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Brat Farrar

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  3,538 ratings  ·  404 reviews
Simon Ashby was soon to turn twenty-one and the lean years would be over. After his parents' death, his Aunt Bee had come to the Ashbys' small estate in the English midlands to care for him, his three sisters, and his twin brother, Patrick. Patrick had later disappeared; it was assumed he was drowned, although his body was never found. Now Simon was about to inherit the es ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 411 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Thorndike Press (first published 1949)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
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 hea ...more
Kim

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 go
...more
Hirondelle
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 fir
...more
Tracey
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 Jemi ...more
Laura
Mar 29, 2013 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 3Ms, Hannah, Jeannette, Kim, Willowfaerie
Free download at Project Gutenberg Australia


Chapter 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 dw
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
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 favorit
...more
Laure
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 ...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jan 19, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves classic suspense tales
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-
...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Oct 03, 2008 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: British mystery lovers
Recommended to Jackie "the Librarian" by: Mary Jensen
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
...more
Cleo
Not the best beginning perhaps, but I really loved this mystery novel, once I got into it. In this story, a stranger named Brat Farrar enters the Ashby family, posing as Patrick Ashby, the heir to the family's fortune and grounds. Brat has been coached on everything about Patrick: his mannerisms, appearance, and every detail of his life, up to when he was thirteen, when he disappeared and was thought to have drowned himself. It looks like Brat is going to pull of this scheme, until old secrets c ...more
Dawn
Oct 07, 2009 Dawn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vilo, Wendy, anyone who likes mystery books
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?! ...more
Rachel
This isn't a normal mystery book.This books is written by the famous crime book author "Josephine Tey".This book includes a bit of crime in it. This story happens on 1940's at the South coast of England. The main character of this book is "Simon" which is a son of Ashby family. Actually, Ashby family was a rich family before Simon's father and mother's death. After 8 years, Simon met Brat Farrar (Title character) which looks so much same with him. So Brat and Simon made a plan to start a crime ...more
Madeline
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 j ...more
Ellie
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 sa
...more
Al
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 ...more
Kaethe
A complete stranger stops him on the street, thinking he's someone else. then he invites him to lunch. Over a mean in a pub, Brat hears the proposition: after some intensive coaching, he'll appear as the long-lost (presumed drowned) heir to a lovely little horse farm.

The reader knows all along that Brat isn't the heir, that he can't be, and yet such is Tey's skill that one can't help rooting for him every step along the way into being accepted by the family. But it couldn't be that easy, could i
...more
Noria
I saw the BBC mini-series in 1990 I guess and was enthralled by the story and the characters and just everything.

Now I finally got to read the book (courtesy of a friend) and was as drawn into the story and loved the characters as much as I loved them 20 years ago.

Everything's just perfectly balanced: suspense, humour, characterisation, setting, motivations, character development. The first moment you meet most of the protagonists sitting around the table, having lunch, you feel at home with the
...more
Krisette Spangler
I can't believe I've never read any Josephine Tey novels. This was a great twist on a murder mystery. The hardest part was the author manipulated my feelings, so I kept feeling sorry for the man who was posing as their long lost brother. I had to keep reminding myself that he was a criminal. I'm looking forward to more by this author.
Charles Gates
Masterful. A must-read for anyone who enjoys mysteries and for anyone who would like to write one. Clearly written, all characters (major and minor) well drawn, excellent sense of place (rural England). And the audacious plot: we readers learn quickly that the major character (Brat Farrar, of the title) is trying to pass himself off as another, but we expect that eventually the imposter will be unmasked. The suspense lies in waiting for that to happen -- when, how, and with what consequences. Th ...more
Andy Bird
I'm a bit undecided about this book. It is readable and chugs along well, although it does get a bit bogged down near the end with an extensive visit to a horse fair, which goes on a bit. The story is reasonably interesting and holds your attention. I also liked the characters, particularly the main family, if you rise above the obvious class issues - middle class country family actually quite well off but "struggling". My big, big problem though is with the main character, it is very hard to li ...more
Nancy Oakes
From the very outset, the reader knows that Brat Farrar will not turn down the offer (made for $$, of course) to turn him into Patrick Ashby, the long-missing heir to the Ashby fortune. Patrick was one of a set of twins, his brother Simon, within the next few weeks, will become the master of Latchetts, the ancestral home of the Ashbys, with all the financial perks that go along with its ownership. So Brat is carefully groomed and tutored in the life of the missing Patrick, and when he's ready, h ...more
Dorothy
This is one of Tey’s stand-alone mystery novels. Though it is set in the same “world” as the Inspector Grant books, he does not make an appearance.

