A historically reconstructed detective story,
The Justice and the Mare's Ale is a case study brought alive by documents, through which readers can explore the way in which law worked in practice in late - seventeenth century northern England and the ways in which criminal law and ordinary life intersected during that period.
It is as gripping as a detective story. Actually Alan Macfarlane's new book is a true detective story, set in the Westmorland in the 1680's.' New Society
It is an extraordinary story very well told, largely in the words of the original depositions and other papers in the public records and in the extensive Fleming archive.' London Review of Books