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Behold, Here's Poison (Inspector Hannasyde #2)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  2,433 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
When Gregory Matthews, patriarch of the Poplars is found dead one morning, imperious Aunt Harriet blames it on the roast duck he ate for supper. After all, she had warned him about his blood pressure. But a post-mortem determines that the cause of death is much more sinister. Murder. By poison.

Suspicion falls immediately amongst his bitter, quarrelsome family. Each has a m
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 6th 2006 by Arrow (first published 1936)
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The Grand Sophy by Georgette HeyerFrederica by Georgette HeyerDevil's Cub by Georgette HeyerThese Old Shades by Georgette HeyerVenetia by Georgette Heyer
Favorite Georgette Heyer Book!
36th out of 52 books — 591 voters
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24th out of 111 books — 28 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 05, 2016 Marwan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A typical Golden Age Mystery: An English country house, a dysfunctional (not always) upper-class family and a whodunit. Georgette Heyer never failed to impress me before, and this time is no exception. It revolves around Gregory Matthews, the head of the family in the Poplars, who's found dead one morning in his bed and it's assumed to be due to natural causes. However his sister is not convinced and demanded a post-mortem, which reveals that he was poisoned. Therefore, Inspector Hannasyde from ...more
Jul 30, 2015 Kavita rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A Georgette Heyer mystery, this one was refreshing after all the dull stories about dysfunctional families I had been reading. This one is too about a dysfunctional family, but much more delightful to read than the modern stuff that is being dished out and is so popular. The book starts off with a man, the unlikeable patriarch of a family lying dead and the doctor had already signed his death certificate. But then, a member of the family starts to question the nature of his death and the police ...more
Amy Bruno
Most of you are aware of my love for Georgette Heyer, so it's probably no surprise that I couldn't resist trying out one of her mystery novels. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed! I do believe that this woman could make a grocery list read witty!

Behold, Here's Poison is an entertaining little murder mystery with a "Clue" sort of vibe to it. The characters are a little wacky, but in a delightful and amusing way. There's the outrageously thrifty Miss Matthews, moocher extraordinaire Mrs.
 Carol ♛ Type, Oh Queen! ♛
It didn't take me long to realise I have read this Heyer before, but I very much loved romping through this reread. Deftly drawn characters, sparkling dialogue & a novel method of murder - what's not to love?(view spoiler) & Hemingway is my favourite "Watson!"
I'm still on my Georgette Heyer mystery kick that brought me this latest murder mystery teaser. Set in the London suburbs during the 20's it was full of quirky characters, some good intrigue, and cozy settings that draw the reader in to curl up and relax with a good book.

The story is part of a series, but only in a loosely connected way.

A detestable head of a family is killed and there are plenty of suspects right under his own roof let alone outside the house, but the method of administering th
Rather a lot of characters in this one, and quite a good mystery.

I enjoy the poisonous Randall thoroughly, but I'm not sure if I like him, and I don't think Stella is a strong enough character to hold up against him (and wonder that she should forgive him for his cruelty to gauche teens).

It's also one of those stories where I spend some time feeling sorry for characters I'm meant to dislike. Harriet (the dependent sister with the mania for penny-pinching) is no doubt exceedingly annoying, but ho
Nov 20, 2010 Hannah rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 2010-reads
After slogging through some of Heyer's duds (No Wind of Blame and Death in the Stocks) I was beginning to worry that getting through my stack of 7 Heyer murder mysteries was going to be a chore. Happily, Behold, Here's Poison was every bit as good as Why Shoot a Butler? and The Unfinished Clue.

This offering features a cast of family and friends who all have the motive, means and opportunity to murder gruff and bullying Gregory Matthews, who is found dead in his bed. Did he die of natural causes?
Jun 04, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, humor
It's true - Heyer's mysteries are never quite as mysterious as they should be. I was fairly certain who had committed the crime by the second chapter, and my conclusion proved correct.

