'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

February 24, 2011

A Blunt Instrument




After reading my first two, I wasn't as enamored of Georgette Heyer's mysteries as I had hoped to be. But I liked this one!  The plot centers on the murder of Ernest Fletcher, a man-about-town and good-natured blackmailer, who is killed in his study with a (guess what).  The clues and miscues all evolve around timing, with one or two unidentified men, a woman, her husband, and a police constable all coming in and out between 9:58 and 10:02.

      The Sergeant hunted among the papers before him on the desk, and selected one covered with his own handwriting. 'Well, Super, I don't mind telling you that I've had a shot at working the thing out for myself. And the only conclusion I've come to is that the whole thing's impossible from start to finish. Once you start putting all the evidence down on paper you can't help but see that the late Ernest wasn't murdered at all. Couldn't have been.'
      'Oh don't be absurd!' said Hannasyde rather impatiently.
I lost track of all this about halfway through, but it didn't really matter (though the twist at the end was well done).  What was appealing about this book were the suspects and their friends, the Bible-quoting constable, and the campy dialogue, which had some of the same feeling of the old movies (Cary Grant, William Powell and Myrna Loy) that I like to watch. 
      'The Superintendent?' she said numbly. 'Yes. Yes, you must tell the master, of course. Show the Superintendent into the library. I'll come.'
      'What for?' asked Sally, when the butler had withdrawn. 'He didn't ask for you.'
      'It doesn't matter. I must see him. I must find out what he wants. Oh, dear, if only I could think!'
       'Can't you?' asked Neville solicitously. 'Not at all?'

{Natasha and Cecil, by Vivienne Strauss.
The paintings and their titles are hard to resist.}

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 comment:

Bellezza said...

I have not read any novels by Georgette Heyer, must fix that! Glad to hear you liked the two others even more.

I'm looking forward to participating in the Persephone weekend with you. Right now I'm halfway through Little Boy Lost, but I have several others I'm hoping to read as well. Have a good day!

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers E.H. Young E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson