Read Brat Farrar (Maailma krimiklassika; #34) by Josephine Tey Pille Runtal Online

brat-farrar-maailma-krimiklassika-34

"Brat Farrari" tegevus toimub vahetult pärast Teist maailmasõda ja selle keskmes on jõukas Ashby perekond. Napilt enne seda, kui üks mõisas elavast neljast lapsest, kes on kaotanud ema ja isa ning elavad nüüd oma tädi hoole all, peaks 21-aastaseks saades pärima suure summa fondist, mille on asutanud ta surnud ema, ilmub mõisa noormees, kes nimetab ennast tema kaksikvennaks"Brat Farrari" tegevus toimub vahetult pärast Teist maailmasõda ja selle keskmes on jõukas Ashby perekond. Napilt enne seda, kui üks mõisas elavast neljast lapsest, kes on kaotanud ema ja isa ning elavad nüüd oma tädi hoole all, peaks 21-aastaseks saades pärima suure summa fondist, mille on asutanud ta surnud ema, ilmub mõisa noormees, kes nimetab ennast tema kaksikvennaks Patrickuks. See kaksikvend kadus peagi pärast vanemate surma, jättes maha kirja, mida võis tõlgendada ka enesetapukirjana. Nüüd kinnitab ta, et võttis endale uueks nimeks Brat Farrar ja jutustab siis, mis temaga on vahepeal juhtunud. Kas sellest aga kahtluste hajutamiseks piisab ning kas ta on ikka see, kes väidab end olevat?...

Title : Brat Farrar (Maailma krimiklassika; #34)
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789985330241
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Brat Farrar (Maailma krimiklassika; #34) Reviews

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-04-06 03:13

    This 1949 suspense novel is a gripping story of deception and hidden identity, set in post-WWII England among the upper classes. Simon Ashby is about to turn 21 and finally inherit his dead parents' estate, easing the financial stresses on his family and younger sisters. But suddenly another young man appears, claiming to be Simon's older twin brother Patrick, who is thought to have committed suicide at age 14. In fact, "Patrick" is Brat Farrar, an orphan who's been coached by an unscrupulous neighbor to claim Patrick's place and inheritance. But all isn't as it seems, and the plot thickens from there...The mystery is more or less disclosed fairly early on, but the suspense builds until the end. Even when the Ashby family is engaged in horse shows or other apparently innocuous pursuits, there's an ominous atmosphere, a feeling that disaster could strike at any time. It was a highly entertaining old-fashioned mystery/suspense novel, one of the inspirations for Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree. There's some unexamined classism in the story, but it's pretty minor and typical of the time this was written. The mystery itself isn't up to, say, Agatha Christie levels, but Josephine Tey was a fine author who spins a good tale. This and several other Tey novels are available online at Project Gutenberg Australia, if you're interested in checking her out.Sept. 2017 buddy read with the Retro Reads group.

  • Carol Clouds ꧁꧂
    2019-04-19 03:54

    I've not been a fan of every Tey I have ever read & sometimes a reread can disappoint - but not in this case! Brat Farrar's temptation into a life of assumed identity (or is it???) & intrigue thrills every step of the way. Every detail of this book works perfectly & meshes together. We take every careful step with Brat & the scene where (view spoiler)[ Brat has a conversation with his drunk supposed twin Simon (hide spoiler)] is a quite wonderful example of taut suspense.If you don't read any other works by Tey, please read this one - you won't regret it.

  • karen
    2019-04-24 06:13

    so this isnt a mystery novel in the traditional sense, but its got a very compelling pacing to it that makes the suspense parts both immediate and british-leisurely. like a brisk stroll on the grounds where we mustnt go too quickly or geoffrey will tire. my love of law and order (the one on television) has ruined me for mystery novels. or maybe just mystery novels written before 1950. because i always know my whodunits too soon. i have this affliction where i can retain very little of what i hear, but if i see it written, i can remember it quite well (for a time - dont ask me about books i read 10 years ago). it is why i always took really extensive notes in lecture classes, and why i forget things people tell me allll the time. why is this important? i dont know, except that i remember little facts that stick out in my mind - inconsistencies and whatnot because i am a pretty good close reader. but even the most obvious and bad movie with a central mystery, i generally dont figure it out until the reveal. and thats me. oh right, the book? the family is pretty interesting, its got horses for dana, its full of british charm and restraint, and i should get back to my paper. damn.

