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Envious Casca (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway #6)
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Group Reads > Envious Casca December 2018 Group Read Chapters 1-8

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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4242 comments Mod
Also known as A Christmas Party

Is this anyone's first read?

How many times have you read this title?

What format are you using?

No open spoilers in this thread please - we don't want to spoil a first read for anyone. Please post spoilers in the spoiler thread or use spoiler tags.


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2597 comments Mod
This will be only my second time, and I am reading it on my kindle.


Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) | 13 comments I just reread it for the second time - on my kindle!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3439 comments This will be my second or third time, I have the Sourcebooks paperback Envious Casca (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #2) by Georgette Heyer


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1317 comments I read it years ago so I don't remember it at all. Am about halfway through and I think I guessed the method and the perp straight away, but we'll see. I never mind it if I guess ahead of time because there's always the suspense of waiting to find out if I'm correct.


Barb in Maryland | 657 comments I will be skipping this read as I remember whodunnit and how it was done. But the other factor is lack o' time!
Have fun!
I'll catch up with the group for the Jan 2019 read.


Diane Lending (dianefromvirginia) | 24 comments I guess I have read the book about a dozen times. It is a favorite Christmas time read for me. This time I am reading it on the Kindle.


Kay Webb (kaywebb) | 35 comments I have read Envious Casca several times. The first time, I read a library book; I have no memory of how long ago that was. Now, I have it on Kindle. It is my favorite Heyer mystery.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4242 comments Mod
Kay Webb wrote: "I have read Envious Casca several times. The first time, I read a library book; I have no memory of how long ago that was. Now, I have it on Kindle. It is my favorite Heyer mystery."

It was my favourite when I was younger & I still love it.

I need to upload my cover on to GR (can't at the moment as my spoilt cat is sleeping on my printer) It is quite wonderfully awful.


message 10: by Jackie (last edited Dec 01, 2018 12:50PM) (new)

Jackie | 1215 comments I have read it many times and am re-reading a beat-up old paperback with both the front and back covers fallen off. goodreads doesn't have a picture of my cover which is Valerie looking stunning in a long green gown, framed in a doorway looking into the study (view spoiler).

it may not be my favorite Heyer mystery but on the other hand maybe it is...it's in the top three for sure.


message 11: by Sheila (in LA) (last edited Dec 02, 2018 07:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 346 comments I am reading this book for the first time and have a copy from the library--it's the Dutton reprint from 1969 (my copy has no dust jacket, but from the Goodreads photo it doesn't look too awful). I am up to chapter 6 and have formed a few opinions and suspicions, but it's early days. Happy to be back to reading GH!


QNPoohBear | 1280 comments I read it once not so long ago. That was enough. I didn't like these people much at all.


message 13: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 479 comments I read it long go in a paperback; then a year or so ago my husband and I audio-read it.


message 14: by Mela (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mela (melabooks) | 69 comments It will be my first reading (ebook).

I have read only two detective novels by Heyer by now. I enjoyed both.


message 15: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1215 comments I am appalled when Paula is smoking (can't you just see her doing it, in her high-strung way) and "flicking the ash on to the carpet". I am pretty sure there is at least one other mystery where someone's smoking habits strike me as filthy, just letting the ash go on the floor. I think someone put out their cigarette in a potted plant, too, ugh! can this be normal for the time period?


Barb in Maryland | 657 comments Jackie wrote: "I am appalled when Paula is smoking (can't you just see her doing it, in her high-strung way) and "flicking the ash on to the carpet". I am pretty sure there is at least one other mystery where som..."

Pretty much, yes. Slobs will be slobs in any era, of course. In this era the slobbish habits involved smoking.
The other book was 'Behold, Here's Poison'; I'm not sure about the potted plant, but the young woman had really poor cigarette-management skills and was forever dropping ashes on the carpet.


Alison Squires | 4 comments This is my first time reading and actually my first Heyer detective novel, everything else I've read has been historical romance. I'm not usually much of a detective fan so I've avoided her detective novels, but I finally managed to get into Sherlock Holmes (via the short stories route rather than the novels which I've tried before) so I thought I'd give it a try. Fingers crossed the festive feel will pull me in!


message 18: by Nick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 438 comments Me too, Alison! My first ever Heyer contemporary detective novel! I'm really quite excited to see how they're going to compare to the historical romances.


Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 457 comments I'm reading the Kindle version under A Christmas Party, I don't think I've read it before,


message 20: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1215 comments I remember being very disappointed when I first read the mysteries. the entire "feel" is so different and I didn't like the characters or their slang.
eventually I got used to them and now I enjoy them.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3439 comments Jackie wrote: "I remember being very disappointed when I first read the mysteries. the entire "feel" is so different and I didn't like the characters or their slang.
eventually I got used to them and now I enjoy..."


Yes, several of the characters are such brittle Bright Young Things, it’s hard to find anyone likeable! Except the police...


message 22: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1215 comments I think it's just hard to get over that they are not like the romances, to enjoy them for what they are.

for example I'm already smiling at Maud, telling everyone to take "salts" for their livers and the way they don't appreciate that!


Teresa | 1627 comments This is my first read of this book. I had only read her Regencies until I joined this group. Have read two mysteries now and enjoyed them and so far I'm enjoying this. I'm up to chapter 5.
I'm with you on the smoking!! Apologies to any smokers here but I absolutely detest it. Both my parents were smokers and to this day dirty ashtrays turn my stomach. One of the best days ever was when they banned smoking in pubs and restaurants here in Ireland.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Teresa wrote: "This is my first read of this book. I had only read her Regencies until I joined this group. Have read two mysteries now and enjoyed them and so far I'm enjoying this. I'm up to chapter 5.
I'm wit..."


I'm with you, too. My in-laws, who could be charming and articulate middle class people (as opposed to the stereotypical low class slob) smoked incessantly. It was their reason for being, and it was terrifically sad.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4242 comments Mod
I have put up my book cover but it is conceivably a spoiler! I'll put it under spoiler tags.(view spoiler)


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1097 comments I loathe smoking too - though mine is with all the additional fervour of the reformed smoker! I don’t mind it in books written when so many folk did smoke and it was seen as perfectly normal. Mary Stewart is another writer whose heroes and heroines share a cigarette with great intimacy.
However although I smoked for many years - I never ever flicked ash on a carpet or a plant pot and I never saw anyone else do so either. I started smoking at university in the 60s when a majority of folk smoked and everybody used an ashtray!
I am reading this for the first time. Bought it for this read and it’s on my iPad. Looking forward to the read although I generally am not at all fond of her contemporary fiction, as I usually find the characters utterly unappealing.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I never smoked myself (not sure if I was just too cheap or afraid of fire), but the smokers I knew were not slobs. However, I just passed a smoker outside of the building where my daughter teaches ballet who threw her cigarette into the landscaping, so they do still exist...


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Paula and her self-centeredness (servants who have to clean up after me? Do they exist?) make me want to throttle her.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3439 comments Karlyne wrote: "Paula and her self-centeredness (servants who have to clean up after me? Do they exist?) make me want to throttle her."

Yes, I just read the play-reading scene last night, and Paula is extremely unlikeable, isn’t she? I don’t know which is more loathsome- her absolute self-centered behavior (“I always get what I want!”), or the way she leads that poor writer to the slaughter, making him think Nat would put up the money.


message 30: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 05, 2018 07:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3439 comments This is my third or fourth reading, and as terrible as many of the characters are, I have to admit I giggled a few times, like when Matilda learns the play is about a prostitute, and can barely hold back hysterical giggles. We’ve all been in a situation like that, knowing a friend or family member is basically going to walk into a buzz saw and you’re helpless to stop it, and know it will be awful - you laugh or you cry! I do feel for Matilda this time around - I would rather have stayed home for Christmas with the bull terriers!


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Oh, definitely the bull terriers would be preferable! (I don't have to do unsympathetic holiday gatherings, anymore, and I'm so happy!)


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2597 comments Mod
Someone threw a cigarette into the mulch outside of the library a few years ago, and it ignited and the fire team had to be called out!

What are people thinking? "I'll just toss this lit, long-burning item into a flammable area and walk off..."


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Critterbee❇ wrote: "Someone threw a cigarette into the mulch outside of the library a few years ago, and it ignited and the fire team had to be called out!

