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The Franchise Affair Audiobook

The Franchise Affair

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Publisher's 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 Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (109 )
5 star
 (68)
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Overall
4.3 (67 )
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Story
4.6 (67 )
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 (49)
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Performance
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  •  
    Jane Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom 17/06/2011
    Jane Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom 17/06/2011 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Knucklebones 23/07/2011
    Knucklebones 23/07/2011

    Knucklebones

    HELPFUL VOTES
    138
    ratings
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    54
    51
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    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Besterman Jersey, Channel Islands United Kingdom 16/11/2016
    Jill Besterman Jersey, Channel Islands United Kingdom 16/11/2016 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    257
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    782
    92
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    59
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Shaftesbury, United Kingdom 19/01/2016
    Julia Shaftesbury, United Kingdom 19/01/2016 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    54
    7
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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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juliet Bernad UK 08/09/2015
    Juliet Bernad UK 08/09/2015 Member Since 2011

    knittynora

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "very enjoyable"

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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Davey B 09/07/2013
    Davey B 09/07/2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A change from the norm !"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Franchise Affair to be better than the print version?

    Never been a good reader - too many distractions in my surroundings affect concentration - so, Audio Books have been my lifeline to literature for thirty years and I now have 500 plus titles in my library - this book has enthralled me since I discovered an abridged version 20 years ago and now the Audible unabridged book read by Carole Boyd has given me pleasure at least a dozen times !!


    What did you like best about this story?

    No frills descriptions and little bits of humour from the elderly ladies, for example - every time I listen now I have a picture in my mind's eye of Maggie Smith speaking the dialogue (and improvising her expressions) - Simple but effective dialogue from even the legal team and the police (with again a little fun) - as the characters developed through the book several changed from stuffy to (almost) human and from just incidental to concerned individuals - halfway through the book one could picture certain characters from their words and attitudes and not just from their physical description - brought it all to life for this reader/listener !!


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Enjoyed the scene where the Head waiter said he recognised the "GIRL" and stood her whole story on it's head !!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I am a 67 year old man and yet my heart went out to the adoptive mother of the "GIRL" when she realized how little Betty cared for her family !!


    Any additional comments?

    I am enjoying two other Audible books at the moment but I will be re-open "THE FRANCHISE AFFAIR" A.S.A.P For me it's special even though Agatha Christie & Sherlock are closer to my normal read!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janey 07/06/2017
    Janey 07/06/2017

    Janey

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant who dunnit"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a really good, old fashioned yarn that I really enjoyed. Right from the first chapter it draws you in to the impossible situation the two accused find themselves in. One gathers the crime they are accused of must be false but, it is very difficult to see how it was done and I didn't guess who and what was involved until it is explained at the end. It is one of those books you cannot stop listening to. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to the end. And it was very well read too. I will be looking out for more Josephine Tey books after listening to this, my first one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fedup 11/01/2017
    Fedup 11/01/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    13
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    "Good page turner"

    Very well read; a real page turner with an excellent plot. Loved the unexpected twists and turns.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miffy UK 09/12/2016
    Miffy UK 09/12/2016
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    "A gentle and nostalgic tale"

    Very enjoyable....rather dated but easy listening, especially when recovering from illness! It was extremely well read by Carole Boyd.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Wantage, United Kingdom 26/04/2016
    Kate Wantage, United Kingdom 26/04/2016 Member Since 2015

    knewc

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Great story and brilliant narrator"

    I listen to this over and over. Why can't all audiobooks be narrated by Carol Boyd?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Isia
    Pretoria, South Africa
    14/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Ilana
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    17/04/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Drwo
    25/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Greg
    chesterton, in, United States
    01/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Margaret H. Willison
    Boston, MA United States
    20/04/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • C. W. Johnson
    USA
    07/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Christine A Saunders
    Kentfield, CA, US
    02/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chris Chandler
    Crestone, CO United States
    24/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cynthia
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    10/04/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wasn't much of a mystery. Story well-written."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, narrator had a good voice and was easy to listen to. Story was fine, just thought it wasn't much of a mystery. It was almost a romance.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Don't know.


    What does Carole Boyd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her character voices are excellent. She has a different voice for each character and doesn't forget or confuse voices during dialogue. The male characters' voices are portrayed as well as the female characters.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes. But, not if it was billed as a drama or romance. I would see a mystery.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jane C. Harris
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    14/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I loved most parts of it . . ."

    except for the criminal case itself and the ending. The writing and narration are superb!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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