At first glance Farthing appears to be a
typical country house mystery - the setting is the South of
England, close to the market town of Winchester and everyone is
well spoken and properly dressed; but don't be fooled - the
storyline quickly blasts through the confines of a "cozy"
mystery to explore many themes including politics, justice and
class, but most importantly, through the vehicle of alternate
history, the nature of history itself and how we must never be
complacent about the future, because history can and does turn
on a dime, or in this case a farthing*.
Within a few pages the reader becomes aware that all is not as it should be in England's green and pleasant land. It's 1949 and the war is over - but it's been over since 1941 because Britain made peace with Germany, leaving Hitler to rule ...
*A farthing (meaning fourth part) was legal tender in Britain until 1960, and was worth one quarter of a penny. Up until 1971, when Britain's currency was decimalized, there were 12 pennies to a shilling, 20 shillings to the pound, and five shillings to the crown - thus 240 pennies in a pound.
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The Charmers by Elizabeth Adler
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