Friday, March 9, 2018

Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer

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All of a sudden, my library added all twelve of Georgette Heyer's mysteries to its ebook collection. I started my own collection of the paperback editions with their delightful covers a few years ago and currently have six. I have read several of them and was happy to be able to download one I didn't have - Death in the Stocks. 

This is the first in a series of mysteries, set in the 1930s, starring Superintendent Hannasyde from New Scotland Yard. He has his work cut out for him. The suspects don't appear to want to help prove their innocence, but rather add to the confusion by coming up with their own motives and guilty parties or fudging on their own alibis. 

After the dead body of Arnold Vereker is found imprisoned in the stocks on Ashleigh Green with a knife in his back, suspects abound. There is Kenneth who stands to inherit his half-brother's fortune. Kenneth's fiancĂ©e, Violet, is a bit of a gold-digger so she certainly had motive. Or perhaps the murderer is Kenneth's sister Antonia who was in the village the night of the murder and had a bone to pick with Arnold. Another suspect is Antonia's fiancĂ© Rudolph Mesurier who was chief accountant for the dead man's firm and was caught 'borrowing' funds. 

But then again, one can't discount Arnold's brother Roger who was presumed dead but shows up just in time to collect his inheritance thereby shoving aside Kenneth who was first in line for the loot. 

After a second murder (I love a second murder - it sweetens the pot!), the truth comes out and the case ends up being solved by Giles Carrington, solicitor for the dead man. Giles is in love with Antonia so he has a vested interest in keeping her out of jail and helping to find the real murderer.

One really can't go wrong with Georgette Heyer mysteries. The stories are deftly plotted, the characters are amusing, and the conversations sparkle. Plus, the book covers are gorgeous.

Perfect bedtime reading.

9 comments:

  1. I've only read two of her mysteries and one of her romances (The Grand Sophy, which I laughed my way through). I have quite a few of her mysteries on my Kindle. It's just finding the time to read everything I want to read. You know that feeling, I'm sure.

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    1. Hi, Joan. I have not read any of her romances, but I imagine they are quite as fun as the mysteries. This one is surprising in that the Inspector doesn't actually solve the case! Also, the suspects are the ones putting forth the means and motives for the murders. Took me a bit to catch on to this...

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  2. I've read quite a few of her Regency romances and almost all of her mysteries. I love her snappy dialogue, so funny. Her Regency books are full of Georgian slang, each time I come across a word I don't know I look it up and they're always in the dictionary so she really must have done her research.

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    1. Hi, Katrina. I have not tried any of her romances but I will have to give one a try. Love the slang tip. Always looking for interesting new words!

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  3. I've only ever read Heyer's Regency romances. I'll have to give her mysteries a try. Do you have a favorite?

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    1. Hi, Lark. Well this one is the first of the Inspector Hannasyde mysteries...and yet he doesn't even solve the case! I did enjoy 'A Blunt Instrument', but I don't think you could go wrong with any of them.
      Here's what I wrote about A Blunt Instrument:

      (http://bellebookandcandle.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-blunt-instrument-by-georgette-heyer.html

      Let me know which one you start with and how you like it.

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  4. I love her mysteries, and I collected this very same set in softcover because I liked the illustrations so much. The only one of these I didn't like was Envious Casca. Have you read it?

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    1. Hi, Kathy. Yeah, I’m a sucker for a pretty cover and these are some of the best. I have Envious Casca but don’t remember if I’ve read it:( I’ll have to check. There was one I started but couldn’t quite get the gist of what was going on. It might have been that one.

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