Death in the Stocks
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Death in the Stocks (Inspector Hannasyde #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,468 ratings  ·  118 reviews
"Death in the Stocks is rare and refreshing."--The Times

A Moonlit Night, a Sleeping Village, and an Unaccountable Murder...

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 unhelpf...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 1935)
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Kim

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...more
Hannah
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...
Dfordoom
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...more
Abbey
Feb 15, 2013 Abbey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Abby Miller
May 06, 2010 Abby Miller rated it 3 of 5 stars 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...more
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
Becky
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
Julie
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!
Debbie
"Death in the Stocks" is a historical cozy mystery set in 1930's England. (It was written as a contemporary mystery.)

Though a detective is involved, we mostly followed the lives of the prime suspects--an eccentric family. They were odd and sometimes thoughtless about other people's feelings, but they weren't trying to be cruel. They treated the crime as an intellectual game and logically (as a group) tried to figure out how various people with motives--including each other--could have pulled it...more
Kaye
As P.C. Dickinson was riding his bicycle across the village green, he sees a man in the stocks. Thinking it is some drunken prank, he investigates only to find it is a dead man. When he calls the police station to report the death, he tells the sergeant he knows the identity of the dead man. It is Arnold Vereker, a man who is not well liked; in fact, some of his family admit to actually hating him.

And what a family Arnold leaves behind. The main suspects include Arnold's half brother Kenneth an...more
Risa
A wealthy mine owner is found dead in a little village. It's a neat crime that leaves even Scotland Yard all at sea. When a man has had many enemies and no one seems to moan him nobody is a fit suspect. But then there is motive and detective Hannasyde has his hands full trying to prove a member of Vereker's family guilty.

It's a rather typical who-done-it mystery, with quite enough dust thrown, not only in the investigators' eyes but in the eyes of the reader as well. I thought the plot was quite...more
Sensitivemuse
I thought this mystery was very different from the previous Heyer mystery (No Wind of Blame). I seemed to have enjoyed this one more as both Antonia and Kenneth were so quirky and eccentric they got me into fits of giggles because they were just so annoying to Hannasyde. However the plot still kept me guessing. They were eccentric and funny yet there’s an underlying almost sinister like quality that made you think: just because they’re joking about it doesn’t mean they didn’t really kill Arnold...more
Lori
This was my first Georgette Heyer novel and my first impression is that Ms. Heyer's mysteries read very similarly to Agatha Christie's. And as a fan of Ms. Christie's stories, such a comparison is a compliment from this reader.

Ms. Heyer weaves an interesting and complex murder mystery, with a relatively small cast of characters, plenty of clues and, naturally, the obligatory red herring. The victim is presented as a non-pleasant sort of man, with an excess of girlfriends and with plenty of reaso...more
Shelli
In Murder Mystery dinner games, you go in and find that the majority of the characters - if not all of them - are either guilty of trying to kill the victim, or had a large enough motive to make them awfully suspicious.

In my first Georgette Heyer mystery, I couldn't help but draw similar conclusions. Each absurd family member and friend of Arnold Vereker, seems to have a not only a motive (all related to money, since they all spend much more than they make), but also the gumption to stab him in...more
Susan Ferguson
The first Inspector Hannasyde mystery. I went on a binge of Georgette Heyer's mysteries and decided to read them in order.
Inspector Hannasyde is called in when a body is found in the stocks in a village between London and his weekend house. But no car is found. The man's half-sister is found at his weekend house, having washed her skirt to get rid of the blood caused by her bull terrier getting in a fight. The local police take her into custody. She admits she was going down to "have it out with...more
Harini Padmanabhan
I guess I'm going through this phase of discovering new authors. I'd heard of GH as a historical fiction author so had never really gotten around to reading the books as that's one genre I don't read usually. When I saw this book in time out, I decided to give it a try and I was glad.

