Walton, Jo

Book 1.0 of Small Change

language: English

Publishing date: Aug 27, 2007

Words: 92963
Pages: 382


From Publishers Weekly Starred Review.* World Fantasy Award–winner Walton (_Tooth and Claw_) crosses genres without missing a beat with this stunningly powerful alternative history set in 1949, eight years after Britain agreed to peace with Nazi Germany, leaving Hitler in control of the European continent. A typical gathering at the country estate of Farthing of the power elite who brokered the deal is thrown into turmoil when the main negotiator, Sir James Thirkie, is murdered, with a yellow star pinned to his chest with a dagger. The author deftly alternates perspective between Lucy Kahn, the host's daughter, who has disgraced herself in her family's eyes by marrying a Jew, and Scotland Yard Inspector Peter Carmichael, who quickly suspects that the killer was not a Bolshevik terrorist. But while the whodunit plot is compelling, it's the convincing portrait of a country's incremental slide into fascism that makes this novel a standout. Mainstream readers should be enthralled as well. *(Aug.)* Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From School Library Journal Adult/High School–An influential family's weekend party is the stage for murder in post-World War II England. On the first night, a major politician is found dead with a yellow Star of David pinned to his chest with a dagger. Daughter of the house Lucy and her Jewish husband had been surprised to be included. Clearly, their invitation was an obvious setup by someone in the Fascist Farthing Set who is trying to pin the murder on her husband. An investigator from Scotland Yard discerns that in addition to anti-Semitism, the homosexuality of some of the key figures plays a major role in the crime, and the investigator has his own secret that plays out as a significant factor in the outcome of the case. The accurately portrayed civilian setting will make the novel useful for world history classes, and it's a gripping read for teens who like a good English murder mystery. It's comparable to Agatha Christie's novels with substantial social issues and a heavier dose of history thrown in._–Ellen Bell, Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA_ Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.