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Wouldn't It Be Deadly (An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  263 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins make an incomparable pair of sleuths in the start of a delightful new series

Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball—where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins’ bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess—Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck. After Nepommuck publicly takes cred
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Wouldn't It Be Deadly by D.E. IrelandThe Long Way Home by Louise PennyMurder Strikes a Pose by Tracy WeberThe Good, the Bad, and the Emus by Donna AndrewsA Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet
2014 Agatha Award nominees
1st out of 25 books — 5 voters
The Big Four by Agatha ChristieThe A.B.C. Murders by Agatha ChristiePeter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan AuxierSouthern Ghost by Carolyn G. HartThe Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
2015 Reading Thing
19th out of 52 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,660)
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Teresa Watson
Oct 30, 2014 Teresa Watson rated it it was amazing
Wouldn’t It Be Deadly returns us to the wonderful world of Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins. Eliza is still living with the Professor’s mother, and she has become a phonetics teacher, employed by Maestro Emil Nepommuck. Between the two of them, they have several students, all wanting to sound more upper class for various reasons.

Higgins, however, is not pleased with Eliza’s employer, because Nepommuck’s ads make it sound like he trained Eliza, not Higgins, and he is using her to draw
Jan 16, 2016 LORI CASWELL rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014

Dollycas’s Thoughts

My Fair Lady is one of my all time favorite movies! This story picks up after the Embassy Ball and I absolutely loved it! I immediately heard the voices of Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Mona Washbourne.

A “loverly” idea to turn Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins into sleuths. They make a wonderful team. The barbs they throw at each other are hilarious and so true to their characters. Colonel Pickering is still the voice of reason and Mrs. Pearce is there t
Jun 27, 2015 Tarissa rated it it was ok
An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery. The concept seemed divine (absolutely loverly!) to me when I first heard of it -- a new series written all about 2 of my favorite fictional characters. My Fair Lady happens to be my favorite film ever produced. Regrettably, I have a couple of personal issues with this new book, and won't be recommending it to like-minded readers who dislike the same issues.

Wouldn't It Be Deadly picks up after My Fair Lady. Eliza Dooolittle is now a refined (or some
Nov 02, 2014 Rose rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
"My Fair Lady" remains one of my very favorite musicals, one I've known since before I can remember. So the premise of this one was a joy: Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins teaming up to play Holmes & Watson as they get to the bottom of a murder mystery.

They did a great job capturing the characters' voices (the book is based nominally on the original George Bernard Shaw play, although musical references abound). They did make Eliza a bit more ... _mature_, really, but without losing any of
Mark Baker
Mar 24, 2015 Mark Baker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2015
In the two months since the end of My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle has gone to work for Emil Nepommuck, Henry Higgins’s chief rival. This is just one of the many reasons that Higgins decides the take Nepommuck down. However, when the man turns up murdered, Higgins becomes Scotland Yard’s chief suspect and Eliza and Higgins must team up to figure out what really happened to the man.

This is a delightful continuation of the characters from the famous musical (or more accurately George Bernard Shaw’s
Alyssa Maxwell
Nov 04, 2014 Alyssa Maxwell rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The mystery itself is clever and has several great twists I didn't see coming. The characters, though, are what really makes this story shine. Henry and Eliza are portrayed right on the mark, and with lots of humor. This is sure to be a hit with fans of My Fair Lady, historical mystery, and cozies in general. Adorable and fun!
Nov 05, 2014 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, mystery
The authors stay very true to the original characters yet make the story their own and add nice touches of humor. As a linguist, fan of mystery, George Bernard Shaw, not to mentio Lerner and Lowe musicals, this book was right up my proverbial alley. I hope there's a sequel.
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: daniele

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Daniele

Wouldn’t it be Deadly is based on characters that first appeared in George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalian and were made popular by the musical, and later movie, My Fair Lady. It picks up right where the musical ends, two months after the infamous Embassy Ball where Eliza Doolittle, an East End flower girl, was passed off as a duchess as a result of Professor Henry Higgins’ elocution lessons. Professor Higgins and Colone
Apr 02, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-books
Wow, what a great mystery book ! For someone who is a big fan of the movie My Fair Lady, this book is not a disappointment. The authors Sharon Pisacreta and Meg Mims (D.E. Ireland) have really done a fantastic job with the detail of Eliza and the Professor Henry Higgins.

