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No Wind of Blame (Inspector Hemingway #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  2,336 Ratings  ·  181 Reviews
Tragedy befalls the Carter family following an eventful visit from a Russian prince and a scandalous blackmail letter. The murder of Wally Carter is a bewildering mystery — how does one shoot a man crossing a narrow bridge without being near the murder weapon when it is fired? The analytical Inspector Hemingway reveals his unnerving talent for solving a fiendish problem.
Published 1952 by Heinemann (first published 1939)
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Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕
Aug 20, 2016 Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like their mysteries with a good dash of humour
I guess I'm fickle.

This title is now my favourite Georgette Heyer mystery.

What's not to love? My favourite Watson (Hemingway) is now the Sherlock, a colourful & very funny cast, including the murder victim. I was chuckling right through the read, especially the scene where (view spoiler) I really think this would make a wonderful made for TV movie, especially if they play it as a farce.

& I have at least made a start on the
One of the pleasures of reading is that you can do things through books you'd never want to do in real life - like climb Mt. Everest or survive a concentration camp. Perhaps that's why I enjoy this book so much. I'm thankful I've never spent the weekend with a fortune-hunting Russian Prince, a young man who despises his father and insists on telling everyone about it, and a girl who treats all of life as dramatic theater - not to mention a murderer. Yet I find time spent with this book delightfu ...more
Aug 28, 2016 Hana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2016-reads
Wally Carter is a corpse in waiting. Never have so many suspects gathered to justifiably kill off a vile bounder since Murder on the Orient Express. The characters were wonderfully quirky, the dialog was amusing and the plot just twisty enough to keep me engaged. Lots of fun and just what I was in the mood for.


This was not one of Heyer's better mysteries. I found it tedious and slow with absolutely no suspense. Along with dull characters, some of which were loopy and made me dizzy. Not a good mix.

I found myself not caring who the murderer was, whether he would be caught or not and I didn't care either way with the romances. The 'heroes' were both duds. They were dull and stodgy. The heroines were on opposite spectrums from each other. Mary, was frankly just a bit too perfect. Only the immatur
A buddy read with my friend Jemidar and worth closer to 3 1/2 stars.

The third last novel in my 2011 Heyer mysteries reading project, this is neither my favourite nor my least favourite of these novels.

I'll start with what I liked about it. As with all of Heyer's mysteries - and most of her other novels - this novel features seriously eccentric characters who engage in witty banter while doing strange things. If anything, the eccentricity is ramped up in this novel and I was kept laughing, whic
It's no secret that Wally Carter married Ermyntrude for her money and in the last two years since their marriage, his deplorable behavior has gotten worse. Ermyntrude wishes he would not see, let alone lend money to, his friend Harold White and Wally wishes Ermyntrude had not invited an impoverished Russian - excuse me- Georgian, prince to stay. Ermyntrude's daughter Vicky has returned home from school, ready to play any role at a moment's notice and eager to take in the drama between her mother ...more
I've read so many of this author's books and went back and listened to a few on audio, but this was the first occasion I took to snag one of her detective stories. I anticipated sparkling conversations, a good romp, and was curious and anticipative toward a mystery. I got all that, but I did find it had some lag, too.

The story begins with the introduction to the setting, characters, their backstories and goes along sometime building to the point where the murder occurs and then after a time the
Here we see a handover of Detectives from Hannasyde to Hemingway. Heyer is being very interested in distinctions of class here, ranging her characters from county to not quite-quite to rather suss and there is definitely something a little uncomfortable about how the county are privately amused by Ermyntrude but willing to associate with her to get money out of her.

There is a lot of humour to be had out of the character of Vicki, who is rather similar to Neville from A Blunt Instrument - deliber
Period piece who-dun-it. Shooting, dinner, bridge and the country set. The man of the house, Wally, seems to be always biting off more than his intellect can understand. And he isn't the root of the money tree. His wife is.

A number of possible suspects and at least two young women in the marriage market.

It's ok, and cuts a time warp like photo in a frame for the good weather "country life" of the wealthy English before WWI. But the plot is underdeveloped and the characters drawn and defined but
Nicole D.
Wally is a good for nothing slob who lives off his rich wife Ermyntrude. Who may not be the brightest person but her good nature,generosity,and kindness make up for it and I love her character.Drama and all. Throw in a Prince who is a gold digger,Mr Steel who is madly in love with her,her daughter Vicki who takes the quote The Whole World's a Stage literally(she plays a new role depending on how she feels or what she wants to do that day,every day)and a few other colorful characters and you got ...more
Rating clarification: 2.5 stars

This was the second Heyer mystery I've read. While not as enjoyable or well constructed as The Unfinished Clue, it managed to entertain me (barely), but it clearly wasn't her best work. I would suggest to any reader not to make this your first Heyer mystery, however.

