of Josephine Tey's books so please add more ASAP! If you enjoy a good mystery, British culture, and great narration, you will enjoy this. If you need action, guts, and gore to enjoy a book then look elsewhere. It is simply a good clean story with a lovely British narrator.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ilana
  • 17-04-12

An Instant Favourite

Robert Blair is a sedate solicitor and the current head of a well established and respectable family firm in a small English town. He lives a quiet and predictable life with his aunt, who feeds him well. One day, he receives a surprising phone call from Marion Sharpe, the current resident of The Franchise, a old and run down house just at the outskirts of town. She asks him for help in a strange case; a young girl, Betty Kane, accuses Ms. Sharpe and her mother of kidnapping and imprisoning her in their attic and of having beaten her repeatedly, presumably in an attempt to bully her into becoming their servant. As strange and unlikely as the case may seem, the girl has a blameless reputation and is able to describe the house down to it's tiniest details to Scotland Yard, while the Sharpe ladies on the other hand are none too popular in the small town by virtue of them living at The Franchise. Our solicitor takes a liking to Ms Sharpe, decides the accused women cannot have committed such horrific acts, and sets out to prove their innocence.

I had heard many good things about Josephine Tey, and they were all true. Her characters and dialogue are unusual, and there are plenty of strange elements which kept this reader on her toes. Although this is the third book in the Allan Grant series, he plays a very minor role here, which makes it as good a start as any. Carol Boyd is a new narrator to me and has become an instant favourite, as has Josephine Tey.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Christine A Saunders
  • 02-02-17

A beautiful book and equally beautiful performance

Aaahhh... Eight hours and nine minutes of delightful prose, an intriguing story and a perfect performance. It's so refreshing to find a novel that can leave the reader feeling enthralled, entertained and satisfied without the need to shock or horrify. Well done to Josephine Tay and Carol Boyd..the perfect combination!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Greg
  • 01-12-16

A great second book after Bret Farrar

Josephine Tey is a wonderful author, both in the story line and the language. Carole Boyd is one of the best audible performers I've ever encountered. This book has less joy than the Farrar book but is equally tightly drawn and ultimately satisfying. As another reviewer suggested I am glad I read Bret first, but I very much enjoyed the subtle sense of character in this book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 24-05-16

Great narration, great story.

Where does The Franchise Affair rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is just stellar, great British mystery and fabulous narrator. I usually prefer male narration but this was the best of all I have enjoyed. There was no character she was not able to bring to life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Franchise Affair?

How contemporary a 1940's embedded context was to our own times.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Margaret H. Willison
  • 20-04-15

Excellent narration, charming but dated story

I love Josephine Tey and dearly wish more than three of her books were available on Audible. Of the three here, this is my least favorite. Carol Boyd's vocal performance is just to my taste-- enough to give the whole work color, but never sounding belabored. The story, though, trades in a lot of era-appropriate but gross-to-my-modern-ears classism and slut-shaming that definitely diminishes my appreciation of this otherwise solid Tey novel. The mystery is also solved more by chance and less by the characters' actions. So, worth owning for the Tey completist, very well-narrated, but not the place I would start with her work. Go for Brat Farrar first.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah C
  • 03-07-18

Love Josephine Tey’s characters.

If only she wrote some of these as series! The detective bugs me, so I’ll have to make do with the stand alones. If you like this, read Brat Ferrar

1 person found this helpful