The plot is told from the point of view of Brat Ferrar, an orphan, who is recognized by a young member of the local well-to-do as a dead ringer for a long-dead heir to the Ashby estate. Once Brat (nee Bartholemew) convinces himself to go along with the idea of defrauding the Ashbys, he makes contact with their lawyer, and is then welcomed into the Ash
...more
Lynn
Similar to the Talented Mr. Ripley in terms of the scenario, in that the impostor, or person pretending to be someone else, is the main character or narrator. Also reminds me right away of The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier.

The writing in this book is odd and hard to read. I usually enjoy snappy dialog, but this dialog is confusing. There seems to be a lot of slang or out-dated usages. It seems like the author was trying hard to be clever with references and word choices, and the cleverness cam
...more
ladydusk
Library.

As mysteries go, I can't say I found this satisfying. Tey doesn't give the details or even the solution very clearly. There is a mystery, and it is solved, but it seems almost incidental to the book. The story is a bit dated and wouldn't get off the ground today what with DNA testing to clear up the "is he or isn't he" speculation of Brat's ancestry.

As novels go, I found this very satisfying. Tey writes a beautiful piece of literature; the language is luscious with lines like "You perish
...more
LJ
BRAT FARRAR (Suspense-England-1950s) – Ex
Tey, Josephine – Standalone
Colliers 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 cla
...more
Rachael
I enjoy mysteries in general, but mostly the way I enjoy a cheesy romance: it's fun, escapist reading. So many of them seem to be trying too hard to disguise what is a fairly obvious plot in order to create 'mystery'. What I've discovered I like so much about Tey is that she doesn't try to create a puzzle for the reader to figure out, which means I don't feel annoyed and disapppointed when I figure out whodunit halfway through the book. Instead, her books are about the characters responding to t ...more
Rachel Piper
I really liked this book, but it might not be for everyone. The plot would make an excellent movie, but the book itself is written at a very, very slow pace. As intrigue at a British manor is exactly my cup of tea, I found it totally absorbing and so was three quarters of the way through the book before I knew it and realized that nothing much had really "happened" by that point. That's both a compliment and a criticism, I suppose.

The ending was a little pat and I wish it had been a little creep
...more
Roxy
I picked up this book a few years ago in a tiny bookshop and promptly forgot about it until I read Nancy Pearl's review (http://nancypearlbooks.wordpress.com/...). Even the New Yorker calls this mystery novel 'the best of its kind' - how could I resist?

I picked it up a couple of days ago and couldn't ut it down until I was done - which meant two sleepless nights! I loved the builldup and the way Josephine Tey turns the conventional mystery novel on its head. But the end left me wanting. After al
...more
Steve
A young man poses as the heir to a fortune and becomes involved in solving the mystery of the fate of the true heir. If you've ever wanted to know about horse breeding in England in the mid-twentieth century, this book can give you a lot of information. Since I neither know nor care about horse breeding, I can't vouch for the accuracy. For me, all this horsey stuff got in the way of the story, but I imagine some people would love it. I'll leave it to them. I read it because the author of another ...more
Lorraine Montgomery
Jan 11, 2015 Lorraine Montgomery rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults who love mysteries and horses
Josephine Tey's writing in Brat Farrar is absolutely amazing. The story takes place mostly in England on a breeding farm of a not-quite-aristocratic family and centres around the coming of age of a surviving twin and a masquerading interloper who steps in to steal away his inheritance. Much of the story has to do with horses -- breeding, riding, jumping, and cantering around the beautiful countryside -- and, as with setting out on a ride, the story starts off at a walk and steadily picks up the ...more
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Q&A with Josh...: July 2013: Brat Farrar 105 54 Jul 30, 2013 04:43AM  
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Josephine Tey was a pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh. Josephine was her mother's first name and Tey the surname of an English Grandmother. As Josephine Tey, she wrote six mystery novels including Scotland Yard's Inspector Alan Grant.

The first of these, 'The Man in the Queue' (1929) was published under the pseudonym of Gordon Daviot, whose name also appears on the title page of another of her 1929
...more
More about Josephine Tey...
The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant, #5) The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant, #1) Miss Pym Disposes A Shilling for Candles (Inspector Alan Grant, #2) The Franchise Affair (Inspector Alan Grant, #3)

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“She put her cup down and sighed again with pleasure. "I can't think how the Nonconformists have failed to discover coffee."

"Discover it?"

"Yes. As a snare. It does far more for one than drink. And yet no one preaches about it, or signs pledges about it. Five mouthfuls and the world looks rosy.”
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“She'll never ride," Eleanor said. She can't even bump the saddle yet."

"Perhaps loony people can't ride," Ruth suggested.

"Ruth," Bee said, with vigour. "The pupils at the Manor are not lunatic. They are not even mentally deficient. They are just 'difficult.'"

"Ill-adjusted is the technical description," Simon said.

"Well, they behave like lunatics. If you behave like a lunatic how is anyone to tell that you're not one?”
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