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Detection Unlimited

(Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway #8)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,244 ratings  ·  153 reviews
It was a hot June evening in the village of Thornden, the Hasells celebrate a tennis party at the Cedars, their mansion. The young Haswell had just motored the lovely Abby Dearham back from social event of the week. Nearly everyone of the village uppercrust had come to the party--the Squire, the Vicar, the sharp-tongued heir to five centuries of local real estate. But the ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 7th 2006 by Arrow (first published 1953)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,244 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Comparing to the previous ones I have read (Why Shoot a Butler?, Behold, Here's Poison, They Found Him Dead, A Blunt Instrument, No Wind of Blame, Duplicate Death, and Penhallow), This novel is my favorite so far. Georgette Heyer knows how to keep a reader in the dark (narrative trick) until the final chapters, I give her that. It is a shame that she only wrote 12 mysteries. Because of that, I am reluctant to read the remaining four this year. I probably gonna read two books in 2020 and two ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime
I gather I'm reading this somewhat out of order, in that there are several other books featuring the same detective and this is the last of them (and the last of Georgette Heyer's mysteries as a whole, I believe?). I blame the fact that they're not numbered in any way. Not that I think it much mattered: Chief Inspector Hemingway couldn't really win my heart, given that my fictional detective sweetie is always going to be Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter. But he was fun enough to spend some time ...more
I'm making my way slowly along through all the old Georgette Heyer detective stories that are told in the tone and style of the Golden Age of British Detective stories.

A victim that not a soul liked, a village full of quirky suspects, and a chief inspector with a delicious sense of humor while he dug out all the secrets, sifted through the facts and clues, and eventually arrived at the truth.

Like the old-style detective stories, this one introduces the characters while building to the moment of
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
This is the third of the series featuring Chief Inspector Hemingway that Ive read, though it is the fourth in the series/subseries. Once again in a classic settinga small English villagethis one opens one summer evening as many of the residents are heading to a tennis party thrown by Mrs Haswell. On the way to and at the party we learn of a solicitor Mr Sampson Warrenby, who has recently moved to the village, and is not well liked, in fact disliked by pretty much all the residents. The party ...more

First published in 1953, this was the last of Georgette Heyers mysteries and the last in my project to read them all. Written in order to pay a tax bill (if I remember correctly from Jennifer Kloesters excellent biography, Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller) the novel has a cast of quirky characters and is full of Heyer's witty dialogue. The plot a reasonably standard whodunit with a range of possible culprits is not exactly a page turner but was engaging enough to retain my interest.
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Who would have wanted to murder solicitor Sampson Warrenby?

Apparently everyone in the village of Thornden.

There's no shortage of suspects to question when Scotland Yard sends one of their finest -- Chief Inspector Hemingway -- to ferret out means, motive and opportunity. You've got the village squire and his ailing wife, the victim's long suffering niece, a rival solicitor, a mysterious couple, a crime writer, a handsome foreigner, and a military officer whose wife
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Georgette Heyer's Detection Unlimited we have more suspects and more detectives than we can shake a stick at. Sampson Warrenby is dead and just about everybody in Thornden has a motive and the opportunity to have done him in. He's found slumped on a seat under the oak tree in his garden....with a bullet through his head. Most of the suspects were at an afternoon tennis party and were wandering about the area on their way home when the the shot was heard. When the local police decide to bring ...more
While I reread this I kept thinking it would have been nice to keep a list of suspects, a timetable of their movements, and to create a map of the town where the murder took place. However, as I was also taking care of two small boys, I was satisfied with just enjoying reading it. My point is that Heyer's mysteries contain all the details you need to solve them, and at the same time she pulls you in with her likable characters and quaint English settings. Adding a bit of romance never hurts.
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
Sadly this is the last detective story that GH wrote.

Hemingway (now a Chief Inspector) sparkles throughout & this book worth reading for his dialogue alone.

I have one leg longer than the other myself & I was wondering why Gavin simply didn't wear a lift in his shoe? Surely they would have been available in the 50s?

But a minor quibble for a very enjoyable book.
All I can say about the Inspector Hemmingway series is that I am glad that I finally finished all four of them. I didn't particularly like any of the characters. However, the mystery was somewhat interesting.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime, 2019
An Author's Work - 2019: Geogette Heyer
Monthly Reading Challenge - February 2019: Shades of blue

Last book in the series and the one I liked the least. What a disappointment!
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The last Heyer mystery written and, in my opinion, the cleverest. Set in the changing world following the Second World War, the disillusionment inherently felt in the slow erosion of the class structure is made clear, and the whole book is permeated by a sense of gentle melancholy. In a sense, this is a lament to times gone by, and the thrusting character of the victim who, it is made clear, was not of the county but needed to be shown how to behave, epitomizes the new world order to come. ...more
Jun 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
A total wallbanger. For years people have been praising Georgette Heyer so I caved and tried this one. Wordy, pretentious and not fit to lace up Agatha Christies shoes.
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Actually a little boring... It felt like forever until it was concluded.
Madhulika Liddle
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Detection Unlimited begins with a tea party: the gentry of the village of Thornden gathers at the home of the Haswells to eat, drink, play tennis and gossip.

