Thanks to Sourcebooks I was finally able to read two of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries. These stories, set in lovely English country-homes, feature autocratic masters, meddlesome relatives and a bit of murder. While Heyer may be more well-known for her regency books, these stories are quite entertaining and remind me a bit of the mysteries by Agatha Christie.
The first one I read was The Unfinished Clue, originally published in 1934. In this story several guests are arriving at Sir Arthur Billington-Smith’s home for the weekend. The man is insufferable and rude to his wife, his son’s scandalous paramour, and other guests. But who hated him enough to kill him?
“It was apparent to Miss Fawcett within one minute of her arrival at the Grange that her host was not in the best of tempers.”
As with any good mystery, there are many clues and suspects and it’ll be up to Inspector Harding to figure out if it was the wife, the cabaret singer, the son or any of the other guests.
In Behold, Here’s Poison, originally published in 1936, the opening pages reveal an ordinary morning at the Poplars but soon the Master is found dead in his room. At first everyone blames his high blood pressure or indigestion but once Inspector Hannasyde is on the case a strong case for murder by poison is made.
“He was lying on his back in an uncomfortably rigid attitude, his arms tossed outside the bedclothes, the fingers gripping the sheet as though in a last convulsion. His eyes were open, the pupils contracted. Stella stood looking down at him, her face slowly whitening.”
Was it the maid, the sister-in-law or could it have been the man’s own doctor? Well, you’ll just have to read this delightful mystery to find out.
I enjoyed both mysteries a lot. There was a bit of humor, a dash of romance and of course lots of clues to sift through. I think the only thing though that I would have changed is not read them back-to-back but that’s just a personal preference. No matter if it’s an author I love, I prefer to leave a bit of time between books so I can savor the next one.
How about you? Have you read any of Heyer’s mysteries? Or do you have a favorite Heyer book?