Slumped on a seat under an oak tree is old Sampson Warrenby, with a bullet through his head.
Everybody in the village is ready to tell Chief Inspector Hemingway who did it. Could the murderer have been the dead man's niece? Or perhaps it was the other town solicitor? The couple at the farm had a guilty secret - what was it? And why is it someone else actually wants to be the prime suspect?
Add to this the fact that Warrenby was blackmailing someone, and Hemingway has his work cut out for him.
©1953 Georgette Rougier (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"We had better start ranking Heyer alongside such incomparable whodunit authors as Christie, Marsh, Tey and Allingham." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"A writer of great wit and style." (The Daily Telegraph)
"Georgette Heyer is second to none." (The Sunday Times)
I love Georgette Heyer's mysteries. The characters are so funny and the settings are like slipping into a warm bath in winter - warm, familiar and comforting. I think Heyer is at her very best in these contemporary stories. She has a light touch and great humour through characterisation and dialogue.
The narrator for all these stories is quite weird. She does a great job of the main characters, and especially Inspector Heminway. She really captures something. But I have so many problems with other aspects of the narration. First, she cannot - I mean really cannot - do accents of any kind other than RP and cockney British. At least one of the secondary characters in each book is voiced as an automaton. Flat, no inflection, no expression. While I guess this does make the voice distinctive, it is often against characterisation. Finally, she mispronounces so many words and phrases it is incredible. It sometimes sounds like she has not read the book in advance. Also, there are points where she pauses at the wrong point in the sentence, thereby losing the grammatical meaning. This is jarring and irritating. I don't think this narrator really does justice to these books, and I'm disappointed that she narrates all of them.
However, I can't say the narration ruins the experience for me. Just takes them down a notch from where they should be.
I do recommend these mysteries for anyone who enjoys golden age thrillers.
"Good story, sorry narrator"
This is one of my favorite of Heyer's mystery stories. It has wonderful characters and a mystery that keeps you guessing. Unfortunately Ulli Birve's narration leaves the story flat. She seems to think that masculine. voices. are. all. uninflected. and. stilted. I'm sorry there isn't a negative rating for the narrator.
I enjoy her Regency novels and some of her mysteries. The performance made it difficult to appreciate this book.
No. Stilted, difficult to distinguish the different characters.
"Great book ruined by dreary reader."
Having had a couple of Heyer's detective novels from Audible, I wish they could be done again by another reader. The lack of timing and expression render the wit flat and make the story seem dull. I had to keep going back because I kept tuning out. This is an old favourite of mine but if it had been the first novel I'd bought from Audible, I would never have bought anything else. She sounds like an automated voice on computer.
"One of her best"
Enjoyed this book, very good plot, the narrator was excellent mostly, except for a couple of characters.
"I really tried..."
I really tried, but I couldn't get past Chapter 3. Once I find myself paying more attention to what I am doing, and then rewinding to get back to prior part or looking for other books while listening to this I know the book isn't for me. I have even tried to listen to another of Georgette Heyer's mysteries narrated by Uli. I even tried to speed up the narration, nothing doing. It just didn't keep my interest. Will maybe try another but I doubt it.
"Another sterling performance by Heyer's and Birve"
It helps of course that I tumbled onto the key to the solution as soon as it appeared, but this is belongs to the English village murder mystery of which I am so fond. The cast of characters and likely suspects is wide and they well drawn, and Heyer's characteristic humor is on display. I like her slightly jaundiced eye. If you're a fan you've probably already read this, but if you are looking for a fine example of the classic murder mystery genre try this one.
I read and enjoyed these stories many years ago and so looked forward to listening to them, however, the narration is so bad I could not listen to the end. I believe they are produced in Australia and it is hard to imagine that the producers could not find there an actor capable of giving voice to characters with recognisable English accents or capable of speaking in a less ponderous and monotone way.
"reading was bad"
Reading was bad so could not get into the story
Maybe I used to like the books
Maybe it was the voice
Nothing more to say
"The best Inspector Hemmingway novel"
If you haven't come across Met Police Officer Hemmingway, you'll be in for a fine treat once you get started. However, even though it doesn't really matter where you start from, in my opinion, you HAVE to start with Inspector Hannisyde in 'Death in the Stocks' and read chronologically from there. By the time you get to this book, you will be in love!
In love with the storylines, in love with the characters (even the irritating ones), in love with the evident and efficient work relationship between the Officers and, in love with Georgette Heyer! The only shame is, that there are not a long line of books in this genre written by her! Because just as you get to enjoying the whole thing, it draws to a close.
They will be books that you return to often. Which in itself, says a great deal. As much as I love Agatha Christie, I love Georgette Heyer more… much more!
"Excellent Story - stilted performance"
Georgette Heyer is a great mystery writer, unfortunately the story is marred by a very stilted performance. I have heard a different version which came out on tape a number of years ago, but was far superior - shame they changed the reader.
I enjoy all of Georgette Heyer Mystery stories so would recommend them all
Only if I couldn't get a version of the book read by a better reader.
I don't have time to read it in one sitting, although that would be good, but broken down into bite-sized pieces works well for me.
"just as good as her historical romances"
wish they would make them into a tv series as Hemmingway is just as clever as Poiret
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