This is not the first time that I ve read Envious Casca as it was originally titled I think I ve read it through a full three times the first and second times I couldn t uite remember the solution to the mystery This time I knew the nding and was able to see the clues as they were mbedded in the storyThis is a classic English mystery closed circle locked room country house Christmas mystery I ve read other Heyer mysteries and will complete the list at some point but right now I think this is her bestThe book opens with the gathering of the Herriard family for Christmas at the behest of Uncle Joseph who lives with his brother Nat Herriard Nat is the patriarch of the family and the one with all of the family money Joseph having lived for so many years abroad hankered wistfully after a real English Christmas Nathaniel regarding him with a contemptuous ye said that a real English Christmas meant in his xperience a series of uarrels between inimical persons bound to one another only by the accident of relationship and thrown together by a worn out convention which decreed that at Christmas families should forgather Nat has no children but his nephew Stephen has been acknowledged as his heir Stephen is the child of his other brother who died many years ago Stephen s mother lives in Canada with her 3rd husband and isn t in the picture at all Paula Stephen s sister is also a guest for Christmas Paula has brought along her latest sueeze a playwright named Royden and Stephen s vacuous but pretty fiancee Valerie is also there for the holiday There s also a random cousin Mathilda Nat s business partner Mottisfont and Joseph s wife Maud to round out the guest listThe Herriard family is an obstreperous and argumentative bunch Nat is not so awful as Simeon Lee from Christie s holiday classic Hercule Poirot s Christmas but he njoys a wrangle as much as the next guy Some families get together for a game of Pictionary during the holidays the Herriard s get together for their own version of Festivus which primarily relies on the airing of grievances Miss Herriard responded Mathilda coolly treated the assembled company to a dramatic scene she s an actress good in motional r les I wasn t present but I m told that she and Mr Herriard had a really splendid uarrel and njoyed themselves hugely Seems a funny way to Elisabeth Shue 135 Success Facts - Everything You Need to Know about Elisabeth Shue enjoy yourself miss It would seem funny to you or to me Inspector but not believe me to a Herriard When Uncle Natnds up dead in his locked bedroom having been stabbed in the back The Man Without a Face everyone is a suspect andveryone almost has a motive This is an xceptionally clever mystery relying on misdirection and some legal and medical intricacies for the solution This is my first Georgette Heyer mystery although I have read two of her books previously I njoyed this mystery much better than the other books and I will definitely look for of her mysteries I Gone (Gone, enjoyed the humor and also the way the detective worked through the clues meticulously I did however guess the murderer prior to thend but it was still a fun read A perfectly good Christmas murder mystery set at an English country house party with all your usual suspects the detestable old rich guy and all the relations chomping at the bit for him to kick the bucket Not uite a true isolated closed circle mystery as the detective and others are able to come and go but very close to that trope does have a locked room component for those who like that kind of puzzle mystery There was something about the authorial voice however that kept me at an arms distance and I couldn t seem to get fully into the flow What a delight This country house locked room mystery is a clever and savagely funny puzzle that is set during the Christmas season How can you not njoy a mystery that has a library book as one of the major clues to solving the murder I Previously titled Envious Casca‘Tis the season to find whodunit It is no ordinary Christmas at Lexham Manor Six holiday guests find themselves the suspects in a murder inuiry when the old Scrooge who owns the sub.
SUMMARY Envious Casca
Hen said He can t have been stabbed I think Heyer wrote a story about people she hated in real life relished and had a hell of a time making them an xaggerated version vapid insipid and whiney but oh so highly uotable This is second in the Inspector Hemingway series and god love the man for the testimonies and All Seated on the Ground evidence he has to shift through to discover the killer As a locked door mystery it s pretty good The cast of characters is varied but smallnough to keep track of and most work as plausible red herrings I was wrong with my first guess as to who the villain was The first half is mostly setting the scene with introductions and glimpses into characters personalities and hints to possible murder motivations as they arrive to the house party The second half is where the murder occurs and the whodunit gets going It s a bit slow going as first the sergeant and then Inspector Hemingway arriving on the scene talk to veryone but then the clues start rolling in and the story starts to make headway How the murder occurs was a little goofy but I would classify this as a cozy mystery with some romance inspirations sprinkled in so it s all in good fun The following uote is a bit of a spoiler and my little comment after it you d know who nds up pairing up and probably figure out two characters who aren t the killer Beware You can pick back up at the Bonus Lest you forget this is a Heyer and those romance inspirations I was talking about He pulled her rather roughly into his arms O God Mathilda do keep me in order he said in a suddenly thickened voice I need you I need you damnablyShe found that her own voice was unsteady I know You are such a fool Stephen such a dear impossible foolSo are you to care a damn for me he said I never thought you did I can t think why you doShe took his face between her hands looking up at him a little mistily I like savage creatures Bull terriers and Stephen Herriard Hey you leave bull terriers out of this I had a contentious relationship with Stephen but he somewhat redeemed himself in the Wiring end But seriously bless her heart and all the Mathildas in the world who take these men on Bonus Heyer provides us with your next time you want to leave workarly Against All Odds excuse If someone accidentally brushes up against you Nathaniel at once became a cripple He said My lumbago Damn you don t do that and tottered to a chair one hand to the small of his back and his manly form bent with suffering Lumbago Worksvery time The Hook Tis the seasonThe Lines It was Joseph who had been inspired to organize the house party that was looming over Nathaniel s unwilling head this chill December Joseph having lived for so many years abroad hankered wistfully after a real English Christmas Nathaniel regarding him with a contemptuous Jingling Daddys Bells BDSM Menage eye said that a real English Christmas meant in hisxperience a series of uarrels between inimical person bound to on another only by the accident of relationship and thrown together by a worn out convention which decreed that at Christmas families should forgather The Sinker It s the time of year when my heart turns to Christmas stories generally not the murderous mystery kind and yet somehow this is the second I ve read this season I m a fan of locked room mysteries and this one fits the genre If you read the summary you ll know there s a murder but I m still going to include the next passage in a spoiler view spoilerNathaniel the curmudgeon in the uote above is found murdered in his room with all doors and windows locked The six guests of the house are all suspects as one would suspect hide spoiler Envious Casca by Georgette Heyer was written in 1941 Joseph wants to be have a holiday party and has invited his niece and nephew and their current significant others as well as his brother Nathan s business partner Apparently old uncle Nat was not the holida. M was found to commit this foul deed For Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard the investigation is also complicated by the fact that very guest at Lexham Manor is hiding something – casting suspicion far and wid.
