Farthing, by Jo Walton, is an English cozy mystery. Or you think it is for a while, until it becomes about politics and justice and law. Is there one set of laws for the powerful and rich and a different set for the poor and powerless? If personal integrity is futile, what do you do?

The story is set in England in 1949. This is an alternate history England, where the US never entered WWII and England made a peace with Hitler in 1942. One of our narrators is Lucy, a member of the English nobility who's just married David, a jewish banker, much to the dismay of her mother. The couple is at her parents' estate, Farthing, for a weekend party. On Sunday morning the body of Sir James Thirkie is found. Unfortunately, his murderer stabbed a Jewish star to Thirkie's chest, throwing suspicsion immediately onto David. So we then meet our second narrator, Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard. I liked both narrators and they were both solid characters.

The story quickly moves from the country house murder to bigger political machinations of the "Farthing Set", those English people who agreed with and orchestrated the appeasement with Hitler. America, we find, is governed by President Limburgh who also will not allow any Jews to move there. The whole world is moving towards Fascism and we see how that affects our good characters.

This one gets a 5 and now i have a new series to read! GAH!!!

also, i had fabulous strawberry shortcake tonight. Here's the shortcake cooked nicely.

and here's the finished dessert!



  1. Anonymous25/5/09 20:13

    Oh, I'm passionate about shortcake! Yours look delicious even without the strawberries.

  2. thanks! it was yummy. i got the recipe off Allrecipes.com


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