Bid below for signed copies the Small Change trilogy (FARTHING, HA’PENNY, and HALF A CROWN) by Jo Walton. Starting bid: $30.
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First published in 2006, Jo Walton’s Farthing was hailed as a masterpiece, a darkly romantic thriller set in an alternate postwar England sliding into fascism.Eight years after they overthrew Churchill and led Britain into a separate peace with Hitler, the upper-crust families of the “Farthing set” are gathered for a weekend retreat. Among them is estranged Farthing scion Lucy Kahn, who can’t understand why her and her husband David’s presence was so forcefully requested. Then the country-house idyll is interrupted when the eminent Sir James Thirkie is found murdered―with a yellow Star of David pinned to his chest.Lucy begins to realize that her Jewish husband is about to be framed for the crime―an outcome that would be convenient for altogether too many of the various political machinations underway in Parliament in the coming week. But whoever’s behind the murder, and the frame-up, didn’t reckon on the principal investigator from Scotland Yard being a man with very private reasons for sympathizing with outcasts and underdogs―and prone to look beyond the obvious as a result.As the trap slowly shuts on Lucy and David, they begin to see a way out―a way fraught with peril in a darkening world.
In 1949, eight years after the “Peace with Honor” was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dicatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb.
The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch King-and- Country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain’s Prime Minister and his new ally, Adolf Hitler.
Against a background of increasing domestic espionage and the suppression of Jews and homosexuals, an ad-hoc band of idealists and conservatives blackmail the one person they need to complete their plot, an actress who lives for her art and holds the key to the Fuhrer’s death. From the ha’penny seats in the theatre to the ha’pennies that cover dead men’s eyes, the conspiracy and the investigation swirl around one another, spinning beyond anyone’s control.
In this brilliant companion to Farthing, Welsh-born World Fantasy Award winner Jo Walton continues her alternate history of an England that could have been, with a novel that is both an homage of the classic detective novels of the thirties and forties, and an allegory of the world we live in today.
HALF A CROWN
Following the award-winning Farthing and its sequel Ha’penny, Half a Crown is an amazing alternate-world noir tale of resistance to encroaching fascism, from the author of Among Others.In 1941 the European war ended in the Farthing Peace, a rapprochement between Britain and Nazi Germany. The balls and banquets of Britain’s upper class never faltered, while British ships ferried “undesirables” across the Channel to board the cattle cars headed east.Peter Carmichael is commander of the Watch, Britain’s distinctly British secret police. It’s his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, to discover Jews. The midnight knock of a Watchman is the most dreaded sound in the realm.Now, in 1960, a global peace conference is convening in London, where Britain, Germany, and Japan will oversee the final partition of the world. Hitler is once again on British soil. So is the long-exiled Duke of Windsor―and the rising gangs of “British Power” streetfighters, who consider the Government “soft,” may be the former king’s bid to stage a coup d’etat.Amidst all this, two of the most unlikely persons in the realm will join forces to oppose the fascists: a debutante whose greatest worry until now has been where to find the right string of pearls, and the Watch Commander himself.”A literary Guernica―a top-notch thriller set in a terrified Britain that is all too willing to trade freedom for security, and which gets neither.” ―Cory Doctorow on Ha’penny
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