But never mind - I wasn't in for the mystery. The key is to not see it as anything other than a charming 1930s comedy of errors. I love Georgette Heyer because of her ability to write charming characters. I have read a fair number of regencies and mystery novels where the characters are flat stereotypes of the genr
Jul 05, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Heyer has a way of introducing her characters then altering your perception of their qualities. In this book she brings us into a bickering, unhappy, extended family. At first blush there does not seem to be a redeeming feature amongst them yet the one we never meet is the person they consider rude, unpleasant, and, of course, dead. As the interactions progress it appears there are reasons for some of the unpleasant behavior due to the controlling character of the dead man.
As with Neville and ot
Oct 05, 2012 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Contrary to what this cover leads one to expect, there are no vampish women or costume parties in this mystery, just an unpleasant extended family who lead boring lives (and deaths -- these are about the most boring murders ever) and eat food that is bad even for the English.
Jun 15, 2015 Jill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, i-own, nook
Loved it. I think this might be my favorite of Ms. Heyer's mysteries. The characterizations are marvelous.
Mar 31, 2011 Lucy rated it really liked it
This murder mystery could not have come from anyone but a British author. It is SO typical of the genre: the manor house, the servants, the dysfunctional family. It's all there. The story revolves around the Matthews family, each more detestable than the next. There really aren't any likable characters with the exception of the police Superintendent who doesn't figure all that much in the plot. This is definitely not a police procedural and the detective is only a minor player in the action. As ...more
Jolie Beaumont
Aug 25, 2011 Jolie Beaumont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was put off by the beginning of this book, which is set in 1930s England. The assortment of catty, underemployed family members/suspects seemed all too typical - and by now terribly trite. But while most of the "cast" remains insufferable, a few - such as Stella and Randall - become more interesting as the plot moves forward. There are also some nice unexpected plot developments.

As has been pointed out elsewhere about her mysteries, Heyer seems more interested in the comedy of manners aspect
Sep 23, 2015 Suzannah rated it liked it
Shelves: humour, mystery
Everyone loves a good vintage detective story, obviously. I had never read any of Georgette Heyer's detective novels, and so when I had the opportunity to pick one up for free, I jumped at the chance.

Read the rest of my review at my blog, Vintage Novels.
Apr 25, 2011 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
I liked the earlier Heyer mysteries I've read much more than this one. My lack of enthusiasm is in some part due to the writing but also due to the very poor audio book version I listened to. The reader made unlikeable characters even more so. Indeed, his rendition of Randall made him so very unlikeable that the already thin romantic sub-plot was made totally unbelievable. I found it fairly easy to work out the identity of the murderer, but not the details of why the murder was committed, so I h ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Oct 25, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aficionados of dry British wit
Shelves: mysteries, favorites
At first, everyone thinks that Gregory Matthews died of a combination of nastiness, apoplexy, and the duck he ate for dinner that night. Then Aunt Harriet, "a regular cough drop" dies, too, and that changes everything. Stella and her brother Guy agree that it's just too bad the deaths can't be pinned on poisonous cousin Randall, the heir to the family fortune. A lovely, acid-tongued comedy of manners, as good as anything by Agatha Christie.
Enjoyable, well written, English whodunit, with some lovely plot twists, dry humour and a little old-fashioned romance along the way. I really feel that Heyer's mysteries are terribly underrated.
Mar 20, 2013 Abbey rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who enjoy 1930s Big House mysteries with snappy dialogue
1936, #2 Inspector Hannasyde, rural England; odd family in an odd, old house, with peculiar servants; multiple murders and lots of intrigue but slow and talky. Traditional genteel cosy.

Edited info from the back of the book is in brackets; unedited version gives far too much away and also includes plot elements that are not actually in the story!:

"Meet the Matthews - before the next one dies!. ...It's no ordinary morning at The Poplars - the master is found dead in his bed and it seems his high b
Jun 07, 2011 Caroline rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
I'm not a fan of Ms Heyer's regency romances, but I have enjoyed her mysteries. In this book, the tyrannical patriarch of a family is discovered dead in his bed. While his sister, sister-in-law, niece and nephew who live with him believe he must have died of a heart attack in his sleep and his doctor declares he died of natural causes, his other sister who comes over, takes one look at him and demands a postmortem, much to the alarm and horror of the rest of the family.

The heir is loathed by al
Golden Age mystery. Gregory Matthews is found dead. It seems to be food poisoning, but his meddling sister insists on a post mortem, to the mortification of his family, and the diagnosis is poison. His niece finds it all rather unbearable, and shockingly sordid, and it really doesn't help that cousin Randall, the new head of the family, keeps dropping around to be wear on everybody's nerves and make insinuations.

So, I found another Heyer mystery in the library, and couldn't help myself. This one
Sep 30, 2016 Ladiibbug rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
Mystery - Copyright 1936

First read: June 2009, 4 stars
Second read: September 2016, 4 stars

Second Read: This is a 4 book mystery series (Inspector Hannasyde), now reading all 4 in order

A very clever and entertaining mystery. When Mr. Matthews, wealthy head of the family, is found murdered by poison, his relatives (most of whom live in his mansion) seem to each have a motive.

