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Death in the Stocks (Inspector Hannasyde #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,821 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews

A bobby on his night rounds discovers a corpse in evening dress locked in the stocks on the village green. Inspector Hannasyde is called in, but sorting out the suspects proves a challenge. Anyone in the eccentric, exceedingly uncooperative Vereker family had the motive and means to kill Andrew Vereker, who seemed to have been universally disliked. One cousin allies himsel

Hardcover, 263 pages
Published 1952 by William Heinemann (first published 1935)
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Feb 03, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first mystery featuring Inspector Hannasyde and is the first Georgette Heyer mystery that I have read. It begins with a very unusual murder – Mr Arnold Vereker, who has a weekend cottage in the country, is found stabbed to death with his body left propped in the stocks of Ashleigh Green.

As the story unfolds, we find that Mr Vereker was a wealthy man, who was disliked by his younger half sister and brother. Antonia was engaged to a man that Mr Vereker disapproved of; while her artist
3.5 stars

Arnold Vereker, a wealthy businessman, is found dead in the stocks in the village of Ashleigh Green, his weekend getaway, and no one much cares. His much younger half-sister Antonia, is the chief suspect, having spent the night alone in her brother's house unexpectedly and she was engaged to Arnold's employee, Rudolph Mesurier, whom Arnold loathed. If Tony didn't do it, surely her brother Kenneth, an eccentric artist did it. He claims he doesn't care about the money except that he's har
Feb 07, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Georgette Heyer is a writer I keep meaning to read more of. In the past I've enjoyed a couple of her Regency romances, most recently listening to one of the audiobooks read by Richard Armitage, but this is the first time I've tried one of her mysteries.

The style of writing seems quite similar to that of her Regency novels, with a lot of witty dialogue and larger-than-life characters. The story is also laced with romance. Although this is the first in the Inspector Hannasyde series, I'd have to s
May 16, 2012 Dfordoom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Georgette Heyer is best remembered today as having been virtually the inventor of the Regency Romance genre but she also wrote a dozen or so detective novels. Her fourth detective novel was Death in the Stocks, published in 1935.

A man is found stabbed to death in the middle of the night, in the stocks in the village square. His name is Arnold Vereker. Superintendent Hannasyde will face a number of problems in solving this case, not the least of them being that everybody who knew Arnold Vereker h
Dec 10, 2015 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ch-15, read-nook
I liked it. First time reading this author, can't believe I had never heard of her even though she wrote in the 30's. As I read, I kept thinking it would have made a great black and white movie, in the syle of the My Man Godfrey, etc.

Yes, well, it's fair to say that Georgette Heyer was not the world's best mystery writer and the plotting in this one is not particularly strong. (I say this because I guessed the culprit early in the piece. It was just a process of elimination, as there weren't that many suspects to choose from!) But I still enjoyed listening to the audiobook of this novel. Most of the characters are unlikeable, but they are quite funny. I loved their in-depth discussions about how they could have been the murd
 Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔
This is the cover picture of the copy I read but it was a cheap edition - small font, closely spaced, only 174 pages. Through no fault of GH's, this made it quite a tiring read.

On to my review! This was my favourite of GH's mysteries when I first read it, & all these years later it still is. I probably wouldn't like Kenneth much in real life (in fact I probably wouldn't be able to stand him) but the dialogue between him & his sister as they argue that they could each of them have been th
Feb 15, 2013 Abbey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of classic-style "cosy" mysteries
1935, #1 Inspector Hannasyde, London; nasty (wealthy) older brother who holds the purse strings in an odd family gets himself messily murdered whilst on a weekend get-away. Comfortable, if a bit bland, genteel mystery, well-crafted and still enjoyable although showing its age rather a lot.

The Vereker family is what we now-a-days call a "blended" one - the (deceased) patriarch had several wives - sequentially - and there are now four adult half-siblings, most of whom dislike each other extremely
Katherine Clark
Definitely the best of the bunch so far. I am now 1/3 through Heyer's oevre. OK, some interesting observations. This is the first in her Superintendent Hannasyde mysteries, yet he didn't solve the crime, an amateur did. I wonder if she was uncertain about whether to make this a series or not? Also, while we had a romance that ends in marriage at the end, as in all the other books, at least this time the two people knew each other. Finally, there were some really good chapters here. I mean in par ...more
Oct 10, 2010 Hannah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2010-reads
Oh dear, I'm now four books into Heyer's mystery novels, and I'm seeing a pattern of flippancy that is getting old. The characters in Death in the Stocks are too glib and sarcastic for my taste, and many of them behave in ways that are simply too unbelievable for me to swallow. Hey, I'm all for English eccentricity in small doses, but this is getting ridiculous...
Feb 21, 2016 Damaskcat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A man is found dead sitting in the village stocks by a patrolling policeman one moonlit night. He has been stabbed. Superintendent Hannasyde is called in from Scotland Yard and soon finds that there are plenty of suspects for Andrew Vereker's murder.

