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

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,966 ratings  ·  184 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 HeyerCotillion by Georgette Heyer
Favorite Georgette Heyer Book!
33rd out of 52 books — 505 voters
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Community Reviews

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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
☆ Carol ☆
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!"
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
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?
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.
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.
Loved it. I think this might be my favorite of Ms. Heyer's mysteries. The characterizations are marvelous.
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
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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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 3 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Georgette Heyer is an excellent writer and I have really enjoyed her books (I've read about a half-dozen). Technically, "Behold, Here's Poison" was a good mystery - a four star mystery I would have normally said. it was well-written, with well-drawn characters, and the requisite twists and turns. The ending surprised me too - I can often "guess the murderer" but not this time, though I did guess the murder method. (Of course that is three-quarters of the fun, guessing and being surprised!)

I am a fan of Heyer's regency novels, but I think they are an acquired taste. I didn't care much for them until I'd read a second and then a third--and I probably wouldn't have kept reading them if it hadn't been for the persistent prodding of many friends who adore her. I'm now a convert, and I've read nearly all of her romance novels. This is the first Heyer mystery I've read, though. Gregory Matthews, a wealthy and mean-spirited head of an almost as unlikable family, is found dead in his bed. ...more
K.A.M. Boham
Georgette Heyer's mysteries are quick, fun reads. Her characters are always well developed and those in this book are no exceptions. Randall is one of my favorites. I'd tell you why but then I'd spoil the story!
I would recommend this book for any mystery lover. It got a murder (or two), lots of suspects, an Inspector it's difficult to fool, and a twist at the end. The twist at the end isn't one of those unfair twists where the Inspector had more information than the reader. Thinking back, there
This clever English country-house mystery unfolds somewhat slowly, but the pace is probably typical of the time (1936) it was first published. I kept hearing Poirot in this book, as it's the kind of mystery Agatha Christie's detective would find 'most intriguing,' but his 'little grey cells' would have solved the mystery of the poison much more quickly. Indeed, the detective inspector appears on the scene quite late and has to play catch-up. Still, I found it engrossing to discover which of the ...more
George Matthews is dead. Though the doctor initially says it is syncope (heart issues), George's sister (Mrs. Lupton) insists that an autopsy be performed. When one is done, it is found that he is dead of nicotine poisoning.
This is a typical Heyer novel where the rich and cranky old man is killed surrounded by his not-so-loving family. This particular rich and cranky old man had a sister (eccentric penny pincher who likes to save dribs and drabs of everything for later use), a sister-in-law (his
This is a mystery novel set in Britain around 1936 (which is when it was written). The mystery was clever, the pacing was good, and journey (full of the the characters' foibles) to the answer was fun.

The author introduces a lot of the characters quite rapidly at the beginning. It's not immediately clear how everyone is related to each other (especially since it's an odd assortment of relationships), but it all gets sorted out fairly quickly.

Most of the characters aren't exactly nice people, but
The master of the house is dead, and apparently, it's poison. His sister (an obnoxious hypochondriac), sister-in-law (an empty-headed, but good looking idiot), niece (who wants to marry the doctor he hates), and nephew (who he's about to send down to South America) all have motive and opportunity. Throw in an overbearing sister and the other nephew that everyone hates (who just happens to inherit just about everything) and you have teh recipe for a lovely little mystery.

I read the first few cha
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in March 1998.

This seems to be one of the best of Georgette Heyer's dozen or so detective novels (I haven't read quite all of them, so I can't be definite about it.) It has a much better plot than most of her novels in this genre, though it still doesn't live up to the motto they still insist on putting on her detective novels even today ("Queen of Mystery and Suspense" - a title that could be far better applied to any of Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Margery
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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 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)
The Grand Sophy Frederica Arabella These Old Shades (Alastair, #1) Devil's Cub (Alastair, #2)

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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.” 32 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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