[Download] ➶ A Christmas Party Author Georgette Heyer – Writerscompany.co.uk

A Christmas Party 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 quite remember the solution to the mystery This time, I knew the ending and was able to see the clues as they were embedded in the story.This 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, 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 quite remember the solution to the mystery This time, I knew the ending and was able to see the clues as they were embedded in the story.This 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 best.The 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 moneyJoseph, having lived for so many years abroad, hankered wistfully after a real English Christmas Nathaniel, regarding him with a contemptuous eye, said that a real English Christmas meant, in his experience, a series of quarrels 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 squeeze, 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 list.The 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 enjoys 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 grievancesMiss Herriard, responded Mathilda coolly, treated the assembled company to a dramatic scene she s an actress, good in emotional r les I wasn t present, but I m told that she and Mr Herriard had a really splendid quarrel, and enjoyed themselves hugely Seems a funny way to enjoy yourself, miss It would seem funny to you or to me, Inspector, but not, believe me, to a Herriard When Uncle Nat ends up dead in his locked bedroom, having been stabbed in the back, everyone is a suspect and everyone, almost, has a motive This is an exceptionally clever mystery, relying on misdirection, and some legal and medical intricacies for the solution I read all of GH s mystery suspense 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 Casca.Before 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 beenobvious than in comparing these two novels Stephen is an evenunpleasant Kenn I read all of GH s mystery suspense 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 Casca.Before 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 beenobvious than in comparing these two novels Stephen is an evenunpleasant 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 it everywhere, 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 even then What 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 the wonderful Hemingway is the lead detective Highly recommended 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 Inquiry When The Old Scrooge Who Owns The Substantial Estate 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 Entered The Locked Room Where The Victim Was Found, To Commit This Foul Deed For Inspector Hemingway Of Scotland Yard, The Investigation Is Also Complicated By The Fact That Every Guest At Lexham Manor Is Hiding Something Casting Suspicion Far And Wide Having read, and enjoyed, 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, emanating from Nathanie Having read, and enjoyed, 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, emanating 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 quite a few motives, revolving around the important issue of who inherits Nathanial s fortune.I really enjoyed 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 enjoyable 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 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 enjoy a mystery that has a library book as one of the major clues to solving the murder I d definitely like to readInspector Hemingway stories by Georgette Heyer in the future. Heyer is usually funnier than this.The clever young man is a stock character of Heyer s almost 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 spoiler This is no exception the only surprise is anyone actually liking the jerk back hide spoiler In this case, Stephen is downright rude and pretty much an asshole Heyer is usually funnier than this.The clever young man is a stock character of Heyer s almost 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 spoiler This is no exception the only surprise is anyone actually liking the jerk back hide spoiler In this case, Stephen is downright rude and pretty much an asshole to everyone Everyone else is pretty much an asshole as well, but that didn t make me like him better Christmas haters Maud was the most interesting character, and it was pretty clear that her role in the story wasn t going to be very active The banter between the detective and sergeant was sometimes amusing, but overall I found this one of the duller of the series 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 quite 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 ar 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 quite 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 This is my first Georgette Heyer mystery, although I have read two of her books previously I enjoyed this mystery much better than the other books and I will definitely look forof her mysteries I enjoyed the humor and also the way the detective worked through the clues meticulously I did however guess the murderer prior to the end but it was still a fun read. The Hook Tis the season The Line sIt 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 eye, said that a real English Christmas meant, in his experience, a series of quarrels between inimical person bound to on another only by the accident of relationship, and thrown t The Hook Tis the season The Line sIt 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 eye, said that a real English Christmas meant, in his experience, a series of quarrels 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 spoiler Nathaniel, the curmudgeon in the quote 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 This is the first book I ve read by Georgette Heyer, now deceased She was a prolific author who wrote many a regency romance and detective stories Not a fan of romance, I thought Christmas Party the perfect opportunity to acquaint myself with her writing style In addition to my love of locked room mysteries, there were many other pluses to this somewhat cozy mystery Written in 1941, you can imagine that it was a kinder,genteel style of writing All the action takes place in one setting so like a play there s lots of dialog and description of the stately home and its furnishing I could see and hear the characters like I was in the room with them The humor is subtle but actually funny, and the s are purely of a time long past The lines I quoted above are often how family get togethers go though intentions of good hearted souls yearn for the Christmas s of their youthful memories In a word, nostalgic two words, classic mystery three words, jolly good fun Damn it, he was in here with the door locked Stephen said He can t have been stabbedI think Heyer wrote a story about people she hated in real life, relished and had a hell of a time making them an exaggerated version vapid, insipid, and whiney but oh so highly quotable This is second in the Inspector Hemingway series and god love the man for the testimonies and evidence he has to shift through to discover the killer As a locked door mystery, it s pretty good The cast of characDamn it, he was in here with the door locked Stephen said He can t have been stabbedI think Heyer wrote a story about people she hated in real life, relished and had a hell of a time making them an exaggerated version vapid, insipid, and whiney but oh so highly quotable This is second in the Inspector Hemingway series and god love the man for the testimonies and 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 small enough 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 everyone 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 quote is a bit of a spoiler and my little comment after it, you d know who ends 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 damnably She found that her own voice was unsteady I know You are such a fool, Stephen such a dear impossible fool So are you, to care a damn for me, he said I never thought you did I can t think why you do She took his face between her hands, looking up at him a little mistily I like savage creatures Bull terriers and Stephen HerriardHey, you leave bull terriers out of this I had a contentious relationship with Stephen but he, somewhat, redeemed himself in the 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 work early 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 Works every time

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