Walton, Jo (Book - 2006 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Item Details

One summer weekend in 1949--but not our 1949--the well-connected "Farthing set", a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before. Despite her parents' evident disapproval, Lucy is married--happily--to a London Jew. It was therefore quite a surprise to Lucy when she and her husband David found themselves invited to the retreat. It's even more startling when, on the retreat's first night, a major politician of the Farthing set is found gruesomely murdered, with abundant signs that the killing was ritualistic. It quickly becomes clear to Lucy that she and David were brought to the retreat in order to pin the murder on him. Major political machinations are at stake, including an initiative in Parliament, supported by the Farthing set, to limit the right to vote to university graduates. But whoever's behind the murder, and the frame-up, didn't reckon on the principal investigator from Scotland Yard being a man with very private reasons for sympathizing with outcasts...and looking beyond the obvious. As the trap slowly shuts on Lucy and David, they begin to see a way out--a way fraught with peril in a darkening world.
Authors: Walton, Jo
Title: Farthing
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 319 p. ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Jo Walton
Notes: "A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Continued by: Ha'penny
ISBN: 0765314215
Branch Call Number: FICTION WALTON
Subject Headings: Police Great Britain Fiction Country homes Fiction England Fiction Antisemitism Fiction
Genre/Form: Alternative histories (Fiction)
Mystery fiction
Suspense fiction
Topical Term: Police
Country homes
LCCN: 2005034487
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From Library Staff

In an alternate post-World War II London in which an upper-crust political group has overthrown Churchill and negotiated peace with Hitler, Lucy, ostracized since her marriage to a Jewish man, is unexpectedly invited to a family gathering only to find her husband framed for a ritualistic murder.

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Jul 15, 2014
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Fascinating in concept, if not in execution; the character of Lucy is particularly problematic, with her affectations left over from childhood (from "Macedonians" to still calling her parents Mummy and Daddy), and the alternate history is certainly stronger than the police procedural. Nevertheless, a chilling look at the razor's edge civilization walks.

Sep 08, 2012
  • sulatton rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Alternate history. This mystery is the first of three parts. Quite well written.

Could not get past the first two chapters.

Mar 28, 2009
  • Daphne57 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

disturbing, 1st of three; a small mystery, murder & a really scary look at what might have been.


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