is often described as the book in which Heyer most obviously mixes comedy with mystery. To be honest, I liked the elements of comedy in
This is my favourite cover. (Consquently, this book is now on top of the Heyer pile of one my sitting-room tablescapes.) I spent several days trying to figure out whom the woman reminded me of. (Yes, I know, bad style. Split thingy-thing. Wossname. Who cares? ‘Tis my blog, not the diss.) And finally – brainwave! She looks a bit like Zoe Telford
, doesn’t she?
I finished A Blunt Instrument today, and it’s my favourite Heyer mystery so far. The characters are great; there is not one, but two love stories; and the mystery itself is quite nice, too. I positively adored Neville Fletcher – in many ways he’s a typical Heyer hero, cool as a cucumber, flippant, and blessed with a rapier-sharp wit. Take the introduction of the character, shortly after the body has been found:
A lock of dark hair fell over his brow; he wore a pleated shirt, and a deplorable tie, and looked, to PC Glass, like a poet. […] His fluttering glance went roudn the room and discovered the body of Ernest Fletcher. His hand left the door-knob; he walked forward to the desk, and turned rather pale. “I should shame my manhood if I were sick, shouldn’t I? I wonder what one does now?” His gaze asked inspiration of Glass, of Simmons, and encountered only blank stares. It found the tray Simmons [the butler] had brought into the room. “Yes, that’s what one does,” he said, and went to the tray, and poured himself out a stiff, short drink of whisky-and-soda.
“The master’s nephew – Mr Neville Fletcher,” said Simmons, answering the question in Glass’s eye.
“You’re staying in this house, sir?”
“Yes, but I don’t like murders. So inartistic, don’t you think? Besides, they don’t happen.”
“This has happened, sir,” said Glass, a little puzzled.
“Yes, that’s what upsets me. Murders only occur in other people’s families. Not even in one’s own circle. Ever noticed that? No, I suppose not. Nothing in one’s experience – one had thought it so wide! – has taught one hwo to cope with such a bizarre situation.”
As I’ve said, it’s a complete puzzle to me why I didn’t discover Heyer years ago.
What about you? Have you read any nice books lately? (Preferable books without dragons!)