Elizabeth's Reviews > The Franchise Affair

The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey
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's review
Aug 11, 2009

it was amazing

Josephine Tey here explores how to prove a negative. Two English women (genteel enough to be educated and living on an inheritance but not wealthy by the standards of their class) are accused of kidnapping and beating an innocent-looking adolescent girl because they cannot otherwise get a maid for their remote house. In the process Tey gives a sympathetic but not uncritical view of smug English village life. She is occasionally heavyhanded with a couple of her pet peeves--the inane defense of the indefensible by the self-righteous left and the importance of coming from the right genetic inheritance. To read her here (and also in The Daughter of Time) one would think that no labor organizer or political dissident (except Dreyfus, to whom the falsely accused women are compared) ever had a true cause for grievance and that police are never in the wrong--or at the very least the leftist press has never found a true case of any of this happening. Apart from these intrusive interludes the book is elegantly written (as are all of Tey's works) and evocative of people and places.
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