  • Hirondelle
    2019-04-10 23:49

    You know those reviews where somebody is reviewing a deeply loved old book, and criticizing everything on it, accusing it of all types of political incorrectness? Either skip this or hold on, because this is going to be one of those reviews. (and that is surprising *me*. I did not know I had it in me).This was my second read. I read it maybe 10 years ago, and I recalled it as being charming and with an interesting plot which included a favorite trope - impersonation. I picked up and read the first pages a while ago and was hooked into a full reread, how can anybody resist a book which opens like this:"Aunt Bee," said Jane, breathing heavily into her soup, "was Noah acleverer back-room boy than Ulysses, or was Ulysses a clevererback-room boy than Noah?""Don't eat out of the point of your spoon, Jane.""I can't mobilise the strings out of the side.""Ruth does."Jane looked across at her twin, negotiating the vermicelli with smugneatness."She has a stronger suck than I have.""Aunt Bee has a face like a very expensive cat," Ruth said, eyeing heraunt sideways.Bee privately thought that this was a very good description, but wishedthat Ruth would not be quaint."No, but which was the cleverest?" said Jane, who never departed from apath once her feet were on it.And that is precisely a perfect example of the things I loved: the eccentric family britishness of this setting, the oh so clever allusions, the wit, and the writing. But on reread, I found problems I did not remember, either because I am older (presumably wiser and definetely pickier) or because it was a reread, and since I remembered something of the plot I was at liberty to think more on circunstances. It seemed as cozy a read as I remembered, but poking under the surface of this book disturbed me.This is a profoundly reactionary book. That is an adjective I do not often use, but it seems the most appropriate to the tone of this. A british upper class countryside murder mystery reactionary novel. This is a nostalgic ode to traditional conservative british country values, a book published in 1949, likely set at that same time but which can fit no period in history - it glides over the history, it uses WWII as details for some things in plot ((view spoiler)[ a dentist and his office was destroyed during the war; a waiter lost his sons in a war and his grandsons on the following war; a nurse was killed in the war evacuating a ward to safety; Hitler in the past tense had many doppelgangers (hide spoiler)]) but then totally avoids the occurrence of world war II as having changed society or having influenced the lives of the main characters. For example there seems to be no rationing in this 1949 Britain (nor seemed to exist in recent past, apart from a small mention of"Ireland in the days before it was more advisable to bring home the bacon." If that is what is meant by bringing home the bacon) and the past history of Brat Farrar is simply impossible to insert into history at any time pre 1949 (view spoiler)[If Simon and Patrick are 21 circa 1949, they would have been 13, the time when Patrick nominally disappeared in 1940. No, I do not think skipping over to live in France particularly in a ferry from the channel islands all that likely in that year or following years. Moving it back further in the past, the getting into France would have been possible, but the problem of leaving it and going to Mexico and the USA also as a problem. And if this was set earlier than 1949, then likely the twins would have been older during WWII and might have been expected to serve (hide spoiler)]. Nope, this book fits no period in history.I am mentioning the lack of historical coherence, not as a fault on its own but more as one example of the fact that this book is all about mood with little concern for details. More seriously than historical background for a mystery novel, is the fact that the mechanics of the mystery are never explained! Our main character mulls the logistics of an event, how it could have possibly have been done, till he has an eureka moment. While the reader understands the revelation of what that eureka moment is about, it still does not explain the hows and whens of the sequence of events((view spoiler)[presumably the eureka moment was that Simon impersonated Patrick, or vice versa, during the afternoon of the murder. But please can we get a recap of who was where and did what during that afternoon? I think the details of how the deception was worked are just waived off (hide spoiler)]). It fails at making clear the puzzle. And this appalls me: (view spoiler)[ that the crime is brushed under the carpet so to speak by the police: The police, that is, at what is known as “the highest level.” The police had been told everything, and they were now engaged in their own admirable fashion in smoothing out the mess to the best of their ability without breaking any of the laws which they were engaged to uphold. Simon Ashby was dead. It was to no one’s advantage to uncover the story of his crime. By a process of not saying too much, the ritual of the Law might be complied with, leaving unwanted truths still buried; a harrow dragging over earth that held below its surface unexploded bombs.. A murder was done, that Patrick´s body is presumably not given even the honor of being buried under his own name, that the police, any police, with have so little respect for the truth and the victim to brush off a murder in order to not inconvenience a nice respectable family of the county. (hide spoiler)]).The characters quite often baffled me. Maybe it is an irreconcilable social-cultural gap between me and that particular class of people living at that moment in time, but oh they do seem so shallow to me. They are emotionally restrained (the horrors of providing entertainment to strangers by reuniting in public with a long lost brother) to the point of seeming emotionally stunted - the motives for a 13 year old child (nephew, brother) running away and not sending any news for 8 years are not at all questioned (bullying? Abuse? Secrets? apart from obliquely question ONCE days after his "return"), they are not the sort of people who pry or emote, you know: There was no backslapping, congratulatory insistence on the situation as there would be in a transatlantic household. What his family wants to know of yet unmet returned "Patrick" is not his explanations of why he run away, if he is happy or not, they want to know"Is he nice to look at? And does he talk nicely or has he a frightful accent?”. And there you have their priorities.There is an inherent classism and snobbery, sometimes combined with misogyny in this book which drives me crazy. It´s unspeakably important that the lovely old houses remain with their old families. Upper class things are "lovely". Social climbing is a horrible thing, particularly in women. "Progressive" schools are for dodgers"anyone who loathes hard work ". The casual misogyny, oh either women are horsey, upper class (preferrably. And no matter what the Ashbys think of themselves they are not, with their horror of gentility, middle class by any definition of it) and totally unconcerned with their looks, or are vulgar or worse "nymphomaniac moron", "slatternly girl". Brat thinks horsey 11 year old Jane is a proper young girl, the sort of sister he would pick; but her girlier twin Ruth does not quite deserve the same love, being interested in clothes and attention from adults. I do not like nor respect the set of values of these characters. (I kept thinking of what either Jane Austen or Terry Pratchett would have made of these people or Miss Tey herself.)There is a disturbing element to the plot((view spoiler)[ namely that Brat and Eleanor seem to have developped a romantic relationship (oh, so understated, of course) while he was impersonating her brother. Yikes. And she discovers he is not her brother, because of course she could not possibly feel attraction to her own brother - without any commentary or any sort by the author. Even in 1949 surely people were not that naïve? Oedipus, Byron and all that? But strangely, nevermind that we are explicitly told about that relationship, I thought it almost perfunctory and so unstated that it was not too repulsive.I did think there were hints some sort of homossexual relationship between Brat and Alec was hinted at. There is dialogue like between Sheila and Brat “I suppose it’s no good my trying to seduce you instead?” she said. “I’m afraid not.” “Is it that I’m not your type, or is it not your line?” “Not much in my line, I’m afraid.” orIt’s a pity you aren’t interested in women. and the ironic coincidence that His eyes went on to the wood of the bedstead, and he remembered that this was Alec Loding’s bed, and was pleased once more by the irony of it all. It was fantastically right that he should come to Latchetts only to sleep in Alec Loding’s bed. He must tell him one day. It was the kind of thing that Loding would appreciate.Of course all these quotes might be meant without any innuendo, but I do think the author is capable of meaning innuendo - for example in this fantastical exchange:“Nothing in this world came out of satisfaction.”“Except the human race,” said Brat. Indeed, not so innocent an exchange. (hide spoiler)])This was a hard book to reduce to a rating. It´s cozy, eccentric and interesting. It´s often witty. I can see why so many people love it, even while I loathed many aspects of it, and think it is at core shallow and snobby. So let´s throw it a three as a compromise.

