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Detection Unlimited (Inspector Hemingway #4)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,210 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Slumped on a seat under an oak tree is old Sampson Warrenby, with a bullet through his brain. He is discovered by his niece Mavis, who is just one of ten people in the village in the running for chief suspect, having cause to dislike Warrenby intensely. Only Chief Inspector Hemingway can uncover which of the ten has turned hatred into murder.

An upstart solicitor is killed
Published January 1st 2001 by House of Stratus (first published 1937)
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First published in 1953, this was the last of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries and the last in my project to read them all. Written in order to pay a tax bill (if I remember correctly from Jennifer Kloester’s excellent biography, Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller) the novel has a cast of quirky characters and is full of Heyer's witty dialogue. The plot – a reasonably standard whodunit with a range of possible culprits – is not exactly a page turner but was engaging enough to retain my intere
I gather I'm reading this somewhat out of order, in that there are several other books featuring the same detective and this is the last of them (and the last of Georgette Heyer's mysteries as a whole, I believe?). I blame the fact that they're not numbered in any way. Not that I think it much mattered: Chief Inspector Hemingway couldn't really win my heart, given that my fictional detective sweetie is always going to be Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter. But he was fun enough to spend some time wit ...more
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Who would have wanted to murder solicitor Sampson Warrenby?

Apparently everyone in the village of Thornden.

There's no shortage of suspects to question when Scotland Yard sends one of their finest -- Chief Inspector Hemingway -- to ferret out means, motive and opportunity. You've got the village squire and his ailing wife, the victim's long suffering niece, a rival solicitor, a mysterious couple, a crime writer, a handsome foreigner, and a military officer whose wife
☆ Carol ☆
Sadly this is the last detective story that GH wrote.

Hemingway (now a Chief Inspector) sparkles throughout & this book worth reading for his dialogue alone.

I have one leg longer than the other myself & I was wondering why Gavin simply didn't wear a lift in his shoe? Surely they would have been available in the 50s?

But a minor quibble for a very enjoyable book.
Tami (synchro from BL)
Actually a little boring... It felt like forever until it was concluded.
Detection Unlimited was the last of Heyer's mysteries. So far, it's actually the only one I've read because my mother happened to have her original copy and passed it along to me. As I learned in The Private World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge, her husband (who left his career as a mining engineer to become a barrister) actually helped her with writing her mysteries, making sure that she left appropriate clues that would give the reader a fighting chance to solve the mystery.

As with her
In Georgette Heyer's Detection Unlimited we have more suspects and more detectives than we can shake a stick at. Sampson Warrenby is dead and just about everybody in Thornden has a motive and the opportunity to have done him in. He's found slumped on a seat under the oak tree in his garden....with a bullet through his head. Most of the suspects were at an afternoon tennis party and were wandering about the area on their way home when the the shot was heard. When the local police decide to bring ...more
Enjoy her regency novels and can look past the dated-ness and figured the anit-semitism and occasional racist comments were the way they were in the 1700's.
And I'm sure England was pretty homogenous in the early 60's - but I was still annoyed by the contant Pole-bashing by all the characters and the insistance on demonizing foreigners (even if she was trying to make a point about it).
But the final straw is after meandering about with all the suspects and all their theories, there is NO resolutio
Everyone has secrets. This small English village is filled with people with secrets. One of those secrets gets a man killed.

Inspector Hemingway is called in from Scotland Yard because the people involved in this murder are from the upper classes and they make it harder to get questions answered.

The gentleman who was murdered definitely needed to be killed. The number of people who had a motive for murder is large. And everyone involved is playing detective. There are as many theories given to In
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The last Heyer mystery written and, in my opinion, the cleverest. Set in the changing world following the Second World War, the disillusionment inherently felt in the slow erosion of the class structure is made clear, and the whole book is permeated by a sense of gentle melancholy. In a sense, this is a lament to times gone by, and the thrusting character of the victim who, it is made clear, was not of the county but needed to be shown how to behave, epitomizes the new world order to come. Inspe ...more
A total wallbanger. For years people have been praising Georgette Heyer so I caved and tried this one. Wordy, pretentious and not fit to lace up Agatha Christies shoes.
More like Detection Extremely Limited.
Sheryl Tribble
I liked this better than the last one. May be that I was more in the mood for it, may be it's a better book, may be I prefer the characters in this one, may be I like stories about an English village better than stories about a social climber.

The mystery itself kept me guessing. I caught a couple of clues long before Hemingway, and one of them should have told me immediately who the perpetrator was, but I doubted that conclusion because to me it didn't fit the author's usual pattern! Ooops.

