Melanti's Reviews > Penhallow

Penhallow by Georgette Heyer
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's review
Aug 21, 2011

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bookshelves: e-book, historical, mystery, 2014
Read from January 29 to 31, 2014

A very odd sort of mystery and almost written backwards.

It starts off with meeting the entire family, airing everyone's dirty laundry, and establishing that nearly everyone has a motive to commit the murder. The murder itself doesn't happen until about 2/3 of the way through the book - and when it does, it's no mystery at all - we're told exactly who, why and how.

The rest of the novel just deals with the aftermath, and the little bit of suspense comes from wondering if the murderer gets away with it and if other characters get to keep their secrets.

If I'd expected a traditional murder mystery, I would have been really disappointed. This is more like a standard novel that just happens to contain a murder than something that conforms to genre expectations. And it doesn't have the witty dialog that Heyer is known for -- an unusual novel any way you look at it!

All the characters were very interesting and vivid - but I can't say I truly LIKED any of them, so if you're one of those people who have to like their characters, you'll probably have a difficult time of it.

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