  • Kim
    2019-03-28 01:09

    A mystery involving an imposter and a possible crime set in and around a horse stud in the south of England, sometime after World War II, this is a novel which kept my interest from beginning to end. It's an intriguing work. On the one hand, the way in which the narrative develops and the resolution of the mystery are extremely predictable. I'm not particularly skilled at solving literary crime before the protagonist charged with that task, but here I worked out what had happened and what was going to happen reasonably early in the piece. On the other hand, even though the novel contained no surprises, I still found it very suspenseful. Tey's prose is elegant, her characters are well-developed and she evokes a great sense of place and time. In addition, while I know nothing about the world of horses in which the novel is set, the way in which Tey writes about that world is entirely convincing. The major weakness of this work is that the ending feels rushed. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I would have liked somewhat more exposition. It felt a bit like Tey, having written a particular number of words, was keen to wrap up the novel as soon as she could. It didn't ruin the reading experience for me, though. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel and although I didn't do so, I could easily have read it in one or two sittings. I'm not sure why I read and enjoyed two novels by Josephine Tey when I was in my teens - The Franchise Affair and The Daughter of Time - and then didn't read another of her novels until last year, when I read two of the novels in her Alan Grant series. Neglecting Tey's novels for such a long time means that I missed out on a lot of reading enjoyment. On the other hand, not having read them before means that I still have that pleasure ahead of me. Another enjoyable buddy read with my friend Jemidar.

  • Marwan
    2019-04-15 00:13

    I was confused whether I should read this one or the Daughter of Time, but I chose the former since it's different from what I've read before. And wow, This probably one of the best book I've read. I's not a typical classical mystery where a murder is committed in countryside and a detective is summoned to solve it. Instead, it revolves around Brat Farrar, an orphan who spent few years in America and returned to England. Few days after his return he's approached by Alec Loading, an actor who mistakes him for Simon Ashby (the next heir to the Ashby's fortune). After realizing his mistake, Alec invites Brat to lunch and offers to him a deal (which occurred to him at the moment) ; to disguise as Patrick Ashby, the twin of Simon Ashby who was originally the heir and who has disappeared at the age of 14 and was assumed to have committed a suicide. Alec in return wants a small allowance to be send to him every week. Brat at beginning refuses the offer but later accepts when he learned that the Ashbys own a horses stud farm ( and Brat is a fan of horses). So Alec spends two weeks couching Brat about the family members, memories, Patrick personality and hobbies. Brat succeeded in infiltrating and convincing the Ashbys that he's Patrick and life seems to go well with him until some secrets starts to emerge and jeopardize his life.

  • Mizuki
    2019-04-25 02:14

    After so many re-reads, Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey is still one of the best classical British mystery novels of all time. I like the plots and how the characters were written, I like the strong sense of British-ness that seeps through the story, although the typical classism (everyone in the story tends to judge people by their family backgrounds, their breeds and their social statuses, etc) is pretty difficult to swallow, still the strong points of the story easily manage to overwhelm the weakness, so 5 satisfying full stars.

  • Cphe
    2019-04-18 02:02

    A strongly delivered story of sibling rivalry. Patrick Ashby was considered a suicide when a young boy, years later he returns to the family seat of Latchetts as Brat Farrar. Wonderful air of time and place and an engaging mystery. Had an inkling early on as to how the mystery surrounding Brat Farrar might unfold but it in no way detracted from the appeal of the story overall. An enduring mystery that manages to hold up over time, well worth a look at.

  • Abigail Bok
    2019-04-03 02:12

    This is one of my all-time favorite mysteries. Published in 1950, Brat Farrar is about a young man, Bartholomew Farrell (he comes to be known as Brat Farrar over the course of extensive teenage wanderings), who is left as a foundling at a high-class orphanage. He leaves that life in his early teens and knocks about Europe and the Americas, eventually feeling the call of his homeland and returning about age twenty. In London he crosses paths with a ne’er-do-well, Alex Loding, who is startled to see Brat’s close resemblance to the members of a family who lived near his childhood home: the Ashbys. Loding hatches a scheme to pass off Brat as Patrick Ashby, a boy who disappeared at age thirteen and was presumed a suicide. Patrick and his twin, Simon, would be about to come of age; and because Patrick was the elder of the two, he stood to inherit Latchetts, a small estate and stud farm, upon reaching his majority. So if the impostor can pull it off, he will be a well-off man and can afford to pay Loding an allowance for life.We see the Ashbys—the remaining four children having been brought up by their aunt on the estate after their parents’ death—preparing to celebrate Simon’s coming-of-age, when word leaks out of “Patrick’s” return from the dead. The pseudo-Patrick is accepted by the family with various degrees of willingness, and he settles into a life he might have been born to lead. But all is not happy under the surface, as you might imagine: Simon in particular is not pleased with the return of his twin.The story is told from within Brat’s mind, so we know from the start that he is not Patrick Ashby and is committing an imposture. Even so, it’s very hard not to like Brat and wish him success. The foundling boy has finally found a place where he fits, and he loves his new family, feeling a deep need to belong to them, even though those feelings are crossed with his sense of guilt. The pressure builds on various fronts until a dramatic climax is reached—about which I propose to tell you nothing. But it is a satisfyingly tidy yarn, full of characters to savor and plenty of suspense.Though I have read this mystery several times, it never ceases to enthrall me.