Back home after the party, one of the invitees, Mavis Warrenby, discovers that her uncle, with whom she lives, has been murdered: shot through the head while he sits in the garden. Mavis, whom everybody agrees was treated very badly by Sampson Warrenby, (who regarded her as the quintessential poor relative, only fit to be a glorified
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
Another Inspector Hemingway mystery which takes place in an English village peopled by folks who could be stereotypes, but often seem surprisingly modern in their thinking. The murder victim is disliked by everyone for good reasons, and one suspect is a clever fellow who brags that he might have done it. which is intended to throw the Inspector off.
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone has secrets. This small English village is filled with people with secrets. One of those secrets gets a man killed.

Inspector Hemingway is called in from Scotland Yard because the people involved in this murder are from the upper classes and they make it harder to get questions answered.

The gentleman who was murdered definitely needed to be killed. The number of people who had a motive for murder is large. And everyone involved is playing detective. There are as many theories given to
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nook-books
Detection Unlimited was the last of Heyer's mysteries. So far, it's actually the only one I've read because my mother happened to have her original copy and passed it along to me. As I learned in The Private World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge, her husband (who left his career as a mining engineer to become a barrister) actually helped her with writing her mysteries, making sure that she left appropriate clues that would give the reader a fighting chance to solve the mystery.

As with her
* kyrat
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
Enjoy her regency novels and can look past the dated-ness and figured the anit-semitism and occasional racist comments were the way they were in the 1700's.
And I'm sure England was pretty homogenous in the early 60's - but I was still annoyed by the contant Pole-bashing by all the characters and the insistance on demonizing foreigners (even if she was trying to make a point about it).
But the final straw is after meandering about with all the suspects and all their theories, there is NO
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
More like Detection Extremely Limited.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, a solid 3.5 stars on this one. I like what Heyer was trying to do with the intro here, a bunch of villagers bumping into each other on their way to an afternoon tea/tennis party, characters coming and going during the event, all leading up to the discovery of the body. In this case, a map of the town and a list of the characters would have been incredibly helpful. I appreciate the creativity but the execution was a bit clunky and it took me a solid 50-100 pages to get everybody ...more
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed, audiobook
An unlikeable solicitor, Sampson Warrenby, is shot while all the prime suspects are at a tennis party.
Chief Inspector Hemingway has at least ten suspects who wanted the man dead, a village of amateur sleuths with theories of their own, and an awful lot of guns to test. A kid taking pot shots with the gun he borrowed from the Reverend, and a nonagenarian poacher with a need to get his photo in the local paper.
Or the suspicious Pole who was courting the dead mans niece. [warning for racism]
[I keep
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the last of Heyer's twelve mysteries, first published in 1953. On one hand, the story is among her better mystery plots and the action moves on a little better. On the other hand, the edition I read was full of typos and bad writing, i.e. missing punctuation and missing words. The story evolved around the murder of the local curmudgeon, and the characters included the usual irritating and cynical individual who makes a joke out of everything. Heyer was born in 1902 and obviously enjoyed ...more
Jamie Hansen
Unfortunately this book has fallen victim to my extended absence on Goodreads so this review is going to be brief and probably incomplete. I continue to like Heyer's writing and I enjoyed this, my second venture into her mysteries (although it did take me a while to get through). I was a bit disappointed with the culprit in the end, but I find that a risk of every book I read in this genre. It's not that I particularly wanted this character to be innocent but I was hoping to be more surprised ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I read my first Georgette Heyer book in 1968, and spent years after that (no Kindle or Overdrive in those days!) reading all her Regency romances and British "cozy" mysteries. So imagine my surprise when, having an hour to kill, I went into a library and looked for a Heyer novel to skim during my wait, and found this cozy that I had apparently never read. Of course I checked it out...

This is one of Scotland Yard's Chief Inspector Hemingway's most humorous appearances, and has a couple of
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
You won't convince me that Hemingway isn't gay and isn't having a relationship/affair with Harbottle. Not a marrying man, indeed.

Surprisingly, the mandatory hetero couple were well set up, well matched, and completely background. I'm shocked!

It was a nice twist, too, with the timing. Plus the little dig at the Murder at the Vicarage! I see you, Heyer!

The one distressing thing is everyone addressing the Polish immigrant as "the Pole" or the "foreigner," and calling his name "unnatural." But at
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A satisfying conclusion to the series. I do wish there had been more, because I enjoy Hemingway's sense of humor when approaching a problem, but I also think that by reading them all at once, and not spaced apart by 15 years like when they were published, you start to see how Heyer repeats herself. The young man and woman who don't take things seriously enough and want to banter, the curmudgeonly old person who is offended by the very presence of the police, the murderer who is always the person ...more
Laura N.
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoy Georgette Heyer's charming Inspector Hemingway. This particular mystery was a little slow, especially in the middle, but it really picked up in the last 100 pages. I enjoyed the solution to the mystery -- I should have seen it coming, but I didn't! If you like your murders set in small country villages in England, with squires and colonels and majors and women who raise Pekinese dogs, this is a good book for you. Familiar characters, witty dialogue, and a satisfying end to the ...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. Rougier later became a barrister and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance

Other books in the series

Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway (8 books)
  • Death in the Stocks (Inspectors Hannasyde and Hemingway #1)
  • Behold, Here's Poison (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway #2)
  • They Found Him Dead (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway, #3)
  • A Blunt Instrument (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway, #4)
  • No Wind of Blame (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway #5)
  • Envious Casca (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway #6)
  • Duplicate Death (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway #7)

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