Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Death in the Stocks; Review

I'm off and running on a Georgette Heyer mystery marathon. Just finished Death in the Stocks.

Synopsis: The moonlight shone on the quiet village green and on the man's two motionless feet stuck through a pair of stocks. Wealthy Arnold Vereker had been murdered, and every member of his eccentric family had a motive--money. Was it his half-sister Antonia, whose marriage he had forbidden, or her embezzling lover? Could it have been Arnold's half-brother Kenneth, heir apparent, or perhaps it was the delectable beauty Violet Williams? Or Kenneth and Antonia's faithful servant, Murgatroyd, wishing to see her charges done right by? And then there was Roger, Arnold's "dead" brother, who appeared right after the murder....It must be someone, Inspector Hannasyde kept telling himself in one of his most puzzling cases ever. But it looks like the murderer may have been too clever this time.

Another top-notch vintage mystery from Heyer! This is one of her better offerings...with enough clues and red herrings and suspects to keep the reader guessing right up to the very end. And even Inspector Hannasyde needs a little help before it all comes clear. The witty by-play between the cast of characters is particularly good and the action keeps the story rolling along till the grand finale. This was another reread for my, but it had been long enough since I first read it and the plot is so finely woven and strewn with false clues that I was hard-pressed to decide on the culprit. I did finally light on the correct person...but only a few pages before All Was Revealed. I consider that a job well-done. Four stars out of five.

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