  • Laura
    2019-04-21 05:57

    Free download at Project Gutenberg AustraliaChapter 1:"At this same table had eaten Ashbys who had died of fever in India, of wounds in the Crimea, of starvation in Queensland, of typhoid at the Cape, and of cirrhosis of the liver in the Straits Settlements. But always there had been an Ashby at Latchetts; and they had done well by the land.""No queens had come to Latchetts to dine; no cavaliers to hide. For three hundred years it had stood in its meadows very much as it stood now; a yeoman’s dwelling. And for nearly two of those three hundred years Ashbys had lived in it.""But the Ashbys stayed at Latchetts."Chapter 18:"Antipathy or no antipathy, common sense or no common sense, he wanted to know where Simon Ashby was when his twin went over the Westover cliffs."Page 176:"Some day, Brat Farrar, he thought as he walked down the path to the Rectory, you are going to be faced with something that you couldn’t possibly have forgotten."Page 219:“I suppose because you are the only one who doesn’t believe that I am Patrick.”“You mean, don’t you, that I’m the only one who knows you’re not?”"Another splendid gothic mystery written by Josephine Tey which books are becoming available at public domain.

  • Tracey
    2019-04-27 03:07

    Somehow, I never read this before. Somehow I never had a copy until not too long ago, and somehow when I reread all my Teys at the beginning of the year I couldn't put my hands on my copy. (It's a trade paperback, which lives in a different place from the ordinary paperbacks. Stupid segregation.) Also, there is the sort of vague feeling that I was saving this: with Brat Farrar still unread, there was still a Tey novel out there that would be new to me. But then last week my Goodreads friend Jemidar pointed out that Josephine Tey was available free online, and that was all I needed to hear. I didn't plan on reading it online in two big gulps, but that's what happened, and the less said about what computer was used for those gulps the better, mmkay? The synopsis: A young man called Brat Farrar, orphan and traveler and something of a chameleon, is approached by a less than scrupulous actor because he is the spitting image of another young man called Simon Ashby, the heir to Latchetts, something of an equestrian empire. The actor – Loding, an old friend of the family, if by friend you mean opportunistic crook – propositions Brat almost immediately; I enjoyed the fact that he had to be very specific that what he had in mind was a business arrangement, and a different sort of illegal-and-immoral than Brat initially assumes. Simon, he informs this striking young man, is a twin – or, rather, was, because the twin, named Patrick, killed himself shortly after their parents died in an accident when the boys were thirteen; he walked into the sea and drowned. But the note he left behind was somewhat open to interpretation: it is an apology, not specifically for suicide but for leaving, and Loding's brainstorm upon seeing this young stranger who looks so very like Simon is to send Brat to the Ashbys as Patrick returned from not death but prodigality. And of course out of the money that that would bring, a monthly stipend would be forwarded to himself. Brat refuses; he's disgusted by the idea. But then Loding mentions the horses. And Brat starts to wonder what, really, would be the harm in taking up his dream life. The understanding of horses – the plain common sense of it – is a joy. (“It’s the sound of the crowd that worries her,” Gregg said. “Something she hears and can’t understand. If I were you, Mr. Patrick, sir, I’d take her out and walk her. Take her out and show her the crowds and she’ll be so interested she’ll forget her nerves.”) They're not overly romanticized, seen through a soft-focus lens; horses can be a right pain in the rump just like any other creatures (and more often a literal pain there, if you see what I mean, than most), and are a chancy entity to pin your living onto; they can sicken and die or fail to live up to expectations – or kill. But for all of that they have a fascination which I thoroughly enjoyed seeing explored here. "You haven’t got my favourite in your collection," she said, having examined his choice, and brought another tome from the shelves. And then, finding that he was totally ignorant, she took him back to the beginning and showed him the foundations — Arab, Barb, and Turk — of the finished product. By midnight there were more books on the floor than there were on the shelves but they had both had a marvellous time.(At which I must interrupt for a brief word toward whatever Recording Angel or Celestial Agent or whatnot who has the placing of infants: Dear Sir/Madame/Otherwise: This is the life I should have had. Horses, sir/madame/other – horses. That's all I ever wanted. England would have been nice too. My own family is mostly lovely, so thank you – but this is where I belonged. There's probably some Englishwoman out there exactly my age who loathes horses and wishes she had been born in Connecticut and would have been perfectly happy working in offices. Ill done, sir/madame/other.)A brief – but intense – period of preparation using photos and maps and blueprints later, Brat slowly works himself into the Ashbys' bosom at Latchetts, and something funny happens. The book is largely told from Brat's point of view, so that the reader is given the privilege of knowing his reasoning and reaction. And even though his history (as, once upon a time, Bart Farrell, then Brat Farrar, and now Patrick Ashby) is thoroughly documented and I was given no reason to see him as an unreliable narrator, lying about the early years, Brat is … nice enough, and so well suited for the place, that I half believed that somehow he really was Patrick. And Simon is just enough short of nice (not vile, but, among other things, not loving the horses as he should, as Brat does) that the half-belief is bolstered by a wish. There is also the anxiety about when these lovely folk will learn the truth. Because they will. And all of them (except for Simon) are characters I don't like to think of being hurt. (Ruth is a flighty and self-centered little creature, but still to be protected.) Therein lies the suspense: with judicious foreshadowing and excellent character building, Tey creates a situation in which a wrong word could bring everything crashing down about their ears. "Some day, Brat Farrar, he thought as he walked down the path to the Rectory, you are going to be faced with something that you couldn’t possibly have forgotten.- He should thank God Patrick was only thirteen years old when he vanished; even a couple more years and there would have been a great many more associations, not to mention girls. Before long, a new question begins to rise, as to whether part of Brat and Loding's ploy might not have a little truth to it: perhaps Patrick did not kill himself. The exposition in this book is masterful, and makes me sigh when I think of trying it myself. The history of the family is introduced in a completely painless manner – Josephine Tey never heard of the concept of "infodump". Characters are presented, fully formed human beings with flaws and virtues and "hair … of what color it please God": their characteristics come out in their actions and conversation, and it's a lovely thing to watch. Conversation between the younger set of twins: “If I ran away for years and years, would you believe I was me, Jane?” Ruth asked.“You wouldn’t stay away for years and years, anyhow,” Jane said.“What makes you think I wouldn’t?”“You’d come home in no time at all.”“Why would I come home?”“To see how everyone was taking your running away.”Here's where the doubts about Simon come in – first, the question of whether Brat, false as he is, might not after all be a better heir to the estate than his purported twin. "No one, no one, was going to come between Simon Ashby and the sun and get away with it."This possibly doesn't really rate five stars. Even as I read the ending I recognized a problem: the solution to the mystery of eight years before is glossed over. Brat ponders the data he's collected, and the apparent impossibility of what he's thinking – and after a bit of time he has an epiphany in which all is revealed to him. The epiphany, however, is never shared with the reader: the details are never revealed. Also, I have no idea what the laws were in the forties and fifties in England, but I hardly think that fraud to usurp a fair-sized inheritance was looked at any more lightly than it would be now; they still hanged criminals in the 40's and 50's. I think whatever the personal feelings of those involved Brat should have faced a good deal more trouble than, in the end, he does… He took on the plot as something of a lark, and his only hesitations were purely moral: it was the wrong thing to do, and sordid. But he never really considers what will happen, on legal or personal levels, if he gets caught. Finally, Loding (view spoiler)[vanishes from the picture; he receives no comeuppance, and tries to take no action. Brat operates on a gentlemanly level and refrains from letting him be identified and brought into the situation – which is a very kind thing to do, considering Loding's sister. But it might have been interesting to have him stop by the hospital for a brief visit at the end. (hide spoiler)]Still and all, there it is: the last new-to-me Tey. It was a wonderful read. (Thanks, Jemidar!)

