"Miss Heyer's characters act and speak with an ease and conviction that is as refreshing as it is rare in the ordinary mystery novel."
-Times Literary Supplement
"The characters are...among the most complex and believable characters she has created."
-Boston Evening Transcript
A family tyrant whose murder has shocking and far-reaching consequences...
Hated for his cruel...more
Penhallow is not a standard murder mystery. What we have instead is the story of a damaged, dysfunctional family who suffer under the tyrannical ...more
Readers of this book seem to be split in their opinion of it. Many think it is pointless and lacking in classic murder mystery appeal. Others, like myself, find it a unique and interesting twist on the ge ...more
A very different offering from Georgette Heyer. She wrote it as a "contract breaker" and it evidently achieved its purpose. While it contains a romance, it is not a romance novel and anyone picking up this novel on the basis that Heyer is known as a romance novelist would be in for an unpleasant surprise. Heyer also wrote mysteries, but this is not one of them, even though it is about a murder. The murder does not occur until about 2/3 of the way through the novel and the who, why, and how are k ...more
It doesn't have the thrill and the twists you seek in the mystery genre, but it has a good story.["br"]>
Never was I so thankful to be born into a family that wasn't full of crazy people!
3 1/2 stars
Her mysteries, while few in number, are much less formulaic than the romances. Penhallow is reminiscent of Hardy or Bronte in its ever-expanded atmosphere of despair and its lac ...more
We spend ages in the company of about as unlikable a group of fictional characters as I've ever been unlucky enough to come across, and even her usually appealing police detectives don't get enough page time to pull it out of the dark. I ...more
It starts off with meeting the entire family, airing everyone's dirty laundry, and establishing that nearly everyone has a motive to commit the murder. The murder itself doesn't happen until about 2/3 of the way through the book - and when it does, it's no mystery at all - we're told exactly who, why and how.
The rest of the novel just deals with the aftermath, and the little bit of suspense comes from wondering if the murderer gets away wit ...more
That's the last line of this book and I couldn't agree more. There is not a single likeable character in this story--each and every one has been twisted and blighted by the patriarch of the Penhallow family. When he is finally killed more than 2/3 of the way through, it is a relief, and since we know exactly who did it, there is no suspense except whether or not the murderer will be exposed.
But that's not the worst of it--the worst is the endless ...more
Intersting plot, deathly boring book. I liked two of the characters. Two. Out of 12+ "main" characters. Most of them are insipid, immoral, obn ...more
The murder doesn't take place until over half-way through the book, and then it's written in an unusual way, with the reader shown exactly what happens. I kept thinking there would be some twist - perhaps along the lines of Agatha Christie's classic 'Orient Ex ...more
In 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.