Eliza and Higgins turn out to be Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in the case of trying to solve the mystery of who killed Emil Nepommuck and what was the person's motive. Nepommuck was not liked by many and he was a great person
Feb 10, 2016 Gabriela rated it it was amazing
After completing (and truthfully enjoying) Wouldn't It Be Deadly, I feel as triumphant as Eliza Doolittle on the last turn of a page. Such consistent, humorous and engaging characters. Henry Higgins and Doolittle are two memorable characters I will not let go of very easily and sincerely might never do. Spunky Eliza may even be my new alternate ego. Kudos to D.E. Ireland. Not only did I enjoy the characters but Ireland's descriptive writing too. It was just enough to allow the dome that is my he ...more
To be reviewed

Nominated for the 2014 Agatha for Best Historical Fiction, this story features Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, reimagined as amateur sleuths in Edwardian London. As the story begins, Eliza has taken a job with Henry's chief rival, Emil Nepommuck, who publicly takes credit for Eliza's transformation into a lady. After an enraged Henry submits proof to the contrary to a London newspaper, his nemesis turns up dead with a dagger in his back. Henry becomes Scotland Yard's prime susp
Apr 04, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
Two college friends get together, choose a pen name, D. E. Ireland, and begin a mystery series featuring Eliza Ddoolittle and Henry Higgins.
Now working for Henry's rival, Emil Nepommuck, Eliza feels she is advancing in the world. However, disaster strikes. Nepommuck is killed an the chief suspect is Henry Higgins. Eliza knows he is innocent. H may be a loud blusterer, but he would never hurt anyone. She deterines to prove his innocence along with his help as well as that of Colonel Pickering and
Jan 13, 2015 Sandybear76 rated it liked it
Fun book. Good characters. Ready for the next one.
Apr 05, 2016 Babs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Many of you know I love Audrey Hepburn. My Fair Lady is my all time favorite movie. My family laughs as I watch it at least once a month. Can you imagine my surprise when I got this book in my hands or I should said iPad.

I feel in love with the story in the first few pages. The story takes place after the Embassy Ball and Eliza takes a job with Nepommuck as his assistant. When Higgins and Pickering come back from Spain they are surprised to find out she is working with him. She had to do someth
Nov 06, 2015 Jayne rated it really liked it
This first in the crime-solving partnership of Miss Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins was an Agatha nominee, and well deserved. It takes place in the months following Eliza’s successful transformation from Cockney flower-seller to elegant Society lady. Eliza is trying to get a handle on her new life, living with the professor’s mother while teaching elocution to other people who wish to appear to fit in among a higher social class. There’s good scene-setting and sound period atmosphere ...more
Sep 29, 2015 Katreader rated it really liked it
Wouldn't it be Deadly by D.E. Ireland
The First Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery

This book is the first in the Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery series and was published last year. D.E. Ireland takes the wonderful characters created by George Bernard Shaw and expounds on their lives after the Embassy Ball in 1913. Higgins and Colonel Pickering have gone on two month tour of Spain, studying dialects. Upon their return to London Higgins discovers that Eliza has become the assistant
May 13, 2015 Charlene rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
As a reimagining of Eliza, Higgins and Pickering all together again in another adventure, I found this a delightful read. Eliza, especially, is such a fun character to me - so full of surprises and a flair for improvising. She's so smart too and I love that the other characters underestimate that. Higgins felt a bit more brusque and unkind than I remembered, but it fit in well with the dynamic the authors were going for in this story.

As a mystery, I thought the story felt a bit cobbled together.
Sheri South
Feb 11, 2015 Sheri South rated it liked it
I really, really wanted to love this book. It's a great idea, and the seeds of the murder are sown in the film (I've never seen or read the play, so I can't speak to that), so working Eliza and 'enry 'iggins into a mystery seems organic, and not forced at all. Unfortunately, winks to the film that seemed clever at the beginning (for instance, an aristocratic lady lives in Hepburn House) seemed tiresome by the end, as did the characters' dialogue motifs: I found the "bloomin's" and "Cockney cabba ...more
Nov 17, 2014 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, cozy-mystery, 2014
This is leaving me with a smile and digging around to find out when the next book is coming out.
I felt that the authors did very well with the characters of Eliza Doolittle, Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering.
I was laughing at all the bickering that Eliza and Higgins did.
As for the mystery I thought I had it figured out about half way through and until the end I thought I was right
but no I was wrong. I did not like chapter 20 the book already had so much comedy in it that this chapter came off
3 1/2 stars

This mystery used characters from George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmallion with many tongue-in-cheek referenes to the musical My Fair Lady. It helps if you're familiar with both before reading this but not necessary. It might be better not to know the characters ahead of time.