  • Terri
    2019-04-06 00:06

    A friend recommended this mystery book to me when hearing of my interest in English authors. Josephine Tey is better known for her book "The Daughter of Time" which is next on my reading list. If "Bret Farrar" is any indication of this author's talent, then I am in for a treat. "Bret Farrar" is a intense look at the English upper classes and their love for well-bred horses. The wealthy family in the book has a history of traditions, class snobbery and tragic loss. It is a crime novel based on the Tichborne Claimant, which was a famous 19th-century legal case in Victorian England. Like the Tichborne Claimant case, the novel tells the story of a "missing heir" who returns home to his family. The family warmly excepts him (even though he is a imposter) with the exception of his twin brother and a family friend. They know he is a fraud and that he wants to claim the family manor and wealth as his own. Josephine Tey is a brilliant observer of human nature and she tells a very good story.

  • ✨Susan✨
    2019-04-22 00:01

    Is it a scam, if not even the scammer is sure it is actually a scam? A good fast paced mystery with just enough deception to keep me guessing as to who was the victim and who was actually the villain.

  • Barb in Maryland
    2019-04-06 03:05

    Oh, this book! I felt compelled to up my rating to 5 stars after this re-read.The basic plot is one of my favorites--the return of the heir, long presumed dead. We the readers know fairly early on that Brat is not the missing Patrick. The tension is generated by the many hurdles Brat has to clear to maintain his impersonation of Patrick. At every point along the way there's the chance that the whole house of cards will come tumbling down. Tey has such a smooth and warm style. All the characters are so real; I felt I knew them. And while I liked most of them, I absolutely loved Aunt Bee. She's so warm, loving and accepting, without being perfect. Brat just about broke my heart, in a good way. He is so basically decent, yet he has, of his own free will, set out on this con. His inner conflict, as he begins to live as Patrick, contributes to the ever rising tension levels.The story is not all nail-biting suspense. There are bits of gentle humor scattered throughout--breathing spaces, as it were, before the next turn of the screw.The climax is a doozy; the story ends on a firm note of hope that had me in tears. Happy book sighs...

  • Lisa (Harmonybites)
    2019-04-23 00:47

    Josephine Tey, along with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, is my favorite mystery author. Sadly, she wasn't at all prolific. She only wrote eight mystery novels before her death in 1952. What I find remarkable about them is that each really is so memorable and so different, yet each offers more than just some intricate puzzle piece, and producing some jaw-dropping twist is usually beyond the point.Tey's probably best known for The Daughter of Time, and I'd probably name that one as my favorite Tey--that one is rather unique in mystery novels, with its fictional contemporary detective solving a centuries old real mystery about the Two Princes in the Tower and the true character of Richard III. But if you wish for a more traditional mystery, well, Brat Farrar for all it's very singular touches might be more your cup of tea and this is a close second favorite among the Tey mysteries.The title character is an orphan who finds out he bears an uncanny resemblance to a missing English heir and so decides to impersonate the long lost Patrick Ashby. We meet the Ashby family in the first pages, so naturally you'd expect your sympathies would be with them, not the interloper. But Tey develops Brat in such a way you can't help but care about him. Because it's not the fortune that really attracts him--it's the chance to Belong. Before the book ends you feel tremendous sympathy for Brat, and the Ashbys, especially Aunt Bee who welcomes him into the fold. There were so many small things that made this a pleasure to read. I loved the focus on horses, the breeding, riding, showing and life in a working stable. Also, Brat has an American background, having spent years there. So many times reading British authors tackling American characters or settings, they just don't ring true, or have this condescension about them--especially a book, like this one, written before 1950. Yet Tey writes of Americans and America with obvious insight and affection. And yet writes about England with such evident love you wish you lived there. Purely as a mystery this more than passes muster. Rich characterizations, suspenseful, even moving, this is one of my favorite mysteries, one where its details stayed vividly in my mind decades after first reading it.

