A Shilling for Candles

A Shilling for Candles - Robert Barnard, Josephine Tey [These notes were made in 1984:]. An actress is found drowned on a beach, and a young man who has been living (platonically) with her, returns from a foolhardy attempt to steal her car just as the body is discovered by police. This Tisdall (as he is called) is our friend Grant's prime suspect for the first half of the novel, but even he has misgivings about prosecuting this charming young fellow; said fellow makes an escape and a few days later an eccentric but likeable young woman clears him by tracing down a missing overcoat which is supposed to be the main evidence against him. The remainder of the novel is dominated by (a) Grant's chasing of red herrings and extraneous motives and (b) Grant's increasing worry as Tisdall, whom he has driven to ground, fails to reappear, despite his publicly proclaimed innocence. The climax to the book is therefore not really the end (the solution is a bit off-the-wall: a crazy lady astrologer fulfilling her own prophecy) but the scene about 20 pages before where, to Grant's immense relief and contrition, Tisdall makes his appearance, haggard and ill, and having heard no news! I fear I have almost exhausted the Tey canon, and I'm immensely unhappy at the prospect!