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Definitely like to read Inspector Hemingway stories by Georgette Heyer in the future Heyer is usually funnier than thisThe clever young man is a stock character of Heyer s almost Against All Odds every mystery of hers has one whether clownish sarcastic socially inappropriate or merely ill behaved Usually he is in love with the pleasant but not alluring young woman character who is clearly innocent of the crime view spoilerThis is noxception the only surprise is anyone actually liking the jerk back hide spoiler Having read and njoyed No Wind of Blame the first Inspector Hemingway mystery I was keen to read the second A Christmas Party is also known by the title Envious Casca and has a similar light and humorous touch to it as the first mystery did At Lexham Manor Nathaniel Herriard lives with his brother Joseph and Joseph s wife Maud Joseph has planned a family reunion for Christmas although there is not really much goodwill to all men or family members manating from Nathaniel It is clear in fact that this party is very much the wish of Joseph alone who seems keen to try to get the young people together for Christmas Guests include Nathanial s niece Paula who wants her uncle to back a play she wishes to appear in and who has brought the playwright a young man called Willoughby as her guest Paula s brother Stephen has also arrived along with his pretty but vacuous fianc Valerie There is also distant cousin Mathilda and Nathanial s business partner Edgar Nathanial is a difficult and argumentative man who has rows with his business partner objects to his nephew s fianc and understandably resents having a play he is not interested in read aloud to him over Christmas When he is killed there are a plethora of suspects and uite a few motives revolving around the important issue of who inherits Nathanial s fortuneI really njoyed this although I did not think it was as good as the previous Hemingway book for the simple reason that the culprit was in my mind fairly obvious I am hopeless at spotting whodunnit so if I was sure of who was responsible then I m pretty sure most other readers would be too Still an njoyable read and should your own relatives drive you crazy at Christmas you can read this and know you are not alone is objecting to having to socialise during the festive season Personally I felt deeply for poor Maud who just wanted to sit by the fire and read her book I read all of GH s mysterysuspense books other than Footsteps in the Dark many years ago At the time my favourite was Death in the Stocks but I have just read these two back to back my new favourite is Envious CascaBefore I start my review I ll just get two things out of the way Many reviewers in many reviews of GH s books here have mentioned her fondness for recycling characters it has never been obvious than in comparing these two novels Stephen is an Payment Due even unpleasant Kenneth Vereker Violet becomes Valerie This time The Good Sort is the breeder of Bull Terriers not The Sister Did GH only like this particular breed of dog maybe reading Mary Stewart s again has highlighted it so I m seeing itverywhere but GH was a smoker herself smoking features heavily in this book Changed times now where you don t see boxes of cigarettes on tables for your guests to help themselves to that would now be a recipe for bankruptcy I can t remember seeing anyone use a cigarette holder since the 70s it looked affected ven thenWhat I loved about the book was her character actors or dramatis personae as Hemingway would say GH clearly had a lot of fun with bumbling Joseph blank page Maude overbearing Mummy the glacially correct Sturry By GH s standards this was a well constructed mystery although view spoiler if you know the history of Elizabeth of Austria you have a bit of an advantage hide spoiler Damn it he was in here with the door locked Step. Stantial state is found stabbed in the back Whilst the delicate matter of inheritance could be the key to this crime the real conundrum is how any of the suspects could have ntered the locked room where the victi.
The Black MothIn 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier a mining engineer Rougier later became a barrister and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers Beginning in 1932 Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each yearHeyer was an intensely private person who remained a best selling author all her life without the aid of publicity She made no appearances never gave an interview and only answered fan letters herself if they made an interesting historical point She wrote one novel using the pseudonym Stella MartinHer Georgian and Regencies romances were inspired by