Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
After the UK trip, I went looking for my copy of The Daughter of Time to give to my kid, who was curious about the Richard III question. I couldn't find it, but I did find Brat Farrar, so I decided to read that myself. Tey wrote unusual mysteries--not the usual kind of formula--and they're good to revisit. This one is odd in that we know from the first that there's an impersonation going on...so what is the mystery?
Brat Farrar is going to pose as the long-lost (thought dead) Patrick, heir to the Ashby estate. He's well-coached, he looks just right, and he's going to arrive just as Patrick's twin, Simon, is about to come of age. Brat immediately feels at home with the Ashbys--in fact, he feels that he's doing this for Patrick in a way. As he becomes ever more comfortable in his new role, he also starts to suspect that Patrick did not commit suicide eight years ago.
One of the neat things about this story is how much we sympathize with Brat. He's committing massive fraud, and his motives are very mixed--he isn't a bad person at all, and yet here he is, about to steal a fortune. We get involved with all the characters and sympathize with them too. Pretty soon Brat is in quite a mess, and seeing how it turns out is much of the fun.