Angel with Two Faces (book #71)

Nicola Upson, 2009.

It’s not bad, but I don’t understand the point of doing hist fiction – this is 1935 – without trying harder than Upson does to inhabit the language. Characters say

“running the scenario past Morwenna” – Etymology Online says this sense of “scenario” is first recorded in 1962.

“Morwenna can’t deny her sexuality any longer” (no, she’s not gay, she just likes a bit of raciness). There’s an 1890 use of the phrase “deny sexuality”, but it refers to cryptogams and doesn’t really mean the same thing at all.

There’s a reference to “the women’s body language”. Merriam-Webster does find this in 1926.

Of course all these phrases could have been used, and I accept that some of Tey’s friends are bohemian and might sound more modern than we expect, but the effect is to jerk one out of place and start questioning other aspects of the story and the writing: not really a good idea.


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