I lik
inspector hemingway takes center stage in this one - unfortunately! heyer mysteries are always best when they forget they are actually supposed to be mysteries.

wasn't so impressed with abe kobo's the ruined map (which is a surrealist or metaphysical take on detective fiction) when i first read it but now am inclined to think it rather brilliant. the tedium of that book is at least deliberate, and ostentatiously mundane - like with the dadaists, who took ordinary things and put them in extraordi
It was fun. I like Hemingway. I didn't figure out who did it, which is always boring. The only problem was that Heyer introduced almost all her characters at a garden party in the first chapter, and around page 50 I finally had to sit down with a piece of paper and write them all down on a list so I could keep them straight.

Note to self: No garden parties before Chapter Three.
I was taking more than a month to finish with this one. I hate this one, personally because it made me exhausted with never ending lists of suspects. In the end, the culprit was someone so boring it made me angry. I tried to use my grey cells, but it was obvious that all I need to do, was continue reading and finish the book; and that was all to it.
Humorous, great characterization, witty detective--almost perfect! I do think she made it a little too clear that there was going to be a murder on the day of the tennis matches because of the detail with which she described the location and everyone's movements. Other than that, I really enjoyed this "English countryside" murder mystery. Besides the cunning plot, I appreciated the allusions to the post-WWII situation: ration cards, sons lost, other sons reporting for military service, and the c ...more
Another classic crime novel from Heyer, but a fairly boring one. I kept forgetting who was who, and couldn't fix an image of any of the characters clearly enough in my mind to be able to follow their role in the stories, so as a result I couldn't follow the plot, got lost and got bored. The dénouement was quite obvious from early on. Don't bother.
A pretty nice, solid mystery, with lots of non-existent alibis and key physical clues. Its one weakness, I felt, was that with such a large cast of characters, Heyer didn't spend enough time developing them all; there were several that I would have liked to see more of or have had tied into the plot more. The book ends abruptly right after the arrest of the culprit, so we don't even get to see the reactions of everyone else in the village to the news. But definitely a satisfying whodunit to curl ...more
This book wasn't quite Agatha Christie but it definitely had twists and turns that were unexpected. I like the detective, Chief Inspector Hemingway. I would definitely recommend it. Agatha Christie
Chief Inspector Hemingway must wade through the too numerous suspects and their theories when the village's hated solicitor is found dead in his garden. A fine cast of characters, good dialogue, even if the mystery itself is a little tired.
Katie Bee
Hemingway was good in this one. It's not anything special, but the victim is appropriately vile and the murderer rather clever. There's the obligatory romance subplot, but it's not as pronounced as those in some of Heyer's other mysteries.
A wonderful English country house mystery. Georgette Heyer has always been one of my favorites for this type of mystery. Great plot. Lots of characters made it a little hard to keep track of who was who at first, but overall an excellent book.
Good old cozy mystery

excellent writing. Good intellectual exercise. archetypal British murder mystery characters and just the right touch for a rainy afternoon. classic.
"Detection Unlimited" is a humorous historical mystery set in England (though it was a contemporary when written in 1953). The story is full of quirky but generally likable characters. Chief Inspector Hemingway is clever and has a sense of humor, but the story also follows the speculations of the village folk about the murder.

The mystery was clue-based. I was pretty certain of whodunit from the beginning and turned out to be correct, yet the answer wasn't as obvious as I'm making it sound. It co
A very obvious murderer, which is why I suspected entirely the wrong person for the whole story. It's just the thing to read when you're feeling a bit below par and the weather's rotten.
As the title implies there are many suspects for the murder of Sampson Warrenby, found dead under a tree in his garden with a bullet through his brain and many people all too ready to tell Inspector Hemingway who did it. [return][return]I was immediately drawn into a world gone by in a small village, with characters such as Mrs Midgeholme with her pack of Pekes, whose names all begin with U , Mr Drybeck, the old-fashioned solicitor, Warrenby s long-suffering niece, Mavis, the country squire and ...more
3 1/2 purely for entertainment factor. Loved laughing. Dogs were hilarious, Heyer was so good at animals. Liked the detective. Heyer is certainly good time-passing material.
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Georgette Heyer was a prolific historical romance and detective fiction novelist. Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth.

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.

More about Georgette Heyer...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Hemingway (4 books)
  • No Wind of Blame (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #1)
  • Envious Casca (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #2)
  • Duplicate Death (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #3)

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