What are people thinking? "I'll just toss this lit, long-bu..."


Exactly what I thought! Sure, it's winter, but, seriously? And those ugly buggers don't decompose worth beans, either!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3439 comments I know! That’s always on the local news at least once a year - somefool tosses a cigarette into mulch or dry grass beside the road - hello brush fire!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3439 comments On the topic of the book (sorry, got sidetracked), I’ve been busy last couple days and unable to read as much, but I must say I am enjoying this re-read. Yes, many of the characters are awful people, but as always, Heyer’s wit shines through, no matter the time period, and she makes me laugh! And who doesn’t need that these days?


message 36: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 05, 2018 10:34AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3439 comments I’d love to listen to an audiobook of this - a good narrator would have a field day with these lines, especially chapter 4! (view spoiler)


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments "The gloom induced by himself had the beneficent effect of raising Nathaniel's spirits at least. To find that his own ill-humor had quenched the gaiety of his guests appeared to afford him considerable gratification. Almost he rubbed his hands together with glee..." I am definitely picturing Nathaniel as Scrooge.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1317 comments That sentence you quoted, Karlyne, makes me feel a degree of sympathy for Heyer—how hard it must have been for her to scrub the “Regency” out of her prose in order to write modern-day novels! I tried it once, and failed utterly.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I had never thought of that, Abigail! But I think that's why so many modern novelists writing historical fiction fail; either they go too far with speech patterns and obsolete words (gadzooks!) or their characters talk like they came off YouTube. Once an author has found her "true voice", as Heyer did with her Regencies, it has to be hard to morph back into the modern. I think she does it, because I firmly see her mystery characters in their own particular period (I'm never tempted to put them into Empire dresses), but how hard to change one's style to fit history!


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments When Matilda dryly tells Joseph that his feeling that Valerie is not cooperative is "meiosis", I had to wonder just what cell division (in 1941) would have to do with our mystery. But, aha! thanks to Google, it is also a term in rhetoric, meaning excessive understatement.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1317 comments Thanks for taking the trouble to look it up! It baffled me too.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Abigail wrote: "Thanks for taking the trouble to look it up! It baffled me too."

The only reason that I did is because my 7th grade grandgirl detests science with a purple passion, because all they do is copy definitions and, supposedly, thus remember them (HA!). Looking over her copious notes and definitions, meiosis and mitosis were about the only things I vaguely recognized... And I do mean vaguely.


message 43: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1215 comments @Karlyne, you are so right: Nat is Scrooge!

I love the play- reading scene and Maud's comments especially, while the playwright and Paula become more upset about the interruptions.
just leave out anymore talk about underwear!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3439 comments Jackie wrote: "@Karlyne, you are so right: Nat is Scrooge!

I love the play- reading scene and Maud's comments especially, while the playwright and Paula become more upset about the interruptions.
just leave ou..."


Yes, that was a great scene. And I love Karlyne’s point - Nat is Scrooge!


Alison Squires | 4 comments I don't mind people being awful as long as they're entertaining while they do it (this probably explains a lot about my marriage ;-)). So far the only character I don't like is Stephen. I've only read the first three chapters as yet but he's been an asshole to everyone and shows no redeeming features!

I agree a good audio book would be awesome. I'd love to hear how someone hears the characters' voices.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Stephan doesn't bother me as much as Paula's 2-year-old-in-a-selfish-tantrum way does. I don't think anyone exists in her mind but herself; even Willoughby is only valuable to her as a writer, not as a person.


Since I've read this before, I'm trying to find the clues to the solution, but, really, there aren't any in this section where we're just learning who these people are. They are, as Heyer obviously wants it, just a big muddle of personalities!


Rosina (rosinarowantree) I don't think it's a spoiler to say that this is set in England, at Christmas, with snow. My audio-book cover however has a different image Envious Casca (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway #6) by Georgette Heyer


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Rosina wrote: "I don't think it's a spoiler to say that this is set in England, at Christmas, with snow. My audio-book cover however has a different imageEnvious Casca (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway #6) by Georgette Heyer"

Uh, nice car?!?


Barb in Maryland | 657 comments Karlyne

LOL!!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1317 comments My edition has an entirely inexplicable oil lamp on the cover!


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