Saturday, April 10, 2021

Brat Farrar - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey

Rating: Liked It
Source: Purchased

Description: In this tale of mystery and suspense, a stranger enters the inner sanctum of the Ashby family posing as Patrick Ashby, the heir to the family's sizable fortune. The stranger, Brat Farrar, has been carefully coached on Patrick's mannerism's, appearance, and every significant detail of Patrick's early life, up to his thirteenth year when he disappeared and was thought to have drowned himself. It seems as if Brat is going to pull off this most incredible deception until old secrets emerge that jeopardize the imposter's plan and his life.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I wanted to expand my classic mystery reading and since I love Tey's Daughter of Time I wanted to try this one.

My Impression:  This is a different kind of mystery.  In fact it's not so much a mystery but more the inside view of a crime in progress.  We are in on the con (for lack of a better word) from the very beginning and inside Brat's head for most of the book.  Brat is the most likable conman I've ever come across and I couldn't help but connect with him from the beginning.

But while I connected with Brat and liked most of the characters I had a hard time really feeling pulled into the story.  I found it a bit odd how prosaic the whole family was about Patrick's death and how calm they were to have him back.  There's a distance kept between the characters and the reader that I think kept me from getting pulled in.  I wasn't involved in the story but more of a detached observer.  It is also a slower read without the primary structure of a classic murder mystery.  That isn't to say this is a bad read.  Tey is brilliant at surprising complicated simple plots and this one played out in an intriguing way that is unlike anything I've ever read before.  Despite the distance and slowness this was a book I enjoyed reading and was always one I looked forward to picking up.

I have now read two books by Josephine Tey and each were completely different.  I can't wait to read more from her and see what else she comes up with.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  This is an author that keeps me guessing.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Yes, though be prepared that this is not a classic murder mystery.


  1. Another classic author I haven't read. Sounds like a good one.

  2. I don't generally read classics but this one sounds like I might actually enjoy it.

  3. Interesting when a reader is kept detached at arm's length from characters. Usually I am not so keen on that either.