  • John
    2019-04-22 05:56

    A novel that's (very) loosely based on the case of the Tichborne Claimant. Back in 2009 I read another novel based on the same case, Robin Maugham's The Link (1969). It's not really worth comparing the two because they offer completely different treatments of a similar tantalizing subject: How do you know someone whom you haven't seen in many years is actually the person they claim to be rather than a well trained impostor, even if that person is purportedly a family member?(There's a more direct treatment of the case in the movie The Tichborne Claimant [1998], which I haven't seen but oughter. The theme is also tackled in two non-Tichborne movies, Le retour de Martin Guerre [1982] and Summersby [1993]. I'm sure there are others.)Eight years ago, following the death in an air crash of his parents, 13-year-old Patrick Ashby, heir-presumptive by a matter of minutes to the Latchetts estate, left a suicide note on a cliff-edge and vanished. Now someone claiming to be him approaches the family solicitor; he has a strong resemblance to his just-younger twin Simon, and successfully answers all sorts of questions put to him by first the lawyer, then by Aunt Bee, who raised the kids after their parents' death: Simon, the somewhat younger Eleanor and the two much younger twins Jane and Ruth. By this time we know that Patrick is in fact an impostor, Brat Farrar, left on an orphanage doorstep as a baby and since then a wanderer in Europe and the Americas; he has been superbly schooled by a close acquaintance of the family, who wants to split with Brat the income from the estate that he'll very shortly inherit.The trouble is that Brat is far too honorable a person to keep up such a pretense for long; besides, he soon falls in love with -- Simon excepted -- his new family. Just to complicate matters, in a different sense of the term he and Eleanor almost immediately start falling in love.Soon he's taking a full role in the family business of rearing, training and displaying horses -- while in the US he spent much of his time working with the animals, albeit in rather less chichi environs than Latchetts. I'm not a fan of equestrian sports, nor even of horses in general (they want me to like them, they should stop pooping on my foot or trying to bite my head off), so it's something of a tribute to Tey's skills as a writer that, during a longish section of the book set at a horse show, I was, at least metaphorically, on the edge of my seat. But then that was the case throughout this novel.Which is all the more remarkable when you consider that I've read it before (admittedly a long while ago) and so knew what was going to happen.The text is full of wry observations, some quite poignant, some very funny. Here, from the very first page, we have a bit of dialogue as the two little Ashby girls are coping with a dish of vermicelli:“Don’t eat out of the point of your spoon, Jane.”“I can’t mobilise the strings out of the side.”“Ruth does.”Jane looked across at her twin, negotiating the vermicelli with smug neatness.“She has a stronger suck than I have.”While I was reading this novel it struck me for the millionth time that, although Tey is generally talked of as a writer of detective novels, the four books for which she's most renowned are the ones that really don't properly fall into the category of detective fiction at all:[] Miss Pym Disposes, about a know-it-all receiving the just deserts for her vanity (my account of this novel seems to have vanished from Goodreads);[] The Franchise Affair, a study in mob rule and bigotry, often daftly listed as part of Tey's "Allan Grant" series, even though he makes barely an appearance and plays no real part in the plot (hm: coulda sworn I wrote about this one here, too);[] The Daughter of Time, in which, although he's assuredly the central character, Grant is investigating not a new case but the historical mystery of the Princes in the Tower; and[] Brat Farrar.Of these four, I'd be hard-pressed to decide which I like the best. They're all really quite exceptional.Returning to Brat Farrar, while I can imagine some people might find it irksome in that it's set in a sort of golden England that never was, and is quite smugly content to be set there, I found it to be -- again -- marvelous entertainment. The glorious conceit that it should be the Claimant who's trying to set things aright carries the novel a long way, but in the end it was the portrayals of the various characters, and their interactions, that made the pages go by in a blur: I really cared about what happened to these people.

  • Ivonne Rovira
    2019-04-01 02:11

    Josephine Tey’s best known for her mysteries featuring the suave Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, particularly The Daughter of Time; however, Brat Farrar has to be her best book. The novel, which deals with mistaken identity and how appearances can be deceiving — on many levels — builds such suspense that you can’t put the book down. That’s such a cliché, I know, but, in the case of Brat Farrar, it’s actually true.By chance, British-born orphan Brat Farrar gets the chance to pose as the long-lost heir to a horse stable in the English countryside. Brat has spent the last years as a cowboy in France, other parts of Europe and America. On Brat’s return to England, in a move reminiscent of The Prince and the Pauper, a distant relative of the heir, Alex Loding, realizes that Brat’s the spitting image of the missing heir, Patrick Ashby. Alex drills Brat on the Ashby family and directs the imposture where Brat would reclaim Patrick’s legacy. Thirteen-year-old Patrick disappeared eight years and was presumed a suicide. Since then the estate, The Latchetts, was to go to Patrick’s fraternal and slightly younger twin, the mercurial Simon. Needless to say, Simon’s none too happy to see his long-lost brother, but Aunt Beatrice — along with a team of lawyers — happily accept Brat as Patrick. Despite the initial subterfuge, the reader comes to sympathize with Brat. Will Brat be able to keep up the deception? And what really happened to Patrick those many years ago?Despite having been published more than 60 years ago, Brat Farrar holds up magnificently: Tey does an amazing job keeping readers on the edge of their seats. Don’t miss out on this classic suspense story!

