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Constable at the Fair
Constable, book 37

by Nicholas Rhea

     

Here is a brand new addition to Nicholas Rhea’s long and popular series that inspired the hugely popular TV series Heartbeat.  The theme for this one is fairs, running the gamut of traditional livestock and horse fairs through fun fairs and even the historical "fayre."

Along with this are stories that center around the word in other meanings, such as Charlotte, who was born on a Monday and is "fair of face," and a warring couple whose chapter is entitled, "All’s Fair in Love and War."  Interesting as these other tales are, it is the accounts of the other types of fair that make this book another fascinating piece of social (and police) history. The 1960s was possibly the last decade many of these wonderful old traditions were still going strong, and anybody interested in country life in England will be engrossed as I was.  Read about mop or hiring fairs, different ways of advertising or declaring a fair open, the sort of things people did at the various types of fairs, and how they evolved into the sort of entertainments that we know today.  Of course, this is all told in Mr Rhea’s highly readable and informative style, so there is also plenty to laugh at.  Add to this a cast of colorful (and in some cases habitual) characters and all the wonder of a vanished but recent past.  I hope this series continues for many years... especially now we have to do without the TV series!

The Book

Robert Hale
31 May 2010
Hardback
0709090412 / 9780709090410
Fictionalized autobiography / mystery / 1960s North Yorkshire Moors, England
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Excerpt
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
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