Brat Farrar

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 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.


  1. I cannot believe that I haven't read one of Tey's books yet, as I hear nothing but good things about her. I have The Daughter of Time somewhere, but also a huge reading list at the moment. She'll have to be kept waiting again. Sigh!

  2. This is on my reread list for this fall because it's been so long that I've forgotten what happened but still remember that I loved it. :)

  3. Maureen over at By Singing Light has been doing a big reread of Josephine Tey's mysteries, and it's just reminding me that I really need to read Brat Farrar, which I am pretty sure I own a copy of. It sounds excellent!

  4. Everybody read Brat Farrar! And the others too--I really enjoyed A Shilling for Candles, and of course Daughter of Time is a classic.


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