Detection Unlimited (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #4)
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Detection Unlimited (Inspector Hemingway #4)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  877 ratings  ·  65 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...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Arrow (first published 1944)
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Classic Mysteries
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Kim

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...more
Nikki
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
Hannah
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...more
Melissa
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...more
Kyra
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...more
Nell
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.
Miriam
More like Detection Extremely Limited.
Bev Hankins
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
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...more
meeners
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...more
Elena
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
Tim
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.
Sandra
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.
Cyn2
Good old cozy mystery

excellent writing. Good intellectual exercise. archetypal British murder mystery characters and just the right touch for a rainy afternoon. classic.
Debbie
"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...more
Margaret
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...more
K.
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.
Gina Dalfonzo
The good: The actual mystery was well done, and a pretty effective change from Heyer's usual formula (though to say too much about that would give the whole thing away).

The bad: I hate it when a writer feels compelled to keep pointing out how clever and wonderful her detective is. Especially when this supposed wonderfulness gives the detective a license to go around talking down to people. What I think was supposed to pass for camaraderie between Hemingway and Harbottle didn't come off well at a...more
Sarah
I like how Heyer doesn't leave any clues hidden from her readers. It makes it possible to solve the mystery while reading which I enjoy trying.
Jennie
I enjoyed this mostly because I'm sort of wired to enjoy British Country Mysteries. I found this one just a little too wordy (lots of characters sitting around chatting with each other about the murder), with not much to like about many of the characters (though I did have a certain fondness for the lady who bred the Pekes). It took a long time for the story to go anywhere, but it was a good read for just sitting around the house with nothing else to do. I'm going to pick up the first in the ser...more
Miriam
I had read this before but remembered very little about it, so it obviously didn't make much of an impression on me the first time. Like with several of her other mystery stories, the apprehension of the murderer pretty much takes place offstage, which is an odd choice. Like some other reviewers, I found the xenophobia pretty off-putting. I'm beginning to wonder if there was a writer during the so-called golden age of British mystery novels that wasn't a bigot, because so far I haven't found one...more
Gerry
Sampson Warrenby is not liked by his neighbours in Thornden and Bellingham. But they do not expect to find him murdered under his own oak tree.

Chief Inspector Hemingway is called in and an intriguing investigation follows with plenty of suspects in the frame from around the two villages.

With some deft detective work Hemingway, assisted by Inspector Horace Harbottle, discovers the killer ... but not before the book very nearly ends with the solution up in the air!
Aoife
I liked this alot more than I expected to. The dialogue is wonderfully old fashioned and moves along at a nice pace. It is necessary to remember when this was written and so try ignore the slightly racist attitude to foreigners and the class structure that was still clearly in place in Heyer's society when this was written. A fairly decent story driven by dialogue; don't get any real character exploration leaving me not caring who the murderer was.
Jessica Howard
A fairly typical British cosy--the most disliked man in the village is dead, and almost everyone had a motive. The local police are stumped, and call in Chief Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard, who puts his 'flair' to use in solving the case.

Lots of stereotypes: interfering spinsters, timid vicar's wives, dry old solicitors, quirky upper-class youth, but still a fun read, and it did take me more than half the book to figure out "whodunnit".
Kathryn
Detection Unlimited is an Inspector Hemingway mystery by Georgette Heyer. It was ok, but I got really irritated with the "snarky" character. Heyer's detective novel characters just aren't as much fun to be around as her romance novel characters.

The title refers to the surplus of amateur detectives in the small English village all providing Inspector Hemingway with their superfluous theories on the death of a disliked solicitor.
Colleen
A tennis party, a disreuptable attorney, and a small town with too many secrets are the backdrop for this mystery. Add to all that an impish mystery author and Detective Hemingway has alot to deal with. Still he proves himself worthy of the task in this fun mystery. Heyer has such fun with her language that she makes the plot a bit fuzzy and I would have appherated a map of the town, but I still found this a fun read.
Heather
I really like the way she does Village Life. Nothing terribly original about it, no stunning revelations about the English countryside, but charming and gently snarky. As usual, the title has nothing to do with the rest of the story. But I liked the ending -- it's kind of like she's making fun of herself -- the Usual Suspect (Heyer-style)who, of course, is never the real murderer in her other books, finally IS.
Kalendra Dee
Sampson Warrenby was not well-liked by most of the villagers. Someone, however, took this a step further and put a bullet in his brain. Inspector Hemingway has his hands full with too many suspects, each who seemingly has an alibi. Georgette Heyer is delightful, as always. Although she is mostly noted for her historical romances, this series is a must-read for classic, Golden Age, mystery lovers.
Nicole
Hemmingway is becoming more of the central character rather than just being the sleuth. He is developing an amusing personality due to the increased number of scenes he dominates.
This one was very much a Midsomer village style of murder. The new village lawyer & social climber has used his official positions to push his way into the tight British village society offending everyone.
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18067
Georgette Heyer was an amazingly prolific writer who created the Regency England genre of romance novels.

Georgette Heyer was an intensely private person. A best-seller all her life without the aid of publicity, she made no appearances, never gave an interview, and only answered fan letters herself if they made an interesting historical point. Heyer wrote very well-researched historical fiction, fu...more
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