Surprisingly enough, after having recently stated in my review for The Unfinished Clue that I can never manage to deduce whodunit, I was able to peg this killer down almost as soon as the deed was done,

Buddy read with Kim :-).

A lighthearted cosy mystery full of wonderfully eccentric people, high drama, red herrings and a very clever 'howdunit.' Definitely keeps you guessing to the end. Not your usual detective novel, but great fun all the same.

Susan in NC
May 05, 2010 Susan in NC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
August 2016 reread with GH group:
I reread this book last summer and my review is below, the only changes being a drop to four stars because I found certain characters more grating upon rereading, and the plot rather sluggish until Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard is brought in.

I understand why Heyer wrote it this way, and she does a masterful job setting the scene and introducing us to the fascinatingly off-beat residents of Palings and the passions and conflicts that lead to a murder. It's
Alexis Neal
Wally Carter is a jerk. He cheats on his wealthy wife Ermyntrude, squanders her money on shady schemes, and even asks her to pay off his pregnant girlfriend (and then moans about how much it sucks for him that he's so broke he has to ask for her help with said blackmail). He's ill-tempered, greedy, and lecherous. He's an indifferent guardian to his adult ward (and heir) Mary, and completely uninterested in his stepdaughter Vicky, a young would-be actress with a penchant for making scenes and a f ...more
May 05, 2011 Bev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage-mystery
In No Wind of Blame by Georgette Heyer tragedy befalls the Carter family during an eventful visit from a Russian prince. There is talk of shady business deals, a scandalous blackmail letter arrives, and the grieving widow has a couple suitors already lining up to comfort her in her hour of need. For it seems that no one much cares that Wally Carter was dead. Certainly not Ermyntrude, his flamboyant wife. After the scandals she's endured...well, good riddance to bad rubbish! Her impossibly intens ...more
I liked this book because it seemed to have captured the very essence of English society of the time and it was just so accurately done I had no problems picturing the setting, the characters, and as I progressed with the story it just got more interesting.

I loved the mystery aspect of this, it certainly did keep me guessing! you're actually left until nearly the very end to learn who the culprit was. I found myself always changing my mind on who might have done it (some of my guesses were so o
Delia Binder
Well, That Was A Thing That Happened....

