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Monday, May 18, 2009

Why Shoot A Butler? by Georgette Heyer

Why Shoot a Butler?

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402217951
Pages: 336 pgs
Genre: Mystery
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

 Summary from Publisher:

Every family has secrets, but the Fountains' are turning deadly…

On a dark night, along a lonely country road, barrister Frank Amberley stops to help a young lady in distress and discovers a sports car with a corpse behind the wheel. The girl protests her innocence, and Amberley believes her—at least until he gets drawn into the mystery and the clues incriminating Shirley Brown begin to add up…

In an English country-house murder mystery with a twist, it's the butler who's the victim, every clue complicates the puzzle, and the bumbling police are well-meaning but completely baffled. Fortunately, in ferreting out a desperate killer, amateur sleuth Amberley is as brilliant as he is arrogant, but this time he's not sure he wants to know the truth…

My Review:

I have absolutely no experience with mysteries. None whatsoever. I have had Agatha Christie’s books on my shelves for years but have never touched them even though I keep telling myself I should. I figured that if I was going to skip over Agatha I might as well start with Georgette Heyer. She is, after all, the regency author I love the most after Jane Austen.

I was a bit apprehensive when I picked this up that I would miss some of the nuances that other readers more familiar with this type of mystery might pick up on. That was not the case. I found Why Shoot A Butler? to be a witty and funny novel. It seemed to be a satire. I loved the humor and sarcasm. It took me a few pages to catch on to the humor but I finally did. I thought that Frank Amberley and Shirley Brown were awesome characters. Their interplay was amazing and enough to keep me interested in the novel. There were also a bunch of twists and turns and surprises.

There were points in the middle of the novel that I sort of lost interest in the story and the mystery. I found my mind wandering as I was reading. That rarely happens with me. The interest returned in the last bit of the book but I can’t help but feel that the middle section of the novel was a bit weak for me. It could also be because I was reading this part of the book on the subway, during rush hour, on a Friday. This is a novel that should be read on a comfy chair, drinking a cup of hot tea and preferably, with as little noise as possible.

The Sourcebooks edition is really great. It is a smaller edition. Almost like a little pocket paperback. The cover image is also really beautiful. Sourcebooks is doing a really great job bringing back this Georgette Heyer books.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog. mysig


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  3. You must read Agatha Christie...most of her books leave me guessing in the end.

    Start with Death on the Nile, or The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - virtually impossible to guess whodunnit!

  4. I will. As soon as the TBR pile of doom shrinks. She has always been one of those authors that have scared me.



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