His half brother and sister - Antonia and Kenneth - seem not to care that he is dead and are almost happy to be cast as first murderer. The dead man had had a row with his company's accountant - engaged to Antonia - because of the man's thefts from
Feb 20, 2016 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The first of the Hannasyde/Hemingway books -- it doesn't have enough of Sergeant Hemingway for my tastes :(

As for the plot, Heyer gives the reader pointers to who is the guilty party but she holds back the final proofs (a bit 'unfair' to my mind). I did enjoy the Vereker siblings' squabbles!
This reminds me a little of Marsh's Surfeit of Lampreys, with the introduction of a family not only indulging in the brittle gaiety of the time, but added a level of eccentricity of their own - though in this case the eccentricity mainly involves being openly rude to their relatives and acquaintances.

The mystery is one of those where you can spot your murderer by considering main characters who no-one suspects of the murder (even though there's a logical motive for that person.

A reasonable story
Jan 30, 2015 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again I have no path forward in reviewing a new mystery writer but to compare her to Agatha Christie. I had read from others that they sometimes read Heyer and forgot that they weren't reading Christie. I'm not certain I can agree entirely, but it's easier to see the comparison here than with Sayers, Tey, or Rinehart. The narrative is almost completely focused on the crime, the cast of suspects is sizeable but closed, and the length is roughly that of a Christie.

The biggest difference comes
Jan C
My first experience with Georgette Heyer. I will probably read more of her mysteries with Inspector Hannyside. I probably will never read her Regency books - not really up my alley.

This was okay. When I was about 80% through when I suddenly woke up and said to myself - hey, wait a minute, it has to be so-and-so. And, lo and behold, it was.

A not very well liked man is found dead in the stocks near his country place. A half-sister is found the next morning in the house. So there's her. The police
Nov 15, 2014 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of GH's regencies and historicals, - and remembered with some affection the whodunnits which I hadn't read for years. So I got Death in the Stocks on Kindle, execting a fun read.

I pretty much hated it - or rather I hated almost every single character - except Hannasyde and I was disappointed in his lack of perspicacity .I expected much play on class and class attitudes and am familiar with them from the Regencies, but maybe because of the more modern setting , instead of amusing,
Abby Miller
May 06, 2010 Abby Miller rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elizabeth Coley.
Slow start...I need to read this for book club, and a number of friends adore Georgette Heyer...but for me, I never could get past the first few pages....Wish me luck.

Finished! Finally...I still seem to be missing whatever it is that makes Ms. Heyer as beloved an author as she is... The mystery was so-so, and the characters I couldn't really connect with, and the one that I had just a modicum of sympathy for, turns out to be the perp...go figure.

Humor? I couldn't find it, but I couldn't find it
Laura Verret
Hats off to Georgette Heyer for this delightfully crafted, ingeniously populated murder mystery. It is the greatest compliment I can give her to say that I feel my life a cheerier thing for having met her Vereker clan. :)

This upon discovering that a mysterious unknown might have some involvement in the case.

"I object!" said Kenneth. "I won't have seedy strangers butting in on a family crime. It lowers the whole tone of the thing, which has, up to now, been highly artistic, and even precious." [p
Jun 01, 2013 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin2013
Death in the Stocks may just be my favorite Georgette Heyer mystery so far. I really enjoyed Why Shoot A Butler, and, Envious Casca had its great moments. But. Death in the Stocks was so enjoyable throughout. Some murder mysteries take too long to introduce the corpse, that is NOT the case in Death in the Stocks! Readers get a chance to know all the suspects and work alongside the detectives in solving the mystery. Of course, not all the characters were lovely people that you'd want to spend tim ...more
Anna Huber
Mar 28, 2016 Anna Huber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Georgette Heyer - and enjoy reading her mysteries as well as her Regency romances and historicals. This, one of her mysteries, was a solid read. The characters were thoroughly interesting, even if they weren't always likeable, and their biting wit hilarious. I had figured out who the killer was by a quarter of the way through the book, but that did not take away from my enjoyment. I received just as much pleasure from reading about the characters and their antics as uncovering the murdere ...more
When Arnold Verricker is found murdered and left in the stocks on the village green, no one feels much grief, particularly not his half-brother and sister, whose money had lain in trust with Arnold. They do have strong motives, though, and Antonia is found actually in his cottage with blood on her skirt, and she refuses to talk to the police without her cousin and solicitor Giles. Her artist brother Kenneth, Inspector Hannasyde soon finds out, is even more obnoxious and obstreperous, determined ...more
Pamela Shropshire
Apr 25, 2016 Pamela Shropshire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book featuring Inspector Hannasyde and Sergeant (later Inspector) Hemingway.