I am a huge fan of Georgette Heyer Georgette Heyer's Historical Romances, especially her Regencies, which are comedies of manners with a bit of love and a lot of humor. I cannot count the number of times I've read Venetia by Georgette Heyer VENETIA, The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer THE GRAND SOPHY, Frederica by Georgette Heyer FREDERICA, Arabella by Georgette Heyer ARABELLA, The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer THE NONESUCH and False Colours by Georgette Heyer FALSE COLOURS - I have them in hardcover, paperback (multiple versions), and eBook (which at least the pages don't fall out of if you re-re-read it too much!). So - you'd think I wou
Natasha M.
Having only read one of her mysteries before, I must say I was pleased with this one too (though it is certainly a slower boil than Behold, Here's Poison) as her characters are always delightful, the dialogue/banter witty and engaging and one can't help but feel very sorry for the Inspectors having to deal with this particular set of melodramatic country gentry. The one bad thing about reading this mystery however is that I spent the first part of the book waiting for one of the character's to d ...more
Mar 30, 2008 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Wally Carter, his ward Mary, his wife Ermyntrude, and her daughter Vicky are an odd bunch. They are rich, thanks to Ermyntrude's first husband, but not very socially acceptable. That is, until Ermyntrude secures a Georgian Prince to stay for the weekend. During the visit, tempers flare and secrets come out--and at the end of it all, Wally Carter has been shot dead.
Vicky, the flighty would-be actress who loves her mother?
Mary, Wally's sensible yet much put-upon ward?
Ermyntrude, Wally's
Carol Kerry-green
This started off well, there were some interesting characters and the feel of the book was good, however it didn't completely satisfy - too many other characters were added further along, some completely unessessary. I did enjoy Ermintrude though, what hysterics! Also Vicky who enjoyed posing. Started off thinking Mary was a sensible character, but she lost it for me later on when she just disolved for no apparent reason. Inspector Hemingway was good Scotland Yard material, and I enjoyed the way ...more
Sep 21, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I liked the first book I read from this author (Footsteps in the Dark) so much that I knew this one wasn't going to be able to meet the same standards. So it really never had a chance. Most of the characters I didn't care about, including the man who gets killed, and I felt like it took SO long to get to the actual murder mystery that I almost lost interest in the book completely. Also, I had already figured out who was going to be the murderer before the murder had even occured. I did like the ...more
Jan 18, 2010 Staci rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
Wow, this was not the book that I was hoping to read. I struggled, literally struggled, to finish this book. The problem---way too much verbage (not a word, I know). The descriptions of dinners, clothes, you name it, was so over the top that I felt like screaming. You could read pages and nothing happened. I won't be rushing out to read another mystery by Heyer, but I will continue to read her Regency romance books because I really did enjoy those.
Sep 07, 2014 Sharla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This author didn't write many mysteries, which is too bad because this one was wonderful. She specialized in writing romance but don't think her mysteries follow that mold. The plot was excellent, the characters great fun and the ending satisfying. If you like British mystery a bit on the cozy side with humor and eccentric characters you'll LOVE this one.
Aug 03, 2016 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable read. I didn't guess who the murderer was which is a plus for me.
Feb 27, 2016 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Of Heyer's mysteries that I've read so far, this was not a stand-out.  A serviceable way to pass some time, but nothing amazing or even particularly interesting.  Apart from Vicky (and sometimes Ermyntrude, who reminded me a bit of Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice), I found most of the characters fairly dull. It didn't help that I managed to guess the identity of the murderer and at least part of the "method" early on, which left too much time for waiting for the police and detectives to cat ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the home of the Carter family, demure Mary Cliff stands out. Her cousin and guardian is a villain who treats his dog better than his new wife and wails to the sky that it’s her own damn fault for not being more accommodating, the new wife is a former actress and can’t sit down to breakfast without making it into a dramatic production, and the wife’s daughter is an aspiring actress herself and switches personas several times daily. Throw in a long-time romantic rival, a mistress in the family ...more
Sep 18, 2009 Lucy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As you know, I mostly read books based on history (fiction and non-fiction) as well as literary and regency…this one was none of the above. I read it because it was a Georgette Heyer one and I just couldn’t pass it up. I figured that I love a good mystery, humour and Heyer- so I made the exception and took the plunge into a 20th c read. Blame it on Georgie…

No Wind of Blame is an hysterically funny murder mystery. Who gets killed? No other than the most inconsiderate, obnoxious, good for-nothing,
Whistlers Mom
Sep 11, 2016 Whistlers Mom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We all know the plot - wealthy widow marries charming wastrel and then is murdered. We don't have to look far for a motive, do we?

But Heyer always put her own spin on things and she turns that dreary old plot on its head in this one. It's not the wealthy wife who's murdered, but the charming wastrel husband. Since Wally has nothing but what his wife gives him (and the rather nebulous possibility of inheriting a fortune from a crazy old aunt) you'd think that suspects would be scarce. Of course,
Christine (booktumbling)
No Wind of Blame (Georgette Heyer) is a rollicking murder mystery full of colorful players and numerous plot twists. The first quarter of the book is devoted to introducing the reader to the vast array of characters. The descriptions are not overt. Yes, the usual physical details are given but the true nature of each individual is cleverly exposed through dialogue and reactions to situations and each other. Ermyntrude, the drama-queen of a widow, Prince Alexis who blatantly expresses his desire ...more
The house party was never going to be a success. The hostess, Ermintrude, is enamored by an exiled Russian prince, who is determined to marry her for her first husband's fortune--except that she's married already, to a bounder who can't stand the prince, or anyone else, really. Wally is as unpleasant as he knows how to be, infuriating his wife, his cousin and ward Mary, his overly dramatic stepdaughter Vicky, and another would-be suitor of Ermintrude's, local farmer Robert Steele. As if that wer ...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 Hemingway (4 books)
  • Envious Casca (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #2)
  • Duplicate Death (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #3)
  • Detection Unlimited (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #4)

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“Why, her father would turn in his grave--well, as a matter of fact, he was cremated, but what I mean is, if he hadn't been he would have. [Ermyntrude]” 6 likes
“Sir William was also startled, but when Vicky smiled at him, rather in the manner of an engaging street-urchin, his countenance relaxed slightly, and he asked her what she was doing with herself now that she had come home to live.

"Well it all depends," she replied seriously.

Sir William had no daughters, but only his memories of his sisters to guide him, so he said that he had no doubt she was a great help to her mother, arranging flowers, and that kind of thing.

"Oh no, only if it's that sort of a day!" said Vicky.

Sir William was still turning this remark over in his mind when the butler came in to announce that dinner was served.”
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