This is a murder mystery which follows an eccentric family whose head, the eldest brother is found dead in the stocks of the village he frequents in the weekends. His half siblings, a corrupt junior and his former...more
Gardengirl1964
I am a big Georgette Heyer fan when it comes to her regency romances, like most people, considering her to be the standard by which all other authors in that genre are judged. This is the first of her mysteries I've read, so I found the change in tone a bit disconcerting at first. Her writing is beyond reproach, as always, but the mysteries lack the humor which many of her romances enjoy. Some characters are ridiculous, a thing she does very well, but in the mysteries the author seems less incli...more
Jarrah
Golden Age mystery. Arnold Vereker, rich and disliked by his family, is found dead, in full evening dress, locked into the ornamental stocks on a sleepy village green. Suspicion immediately falls on his half-brother, Kenneth - a decidedly eccentric and brilliant young artist who stands to inherit his fortune and who seems to take delight in proving all the ways in which he might have committed the crime - and on Kenneth's sister Antonia, who was found by police staying in Arnold's house not a mi...more
Choi Tang
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bev Hankins
Synopsis: The moonlight shone on the quiet village green and on the man's two motionless feet stuck through a pair of stocks. Wealthy Arnold Vereker had been murdered, and every member of his eccentric family had a motive--money. Was it his half-sister Antonia, whose marriage he had forbidden, or her embezzling lover? Could it have been Arnold's half-brother Kenneth, heir apparent, or perhaps it was the delectable beauty Violet Williams? Or Kenneth and Antonia's faithful servant, Murgatroyd, wis...more
Jodi
Georgette Heyer is known for her romances so I get a little embarrassed to have her name blazoned across the books I read since I am NOT a reader of romances. But I am a reader of mysteries and Heyer's mysteries are delightful. My favorite mystery books are set in England or at least have the English as their main characters and take place during the middle decades of the 20th century. I don't like descriptions of gore or sex and I prefer women authors. There must be humor and a little romance (...more
Damon Pratt
I am always in search of good mystery novels. Death in the Stocks was recommended to me as a great book of this genre. However, while reading it I felt that its action is a bit exaggerated and...outdated. I would have preferred this book to deliver a more 'real' story.
Heatherhh
I greatly enjoy Georgette Heyer's writing. She specializes in outstanding characterization and witty dialogue. The plot was engaging and carried me along. The story was hysterical, especially the dialogue, with several clever characters with a tendency to act inane. As always, this was "clean;" her books never have more than a few casual profanities like d*** and no sex (usually only a kiss when the couple is already engaged). Though a murder mystery, there were no gruesome details. It really fo...more
Susan
Arnold Vereker was a man with many enemies. Prominent among them were his step-sister Antonia and his step-brother Kenneth. When Arnold is found dead, both Tony and Ken, taking their usual dispassionate attitude, place themselves firmly among the suspects. Inspector Hannasyde has seen many criminals and many innocent people, but even he can't figure out the Verekers--are they as cold and cynical as they want to appear, or are they too innocent to cover up their suspicious activities? Fortunately...more
Jolie Beaumont
There's no question but Georgette Heyer knows how to write a good story. But whether or not you enjoy this book will probably depend upon your enjoyment of Antonia and Kenneth Vereker, two of the primary suspects. I personally found the brother and sister to be a too bit too precious for my taste. I also disliked the fact that despite the oft repeated mention of a twinkle in his eye, Heyer's detective, Superintendent Hannasyde, failed to solve the mystery - it's solved by someone not connected w...more
Kathryn
This was an excellent mystery story. When Arnold Vereker's body is found locked in the village stocks the main suspects are his family. I did find the Vereker family a bit annoying and stupid at times, but on the other hand they were quite realistic with real flaws. The whole book is basically the Vereker's discussing how each of them could have been the murderer and it seemed like they were all trying to protect each other by making false statements and confessions.
As the book drew to a close...more
Lucy
I might have liked this book more had I read it before "Behold, Here's Poison." This is another British drawing room murder mystery. Unfortunately, I figured out who did it much too early. The characters came across as shallow and self-absorbed. Their catty remarks to one another lacked cleverness. The female love interest is such a twit you wonder what anyone could possibly see in her. Like the other novel: there are two family members murdered, there is a helpful cousin who plays at being a sl...more
Sarah
Not her best book. It's clear she wasn't sure about Inspector Hannasyde and his role in further books. I wouldn't read it if you are looking for one of hers to read.
Jessi
Arnold Vereker wasn't a very good man. Which means that it comes as little surprised when he's murdered. Although finding the body in the stocks of the small village where he had a cottage comes as something of a shock. The most obvious suspects are his half-brother and sister. The half-brother, Kenneth, is an artist and stands to inherit a quarter of a million pounds. The half-sister, Antonia (Tony), was upset that Arnold was casting aspersions against her fiance.
Throw in Kenneth's fiancee, a...more
Heather
Georgette Heyer wrote the same story over and over again. And with some authors that drives me to distraction. With GH, I find it soothing and sweet. Go figure.

I wonder about the significance of bull terriers. Every time GH wants to say something particular about one of her female characters -- I assume that they lack artifice and womanly wiles? -- she announces that they breed bull terriers. I get the impression that this would have spoken volumes to a contemporaneous reader. Someone should wri...more
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18067
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
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