Author: Josephine Tey
Provided Synopsis: Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is intrigued by a portrait of Richard III. Could such a sensitive face actually belong to a heinous villain — a king who killed his brother’s children to secure his crown? Grant seeks what kind of man Richard was and who in fact killed the princes in the tower.
Review: Disclaimer: The Daughter of Time should most likely only be read by those with an avid interest in Richard III. For my part, I have always considered Richard to be one of the most intriguing monarchs of England; therefore this book had been on my radar due to countless recommendations in the footnotes of historical fiction works I had read in the past. I enjoyed this book, yet I can see how many would not.
The Daughter of Time is book five in the Inspector Alan Grant series (but do not fear for it can be read as a stand-alone); in this installment he is in the hospital after an accident, and his desperation to find something to do leads a friend of his to bring a portrait of Richard III to his sick room. Grant considers himself to be a reader of faces, thus he is caught off-guard when a man he would have placed “on the bench” as a judge is revealed to be one of the most notorious embodiments of evil in English history. After all, Richard is reported in numerous histories as usurping the crown from his brother’s son, and then murdering the two young princes in the still unsolved mystery of The Two Princes in the Tower. So how could a man with such a face be responsible of these crimes?
There is no action in this book. Instead, Grant and a researcher sit in his hospital room to research, read over, and discuss the numerous accounts written on Richard’s life and reign. Notably, this book includes the consideration that Tudor propaganda is responsible for the besmirching of Richard’s character, which I have always believed to be true. If you are in search of a book with action beyond the piecing together of historical events, then this is not the story for you. However, if you are interested in Richard being vindicated of his supposed crimes in a fashion easily able to follow, and even incredibly engaging to a reader, then this is a book you must try.