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Reading journal: The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

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Genre: Crime Published: 1949 Read: December 2017 The action takes place in a small English village, one of the most dangerous places on earth if television is anything to go by. A staid solicitor, Robert Blair, is caught up in the defence of two women accused of abducting a teenage girl with the aim of forcing her to do domestic work for them. The girl is an innocent child with the media on her side, and Blair has to exert himself to prove her accusations wrong. This is a well-plotted and well-written story. The problems come with the subtexts — the author’s middle class concerns permeate everything. The servant ‘problem’, the stupidity and ignorance of rural people, the lack of class and pursuit of febrile thrills found in industrial city dwellers, the inevitable consequences of bad blood and the triumph of nature over nurture; all these pernicious ideas find their way into what would otherwise be an excellent yarn. In the end, unable to cope with an England that ha