book crush thursday: Brat Farrar

"You don't have to be young Ashby. Just look like him. And believe me you do! ... It is worth a fortune to you. You have only to put out your hand and take it." -- Alec Loding

- "Tell me ... do you play cards?"
- "Not with strangers," said the young man pleasantly.
- "I just wondered. I had never met the perfect poker face until now, and I should be sorry if it was being wasted."

Have you read Josephine Tey's work yet? She's fantastic, one of those masterful British mystery writers of the early twentieth century. Brat Farrar (it's the main character's name... bizarre, I know) was my first and favorite book of Josephine Tey's, and I can't think of a better introduction to her style.

There's an estate, known for its horses. There's a family, with a few tragedies in its past. And there's an impersonator, poised to step in and inherit the estate... but on his way, he begins to wonder: what really happened to Patrick Ashby, the boy he's pretending to be?

And it's good. Because--if you're like me--you can't help liking Brat, the impersonator. And you can't help loving the family that he's lying to. And you can't really put it down until you get to the end...

It's perfect for when you want a good, quiet sort of mystery to puzzle over. Brat Farrar is also one of those rare mysteries that won't be harmed by a sunny day: stunning, but true. In fact, it might be read best on a cloudless day. From a hammock, I think. Yes. That's perfect.

Recommendation: Earl Grey tea and some high quality toast, with the best strawberry jam you can find. Period.

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