As the dead man's constantly quarrelsome family await the outcome of the investigation, they bicker and insult each other wi
Aug 27, 2012 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This is one of the mysteries written by Georgette Heyer, who is perhaps better known for her Regency Romances. Although characters and style of living are similar to those in her romances, this story is truly a murder mystery without the focus on social behaviors of the era. Because this is Heyer, I expected at least a touch of romance, and I was not disappointed in that respect. Because this is Heyer, you'll not be bored with the characters.

This was a well-crafted mystery, with some good red he
Sep 15, 2016 Bethack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I felt that Randal was one of Heyer's least successful characters. He is better placed in one of her historical novels. What is charming in the past is unrealistic and tedious in the 20th century. For this reason I did not buy into the final romance, it seems to come out of the blue and is included because she writes romances. However the plot is a good solid mystery and there is some of the famous Heyer wit.
Sep 07, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Loved this book. 4.5 stars. It may not solve all the world's problems, but what it does (British cozy-mystery) it does very well. Heyer is the mistress of writing quirky, amusing characters, and she does it very well here. Heyer is also the mistress of writing sarcastic, sharp-tongued, foppish male characters who have no hesitation saying what others might only think, and who appear somewhat superficial, lazy and idle but actually have hidden depths. Randall is a good example of this (although f ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Heyer mystery. I read it after reading her biography, which was not entirely complimentary of her mysteries, citing stinted language and meandering plots. Those things may have been true, but I don't care! I thought this was great anyway!

It reminded me a little of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia because the majority of the characters were crazy and vile (in a hilarious way). The few characters who lived in the real world and injected sense into the proceedings highlighted the
Feb 15, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
Have always loved her historical romances. This is the first of her detective novels I have come across and I AM HOOKED! Clever, twisting plot, a baffling murder, wonderful characters, and the dialogue - so droll, so sarcastic, so effortlessly and elegantly bitchy! Glad to report that, having scoured the nearby charity bookstores, I have found six more of her whodunnits. Not bad, as she only penned twelve detective novels in all. I fully anticipate enjoying every single one of 'em! Happy reading ...more
Oct 30, 2015 Annette rated it it was amazing
This is a terrific mystery.

Gregory Matthews is found dead in his bed. When things become clear, it is obvious that it was murder and there are suspects around every corner. Mr Matthews was a rotten person.

In his home, there is his sister Harriet, his widowed sister in law Mrs. Matthews, his niece and nephew Stella and Guy. His heir is Randall, a witty and sarcastic young man who does not live in the home and is not a favorite with the other members of the family. Among family members there are n
Aug 16, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, romance
I found this a thoroughly enjoyable read, though it didn't start off so promising... The characters initially seem so horrible and unlikeable that it's clear Heyer doesn't even want us to like them-- yet. Gradually, they grow on you. (Or, well, at least they grew on me, and I've seen other reviewers make similar observations.) By the end of the book, I actually liked most of them, to varying degrees-- particularly Randall. (What can I say? It's what Heyer wanted, obviously. Why not be obliging?) ...more
Aug 15, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing
The five books I needed to fill in the "hole" in my collection have arrived, so I am back to reading the middle section. Inspector Hannasyde is still the Scotland Yard presence, backed up by Sergeant Hemingway, who will figure as the investigator in the later mysteries. This is another country-house murder, with two murders and plenty of suspects. The humor is enlivened by the presence of "Terrible Timothy", the young brother of Jim Kane. Both Jim and Timothy will make a later appearance when Ti ...more
Roger King
Jan 14, 2016 Roger King rated it really liked it
This very enjoyable murder mystery centers around a poisoned tyrannical family patriarch with all the freeloading relatives trying to pin the murder on each other. Everyone wants to blame Randall, the viperous heir-in-waiting, smarter than the rest combined (I like Randall: smoking jackets, whisky sours, fancy walking cane, horse punter; reminds me of a friend in college). The will is read, and back stabbing goes into high gear. Inspector Hannasyde (homicide detective from Scotland Yard, get it? ...more
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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 Hannasyde (4 books)
  • Death in the Stocks (Inspector Hannasyde, #1)
  • They Found Him Dead (Inspector Hannasyde, #3)
  • A Blunt Instrument (Inspector Hannasyde, #4)

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“Randall laid his hand on Stella's, but only to remove it from his sleeve. "My precious, you really must have some regard for my clothes," he said with gentle reproach. "Much as I love you, I cannot permit you to maul this particular coat.” 33 likes
“I can't imagine what possessed you to propose to me."
"Well that will give you something to puzzle over any time you can't sleep.”
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