In 1913 Eliza Doolittle has left her home in Wimpole street after the Embassy ball in which she passed as a Duchesss. She's now working as an assitsant for Henry Higgins' biggest rival, Emil Nepommuck, a Hugarian co
D.E. Ireland must have written the first Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins mystery just for me. I'm a big fan of My Fair Lady. Ireland brings all the charm, eccentricities, personalities and humor of that musical to this book. Wouldn't It Be Deadly is a fun follow-up to the movie. And, I'm sure readers will picture Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison searching London for a killer.

Wouldn't It Be Deadly picks up two months after Eliza moved out of Professor Higgins' house, moving in with his mother. T
Sep 23, 2015 Tina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this Book through Goodreads First-Reads. Thanks so much.

Wouldn’t It Be Deadly is a fantastic read that stars Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins. It is a perfect mystery and at the top of its genre.

This is the first book of D.E. Ireland's that I have read, but I look forward to the next installment of this series, Move Your Blooming Corpse.

At the beginning of the book, Eliza is living with Professor Higgins' mother and is employed by Maestro Nepommuck (Higgins' nemesis). As expect
Heidi Miller
Nov 10, 2015 Heidi Miller rated it it was amazing
When I think of Edwardian London, I think of Eliza Doolittle, Henry Higgins, and mysteries, so Wouldn't It Be Deadly was a perfect read for me. D. E. Ireland, which is a writing combo of two wonderful female writers, brings us the start of a fun new series that reminded me of Agatha Christie.

I loved the settings and clothing, which historical readers will appreciate, as well as the more modern-take on characterization for both Eliza and Henry. This time I'm thinking of Miss Fisher's Murder Myste
Rebecca Mulligan
Mar 19, 2015 Rebecca Mulligan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Fair Lady

This book is a fun read and one in which you can have a great deal of pleasure. It is quite fanciful and does have certain moments of humor in it. I must admit that the final scene which takes place during the play Hamlet is one of the funniest I have read in a long time. It takes a lot to make me burst out laughing but this did it. If you're looking for a book which requires little to no mental exertion through it, this is the book for you.
Mar 07, 2015 Kathy rated it it was ok
I couldn't help but find this premise, Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle turned detectives, interesting. Unfortunately, when I dove into reading it, it just didn't live up to that potential. The writing and the characters are elementary to the point of becoming annoying. The farcical take on the events makes the entire story seem forced. I had to push myself through the first three-quarters of the story as it just seemed either dull as ditch water or so ridiculous as to instigate involuntary eye ...more
This is the first in a new series that takes the characters of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady and continues their lives as a classic murder mystery. Having never seen the play, but knowing vaguely the story line, I did a quick search to get the character basics before reading, but that even was unnecessary as the characters stand up well without the background and the relevant information is covered in the first part of the book. The murder mystery itself had a lovely twist that I didn't see coming and ...more
Oct 02, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
When Hungarian phonetics expert Emil Nepommuck is murdered, Eliza Doolittle--who is working as his assistant and who found the body--is initially suspected. Fortunately, she has a friend in Scotland Yard, and the main focus of the police turns to Henry Higgins, who had lost his famous temper at Nepommuck once too often. Determined to prove that her loved and hated professor is innocent, Eliza turns to detection. There are the characters beloved from Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, plus new suspects, ...more
Eleanor Jones
Aug 13, 2014 Eleanor Jones rated it it was amazing
Here I am, clapping. Just finished my advanced copy of Wouldn't It Be Deadly by D.E. Ireland from St. Martin's Press. I thoroughly and completely enjoyed it. I'm not going to outline the plot lest I spoil it, but Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle are captivating sleuths and the storyline is not only engaging and interesting, but the characters are memorable and the book is entertaining with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. It's not a short book but it is fast-paced with a terrific sense of a ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it
This was really fun. More modern in its sensibilities, but period costumes are right and mostly the characters are dead on. Unfortunately, I've only seen the movie, so there were little discrepancies in plot points that are from the play, and those drove me nuts. I will always picture Eliza as Audrey Hepburn and not Julie Andrews (though I love Julie Andrews in other things, Audrey has always been my favorite actress).

Without spoiling it, I have to say that the whole book was worth it for the cl
Greg Rothenberger
Mar 31, 2015 Greg Rothenberger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
More My Fair Lady than Pygmalion, but really a fun read. The ending was a bit chaotic. I can't wait for the next chapter in the stories of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins.
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D.E. Ireland is the pseudonym of authors Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta.
More about D.E. Ireland...

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An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery (2 books)
  • Move Your Blooming Corpse (Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery, #2)

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