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