30 August 2014

Review: A BLUNT INSTRUMENT, Georgette Heyer

  • this edition Kindle (Amazon) published 2010
  • originally published in 1938
  • #4/4 in the Inspector Hannasyde series
  • File Size: 398 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402218001
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; New Ed edition (October 31, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0045JKETO
Synopsis (Amazon)

When Ernest Fletcher is found bludgeoned to death in his study, everyone is shocked and mystified: Ernest was well-liked and respected, so who would have a motive for killing him?

Enter Superintendent Hannasyde who, with consummate skill, begins to uncover the complexities of Fletcher's life. It seems the real Fletcher was far from the gentleman he pretended to be. There is, in fact, no shortage of people who wanted him dead.

Then, a second murder is committed, with striking similarities to the first, giving a grotesque twist to a very unusual case.

My Take

My interest in reading this vintage crime title arose after reading an "In the Spotlight" post by Margot Kinberg. Margot says that A BLUNT INSTRUMENT is a clear example of a Golden Age mystery, with a solid emphasis on mystery and a puzzle, focussing also in the "who" and "why".

Another review that I read said it was a romance clad in a mystery, the romance being what we usually recognise Georgette Heyer for.

I thought it differed in many ways from an Agatha Christie novel - it was very heavy on dialogue, reading almost like a drama script. The characters were rather peculiar and there was quite a lot of humour, particularly in the form of the interaction between Sergeant Hemingway and Constable Glass, who constantly quoted from the Bible. I thought about half way through that there could only be one answer to who the murderer was, and surprisingly was right.

It is not going to send me off looking for another Heyer mystery though.

My rating: 3.8


Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks for the kind mention. You're right that this one is quite different to the way Christie's books are written, although both are whodunits. Heyer's style isn't for everyone, and it was good to get your thoughts on this.

noirencyclopedia said...

Many thanks for this fine review. I read one of Heyer's other mysteries many years ago, and my reaction was roughly the same as yours: the book was All Right, but there were plenty of better alternatives around. I've never really been tempted to try another.

Peggy Ann said...

I like humor so this might be a good one for me. Have read one other Heyer mystery and it was decent. I do love the cover on this!


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