Why Shoot a Butler?
But why, indeed, shoot a butler? Unless he had seen too much.
Good butlers are hard to come by, and managing a large English manor house circa 1933 calls for a discrete, efficient, capable family servant. Unfortunately, this particular butler is currently behind the wheel of his master's vehicle with a hole through his chest. No more butlering for him, poor chap.
Who killed Dawson, and why, is just the tip of the puzzle for amature sleuth Frank Amberley. His dinner engagement with his aunt and uncle is interrupted by a wrong turn...more
Sir Humphrey, Frank's uncle, is voicing his displeasure at the way Frank's investigation is interf...more
This is my third Heyer read, and the writing is as witty as the others. Barrister Frank Amberley discovers a young woman at night beside a car on a deserted road. The driver is dead.
On his way to a dinner party, Amberley decides to stick around and investigate. His verbal gymnastics are a delight to read, whether he's creatively insulting an unsuspecting victim, digging for clues, or just being himself.
Off to a great start, right? I thought so too, but for some reason it took me a while t...more
For the fan of Heyer’s detective stories this, her second murder mystery, shows the author still experimenting w...more
Why Shoot a Butler? was a fairly relaxed introduction to Heyer's mysteries: not very creepy, not very involved, but fun because Heyer's characters are fun. I was particularly fond of the smooth-sailing Lady Matthews. Mr. Amberley, I confess, was not my favorite. On the surface his curt abruptness seems reminiscent of Charles Rivenhall, but I found him too rude, especially to his au...more
It's a fairly boilerplate whodunnit, hurt by the fact that there's really no way the reader has a chance to solve it for themselves. All the relevant facts are kept from you until the very end.
However, this is a Heyer book, so the characters are fa...more
The mystery itself is OK. It keeps you reading, leaving clues along the way that are tied together and summed up at the end. However, allot goes on unseen. The amateur sleuth keeps all his cards hidden and reveals them at the...more
I'd always dismissed Heyer as a romance writer, not knowing she also wrote mysteries. Seeing this, I gave it a shot, and it was fun! Okay, obviously it's not great literature, but it's not trying to be. It's a decent English-countryhouse mystery, with a good bit of atmosphere and a properly eventful plot. And how could I not appreciate the cheek of starting off by shooting...more
-- "After all, why shoot a butler? Where's the point?" One character voices the book's title, and it seems to be a popular opinion among the entire cast of characters. A bit arrogant, don't you think? Why shoot a (mere, humble, borin...more
This was a Kindle deal last week, and I like Heyer and have only previously read and enjoyed one of her mysteries (Envious Casca), so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did.
A fun traipse through the British countryside (despite the murders) with twists and turns that the explanation make plausible. Mr. Amberley is wonderful main character detective (if abrasive at times) ... rich, knowing, and piecing together scraps of information to a logical deduction. It was a gripping re...more
Frank Amberley is on his way into the country but his young cousin's promised shortcut has only gotten him hopelessly lost. And now he's stumbled upon a murder. The young woman who is also at the site is nervous but he's sure she's not the one who did this foul deed. So he lets her go and then phones the police.
Mr. Amberley is apparently not a favorite of the Inspector in this area, having shown the man up before,...more
I'd actually label this book a suspense novel rather than a straight mystery. After just a few clues at the beginning, I was able to correctly guess why the murders were happening and who was doing them. The hero quickly figures it...more
On his way to dinner at the house of his aunt and uncle Frank Amberly, an amateur detective, takes a wrong turn. On that road he finds a murdered man in a car, and there is a young lady, Shirley, standing next to the car. He reports it to the police, but leaves out Shirley because he feels that she didn't shoot the man (who turns out to be a butler). However the police would immediately arrest and hang her for the murder if they knew about her. Amberly finds that this an interesting case
But this had only one of the Heyer characteristics I adore, that being her dizzingly deft hand with dialogue. There was none of the gorgeous description, none of that sheer love of language, no spark, no joy. The language here bordered on the pedestrian. To b...more
As the title would indicate, the initial and most pressing mystery is why would anyone want to shoot a butler? For that is w...more
And so begins the second Georgette Heyer mystery that I’ve read. Most definitely you have to keep in mind the time when these Heyer books were writte...more
Amberley's character was a wholly fun one - he has such a dry sense of humor that I laughed out loud a few times while reading. However, you don't get a ve...more
An enjoyable whodunit with clever characters and snappy dialog. I loved the sense of time and place. Since Heyer wrote these as contemporaries, the reader gets an authentic look at English society in the 1930's. Heyer's mysteries remind me a little of Agatha Chritie's books, although with a little less detail or complexity. Still, they are that type of mystery popular in the early 20th century, where the clever sleuth pieces together obscure clues and figures it all...more
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