  • Madeline
    2019-04-23 02:55

    Did anybody else ever see that movie Candleshoe? It's one of the lesser-known films from Disney's live-action canon; the cool part is that it stars Jessica Tandy and a pre-Taxi Driver Jody Foster. Anyway, Jody Foster plays this orphan who gets chosen by a con man to impersonate this rich British woman's long-lost granddaughter. The con man wants to plant Jody Foster at the lady's house because the guy who built the place was a pirate, and he hid his gold somewhere on the grounds. Jody Foster's job is to find the clues in the house that lead to the treasure, and naturally she ends up getting really attached to her adopted family and the creepy con man loses in the end. The plot of Brat Farrar is a lot like that movie, is what I'm saying. I liked it a lot, and you should probably read it. And track down a copy of Candleshoe, while you're at it. Read for: Social Forces in the Detective Novel

  • Laure
    2019-04-20 01:11

    So many wonderful books would be hidden from our knowledge without the enthusiastic recommendation of a dear friend or relative. A novel that has remained on my personal “Top Ten” list for over twenty years came from just that source. Years ago, Margaret Turner, in her eighties and legally blind, passed on to me a tattered anthology of mystery novels by Josephine Tey. Brat Farrar was my favorite. First published in 1949 and set in rural England, it is a mystery without the standard corpse on the hearthrug and polite police inspector. Instead, it is a masterpiece of deep themes, clearly defined characters, and building suspense.The main character, Brat Farrar, is a young man with many flaws and a “checkered” past. As the story starts, Brat agrees to pose as the heir to a fortune for personal financial gain. Clearly, this is an immoral choice. Yet, all through the story, I felt a kinship with him. His motivation gets challenged early on in his deception. He experiences “a faint queasiness, a sort of spiritual indigestion” (p. 121) that leads to profound change during the course of the novel. This is definitely not one of those books with static characters who never learn or grow. Instead, I find inspiration that we, too, are able to be transformed.Also, Tey interweaves a beautiful theme about our need to belong throughout the story. Brat, an orphan, is motivated by this visceral human impulse: “No one else had taken his hand in just that way. Casual --- no, not possessive… Belonging. It had something to do with belonging. The hand had taken him for granted because he belonged. It was the unthinking friendliness of a woman to one of her family. Was it because he had never ‘belonged’ before that made that commonplace gesture into a benediction?” (p. 158)This mystery novel is chock-full of charming, intricate characters: the rector, George Peck, is described as being ugly, but possessing great kindness and wisdom: “One of George Peck’s charms was that he listened to what was said to him.” (p.202), Aunt Bee holds the family together and shows Brat undeserved kindness. Then there is Simon, Brat’s rival for the family fortune! The plot twists, turns and culminates in a riveting denouement.My proof that I love this novel is that I have read it four times.Check out other book reviews on my blog: http://pineneedlesandpapertrails.word...

  • Jackie
    2019-04-11 23:01

    This has one of those witty English families, the Ashbys, living in organized chaos that I just love. But it's a family marked by an old tragedy - the oldest boy, and heir to the family name, disappeared years before, and is presumed dead.Enter our protagonist - an orphan who is a ringer for the missing boy, if he had survived to adulthood. He is approached with a proposition - to impersonate the missing heir, and split the inheritance with the plotter, who will coach him in all things Ashby.It goes against his principles, but our protagonist is persuaded not by the gains to be had, but the idea of family.I love to read this in tandem with Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree, which has the same plot device, but with a twist.

  • Richard
    2019-04-03 04:50

    The book is listed as a "mystery". Well, there is a mystery but we don't really get much about until we are well into the novel and then it's dropped until near the end. A secondary mystery regards the identity of Brat himself and that is resolved in a very artificial way. The novel is well written, the characters and setting well drawn, and if one ignores the flimsy "mystery" the book is a mildly enjoyable read.

  • Deanna
    2019-03-29 06:50

    A fine old classic mystery. Plenty of suspense and mystery, and interesting enough characters and places. The ending was fine, ok, but lacked a certain amount of punch that would have done a little more justice to all the ways you could imagine Tey could have gone with this. Still, a satisfying read.

  • Bfisher
    2019-03-30 03:00

    There were some gaping holes in the plot, yet the quality of the writing was so good that I quite enjoyed it.

  • Karen Mardahl
    2019-04-16 05:09

    I would probably give this book a 4-star rating at any other time. It is extremely well written and I was surprised to be drawn into the book immediately. I couldn't remember where I had gotten the idea to read this and feared it would be a bit dull for some reason. Not so. This was an audio page-turner. I won't say much about the story because it is described in all the blurbs and it is hard to say much that hasn't all ready been written. Many main points are revealed early on. It is the tension that is so thrilling. The fifth star goes to the vague chance of timing. I read this just when I needed to read it. It gave me the distraction I needed just at the right time. Also, listening to this was excellent. Carol Boyd did the narration and was perfect. I could disappear into my headphones and be cosseted by all the words flowing around me. OK, cosseted by a mystery might seem odd. I mean the storytelling. The absolute luxury of having someone read a story (well) to you where you hang on to every single word. That is a glorious situation to be in for a bookworm. For that, I give the fifth star.

