At four o’clock on a spring afternoon, Robert Blair is thinking of going home. The last post has gone and for a lawyer in a small market town, the chances of further requests for wills, conveyancing or investment advice are remote. But when the telephone rings, Blair’s life changes irrevocably. Marion Sharpe and her mother, two eminently respectable ladies who live at the Franchise, a large isolated house on the outskirts of town, stand accused of the abduction and imprisonment of a 15-year-old girl, and are asking Blair to defend them – a difficult task when the evidence against the women seems compelling. What is Blair to believe? Is the girl fabricating the whole affair? Or are the Sharpe women not quite as innocent as they maintain?
The Franchise Affair was based on a real case – the abduction of Elizabeth Canning in the 18th century-but given a modern setting. Tey’s masterful and chilling mystery first appeared in this Folio edition in 2001.
Read more about the life and work of Josephine Tey