Ms. Heyer is better known for practically inventing the Regency romance, but she also wrote several detective novels a la Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and Josephine Tey. They are perhaps more lighthearted than Christie and company but they are similar in that a small cast of characters/suspects are involved, all of whom have motive and opportunity.

In this book, Arnold Vereker is found dead in the st
"But I don't like policemen. Some people feel the same about cats. Always know the instant one comes into the room, and begin to get creepy."

I think my expectations were set a little too high for this one. It's a pretty straightforward classic English mystery overly filled with Brit eccentrics. In fact, it seem there are only 2 characters intent on solving the murder.
I was a bit confused with the character emphasis -- this series is named for "Inspector Hannasyde" yet he seems to be a very minor
Mary Corso
Jul 06, 2015 Mary Corso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I love Georgette Heyer, and have read this book at least 12 times. Just read it again. The "off-beat" characters in this book are some of the funniest in all of her mysteries. I always learn many new vocabulary words (especially in her regency books but also in her mysteries) with each reading and her character descriptions are worth the reread even though I obviously know the outcome of the mystery (think I've read each of her books several times). New words for today : supineness (knew supine, ...more
Apr 18, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How come cousins marry each other so often in Heyer books? Ok, he's handsome, smart, and charming. You've known him forever. Because you're related! Don't do it! Marry someone else's cousin!

Anyway, this was another fun mystery with more snarky and uncompromising characters. And, I figured our who did it before the detective! Yesss!
Apr 14, 2015 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved the opening line of this story. It was just past midnight, and the people who lived in the cottages that clustered around the triangular green had long since gone to bed and to sleep. A full moon sailed in a a sky the color of sapphires. You just knew something was going to happen. A man was found dead in that triangular green, his feet were put in old Medieval stocks.

The dead man had many enemies most of which were family. They were not sad that he was gone. Everyone had motive and no
Well, this was a bit more entertaining than Duplicate Death which I had deemed the more interesting of the 4 mysteries I had read so far. Now at #5, this has more interesting characters and dialogue, although I seem to be switching between Hannasyde and Hemingway as the Superintendent (formerly Hannasyde's Sergeant) in my book selection.

I can't say that the mystery was riveting but I liked the characters and would have been curious to see more of them or more developed, at least. The solution t
Mar 25, 2015 Pat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In the dead of the night, a man in an evening dress is found murdered, locked in the stocks on the village green. Unfortunately for Superintendent Hannasyde, the deceased is Andrew Vereker, a man hated by nearly everyone, especially his odd and unhelpful family members. The Verekers are as eccentric as they are corrupt, and it will take all Hannasyde's skill at detection to determine who's telling the truth, and who is pointing him in the wrong direction. The question is: who in this family is c ...more
You don' t read Heyer for the literary or intellectual challenge. She is a lively, intelligent writer to enjoy....yes her books, including her detective novels are romances but her humour, her characters and her dialogue lifts them above the norm. While her Regency novels are her real forte, this was an enjoyable romp requiring quite a lot of disbelief). It is also dated ....dago! but then what would one expect. Read it in one sitting and you will give yourself an enjoyable couple of hours but d ...more
Zev Valera
Feb 12, 2016 Zev Valera rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish, so my rating is probably unfair - but I can't leave a 'no star' rating. Thought I would love this. I've read and enjoyed a few of Heyer's historical novels and was looking forward to the 'Sorry, Darling, must dash ' between-the-wars English society whodunnit sort of thing that Christie nailed so well.Well, I must tell you, Darling, I was rather disappointed.The snarky dialogue, stock characters,gin and champagne can only go so far. Honestly, darling. one more 'darling' and I woul ...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)
  • Behold, Here's Poison (Inspector Hannasyde, #2)
  • They Found Him Dead (Inspector Hannasyde, #3)
  • A Blunt Instrument (Inspector Hannasyde, #4)

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“People who start a sentence with personally (and they're always women) ought to be thrown to the lions. It's a repulsive habit.” 23 likes
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