  • Harry
    2019-03-26 22:52

    Note: this is not an Inspector Grant novel. Readers of Dick Francis might well enjoy this novel.Josephine Tey is the pseudonym for Elizabeth Mackintosh (1896-1952). Both a playwright (under the pseudonym Gordon Daviot) and novelist and due to a fierce predilection to keeping her life private, little is known about this author. She guarded her life jealously, avoided the press, side-stepped photographers, and never did any interviews. Biographers for the most part are therefore fairly well pissed-off about the whole secretive thing.And that's actually why Tey's novels are a bit of a game with readers and biographers alike (including myself). Absent documentary information about this writer, it is to the novels they turn for hints about her life. It's like knitting, a pleasant past time with many a reader and in fact Tey often referred to her novels as being tantamount to "Yearly Knitting." One might compare this to a comparable story in today's music industry where Taylor Swift who though not exactly shunning the media, steadfastly refuses to discuss her personal life and points her critics and admireres to her singer/songwriter work for the answer to their questions. Just so with Ms. Tey.And though she wrote primarily mysteries, they appear more as an afterthought to Tey. When reading her novels, you get the feeling she's pursuing something other than a conclusion to the mystery...something always wrapped in a puzzle in and of itself and something always decorated using a wonderful sense of language. She has been described as writing with exquisite characterization and a meticulous prose style.The books are period pieces, written over half a century ago and require a particular love of reading such pieces (which I fortunately possess). The Man in Queue her first mystery with Grant (written as a beginner) was reportedly written in two weeks for a competition sponsored by the publisher Methuen and is dedicated to her typewriter named: Brisena. Her second Inspector Grant novel, which I've not read, was A Shilling for Candles. Throughout the novels I get a sense that Ms. Tey was not fond of celebrated figures in history. Her most famous mystery The Daughter of Time would be a good example of writer-frowning-upon-writer (in this case, Shakespeare).Romance, or rather marriage is often avoided in her novels. It's like: Success must be brought to oneself and not through others. It describes Inspector Grant, who appears in a number of her novels, perfectly (though there are some deviations here and there).another of her famous novels reveals to the reader Tey's obvious fondness for horses. And perhaps through The Singing Sands, a posthumously discovered novel and her last, the reader catches a glimpse of Tey's life long fondness with the poetry of the English and Scottish landscape. It is also one of my favorite book covers because it perfectly illustrates the essence of this mystery novel.And who is Inspector Grant? I imagine him as a stoic - outwardly calm and thoughtful; inwardly brimming with intelligence and emotion. As with most policemen, he is dedicated to his craft and in typical British mannerisms does so without succumbing to mind numbing intoxicants to forget the horrors of murder and sociopathic behavior...thus avoiding becoming one of the flawed heroes we often encounter in detective mysteries. I'm not going to write a review for each one of her novels. I'll leave it to the reader to tell me who Ms. Tey really was. And, as always where it comes to series books, I'll repeat this one for all of her Inspector Grant novels. Enjoy!

  • Rebecka
    2019-04-19 01:51

    Why did I ever think this book would interest me? And even if it had been interesting, it's still not very good.

  • LJ
    2019-04-20 00:56

    BRAT FARRAR (Suspense-England-1950s) – ExTey, Josephine – StandaloneColliers Books, 1988, Paperback – ISBN: 0020088221*** Brat Farrer is an English orphan who, after much travel, has decided to come back to England. He is soon mistaken for Simon Ashby of Latchetts by Alec Loding, a cousin of the Ashbys. Brat is talked into impersonating Patrick Ashby, Simon’s older twin who allegedly committed suicide when they were ten. Now about to come of age and inherit Latchetts, the plan is for Brat to claim Patrick’s inheritance and provide Alec with a lifetime allowance as reward. What Brat doesn’t expect is to care so much for the family and, more than fearing his fraud being uncovered, he is in fear of his life.*** It has been 30 years since I first read this book and I’d forgotten just how good it is. The story starts off gently at the first sentence. I immediately find myself caught up in the lives of the characters and environment Ms. Tey created. Soon the suspense begins to build and I can’t put the book down. Even after the climax of the story, I am still kept in suspense until, at last, Ms. Tey kindly provides me with the resolution. I particularly wish other authors would take note that this completely enjoyable, engrossing and suspenseful story took only 276 pages to tell. If you’ve never read Brat Farrer or, as with me, it’s been a long time, treat yourself and pick it up. Also, for the Dick Francis fans, it not only has horses, but a somewhat similar feel in its style. It was, as my British acquaintances say, brilliant!

  • Dawn
    2019-04-02 02:46

    Awesome book! In my rediscovery of Josephine Tey, this is the best yet, perhaps her best ever in my opinion. It's a mystery, but not your traditional puzzle piece mystery. The mystery is intrinsic to the story, but the book is so much more. The point of view is unusual, from inside the head of the imposter who isn't even a bad guy. I want to give it a 5. My only hesitation is that I don't think Tey completely explained how the protagonist solved the murder. What did he see from up on the hill?! If any of my friends have read this book, please help me out! Did I miss something? It would have been helpful if the book had included a map. But it's almost as if the author grew impatient with convention and skipped to the really interesting action. I will never identify with British "repressed emotions," but I guess there wouldn't be as much story without them. Anyway, my friend Rose is right, the character development in this book really makes it stand out. I also like the positive, almost redemptive ending. Definitely at least a 4.5 rating. I remember a good BBC Mystery production of "Brat Farrar" when I was a teenager. Wish I could find it and watch it again.

  • Al
    2019-04-12 05:13

    In this novel of stolen identity, Brat Farrar is enlisted to pose as Patrick Ashby, scion of a wealthy English family, who was an apparent suicide eight years early. The book traces the tempting of Farrar, and his struggles with his new identity. Coincidentally, I had recently read The Scapegoat, by Daphne du Maurier, in which the protagonist is thrust, against his wishes, into a similar situation where he must act in the family role of his double. The books have many similarities. du Maurier's character is easier to like, as he is an innocent victim, and not an identity thief, but ironically Tey's resolution of the protagonist's dilemma is more feelgood than du Maurier's. Tey's book was published in 1949, and du Maurier's in 1977; presumably duMaurier knew of the Tey book. Both are good; interesting to read together.

  • Ellie
    2019-04-13 06:51

    An old story line-pretender to family fortune suddenly appears but is he really who he says he is?- is taken up by one of the best, imo, mystery fiction writers of the 20th century-Josephine Tey. Brat Farrar is, I believe, her most famous mystery. And although I would agree it's hew usual exceptional writing, interesting characters, and absorbing plot, I would argue that all her mysteries are her "best". But then I clearly love Tey and cannot judge her fairly. Except that it's clearly fair to say her mysteries have survived for good reason-good writing, characters, plot.Recommended: everyone who enjoys mystery fiction (especially of the cozy, British variety).