The Folio Society, 2010. Boxed. Printed and blocked with a design by A. Richard Allen. Introduced by Ruth Rendell. Tragedy has hit the Ashby family too often. The young parents of 13-year-old twin boys died in a plane crash; the elder twin, Patrick, later vanished, leaving a suicide note at the top of the cliffs near their home. Patrick's brother Simon has become heir to the family property, Latchetts, and Aunt Bee is holding the family together, carefully building the stud farm and stables into a business that will support them until Simon comes of age and gains his inheritance. Just weeks before Simon's 21st birthday, a young man appears claiming to be Patrick. Unusual, subtle and filled with unforgettable characterisations, Josephine Tey's books experiment brilliantly with the traditional mystery genre. In Brat Farrar, the reader knows from the start that Brat is not who he claims to be, which, as Ruth Rendell points out in a newly commissioned introduction, paradoxically gives the novel 'a greater tension than if its author had led us up the garden path to be weakly surprised at the end'. The pleasure is in the unravelling of other mysteries: the process of detection that brings old crimes and scandals to light alongside the brooding menace of the present - what Rendell calls 'a point of almost unbearable stress'.
Second hand Hardback