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Fear in the Sunlight    by Nicola Upson Amazon.com order for
Fear in the Sunlight
by Nicola Upson
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In Nicola Upson's Fear in the Sunlight, we the readers meet Alfred Hitchcock with his delight in playing practical jokes on one and all. The more the merrier is apparently his mantra. Some of them backfire on him, much to onlookers' delight.

We get to spend time in the village of Portmeirion, West Wales, on the Atlantic coast, a village started in 1926 by Clough Williams-Ellis. It grew by degrees and, to this day, requires a fee to enter. This part of the entrancing novel is fact. The rest is fiction discounting, of course, the Hitchcocks. And, did I mention Josephine Tey, the well-known mystery writer of that period, twenty years after the Great War?

Josephine admits at the beginning of this tale of murder that she is dying but is not alerting anyone to her problem. She wants no exclamations of pity nor offers of help. Hitchcock and Alma Reville, his wife, are there to direct a movie taken from Josephine's latest book. Various and sundry other characters make up the cast of players in this excellent novel. Make note of each and every one of them, as they are many but each plays their part well. The gathering is to help Josephine Tey celebrate her fortieth birthday. Ah, to see that day again!

Time to get on to the mystery. Two women are murdered and a man falls to his death. Enough bodies to satisfy any mystery buff. Take your time reading each page. Don't skim. The unexpected bonus is the ruminations of various characters on life in particular as well as in general. Fear in the Sunlight is a good read.

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