The Franchise Affair – Josephine Tey


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Who do you believe?

Robert Blair, a local solicitor, is called on to defend two women, Marion Sharpe and her mother, who are accused of kidnapping and violence against a fifteen-year-old war orphan named Betty Kane. Set in Milford, the novel opens with the Sharpes about to be interviewed by local police and Scotland Yard, represented by Inspector Alan Grant (back in his third outing). Marion calls Blair and, although his firm does not do criminal cases, he agrees to come out to their home, ‘The Franchise’, to look out for their interests during the questioning. The Sharpes deny that the Kane girl had ever been there leave alone being brutally locked up for a month. Blair does not believe Betty until she begins to describe her prison down to specific detail. What is the truth?


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