Georgette Heyer Fans discussion

Envious Casca (Inspectors Hannasyde & Hemingway #6)
This topic is about Envious Casca
23 views
Group Reads > Envious Casca December 2018 Group Read Chapters 9-16

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4119 comments Mod
How are you finding this book so far?

Remember - no open spoilers please! :)


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1272 comments I am having fun with it, though the characters feel a bit overdrawn. Why is it that characters in a period story can get away with unsubtleties that are grating when set in the author's own day?

Speaking of the author's own day, it is odd that although it was published in 1941 there is no hint of world war. I haven't found many clues to the time frame but I gather from the occasional mention of bad economic times and of the Sino-Japanese War that we are supposed to think of it as happening in the 1930s. I will scurry off to check on the dates of the conflict between China and Japan.

Am wondering about the constant references to Maud's book. It seems too much. I was thinking about Joseph as the perp but am starting to veer toward Maud, though I can't imagine what her opportunity would have been.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1272 comments Sino-Japanese War began in 1937. So this story probably takes place in 1938.


message 4: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 479 comments I agree with someone on another post who remarked that none of the characters is especially likable, but I still enjoyed it--and wished for most of the book that the group would get more into the spirit that their host was trying to recreate.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments MaryC wrote: "I agree with someone on another post who remarked that none of the characters is especially likable, but I still enjoyed it--and wished for most of the book that the group would get more into the s..."

Except for Matilda, none of the guests even attempt to get into the "Christmas spirit" with Joseph, and she only does because she feels sorry for him (I was wondering if any of them had even brought presents for their host, at the very least). But I think that this is Heyer's way of showing how incredibly self-centered, and, in some cases, selfish they all are. They're such … pigs that any one of them could be the murderer.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Karlyne wrote: "MaryC wrote: "I agree with someone on another post who remarked that none of the characters is especially likable, but I still enjoyed it--and wished for most of the book that the group would get m..."
Very true ! And you’re right, I don’t remember any mention of handing gifts over to the butler as they arrived or anything...not even a bottle of wine or sherry!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1272 comments It's an interesting contrast between Heyer's contemporary books and her historically: hard to find any virtuous or likable or even innocent characters in the contemporaries! She certainly took a jaundiced view of her own era. Or was she deliberately writing fantasy when she wrote the historicals? I have no trouble seeing well rounded, recognizably real characters in the historicals, so I don't really understand why she had to be so relentlessly negative in her contemporary fiction. It's not as if the mystery genre required it--just look at Margery Allingham for starters. Perhaps this is why I don't love Heyer's mysteries.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Abigail wrote: "It's an interesting contrast between Heyer's contemporary books and her historically: hard to find any virtuous or likable or even innocent characters in the contemporaries! She certainly took a ja..."

Heyer's mysteries always make me laugh (and a couple of Allingham's make me turn all the lights on), but several of them really do have a problem with likeable characters - or the lack thereof. As I'm reading this, though, I'm thinking more of how I, personally, would actually react to some of the characters, and I'm feeling much more charitable...


Rosina (rosinarowantree) I find Heyer's characters - even the 'unpleasant' ones like Stephen and Randall - a lot easier to take than Ngaio Marsh's embittered stereotypes of spinsters/dissolutes/aristocrats. I think it's that most of them have a sense of humour, which is really quite lacking in Marsh's characters. Her detectives, both Hannyside and Hemingway, are normal people, not scions of a noble family. And she doesn't have any character as annoying as Nigel Bathgate ...


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Nigel Bathgate... I have always wondered just why he exists...


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4119 comments Mod
Karlyne wrote: "Nigel Bathgate... I have always wondered just why he exists..."

Just about no one has a character as annoying as Nigel!

I often wondered if GH saw Stephen (& his twin in Death in the Stocks) as unlikeable.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Carol ꧁꧂ wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "Nigel Bathgate... I have always wondered just why he exists..."

Just about no one has a character as annoying as Nigel!

I often wondered if GH saw Stephen (& his twin in Death in ..."


I think she had a sneaking admiration for their ability to be so sarcastically honest. When I think of all the times I've bitten my tongue, I might be in that camp, too...


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Karlyne wrote: "Carol ꧁꧂ wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "Nigel Bathgate... I have always wondered just why he exists..."

Just about no one has a character as annoying as Nigel!

I often wondered if GH saw Stephen (& his ..."


Good point, LOL! Was it Alice Roosevelt who said “if you can’t say anything nice, come sit next to me”? Definitely on Team Stephen...


message 14: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 06, 2018 03:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Thanks- you all saved me some reading. I just joined the Reading the Detectives group and they are reading Colour Scheme, Marsh’s 12th mystery; I was debating whether I should rush to try and read the earlier mysteries, but if they’re generally humorless, I’ll pass! I might read those I’ve missed later on my own, but I’ll just jump in with this one for now...

I really enjoy humor in my mysteries, not too much gore - but humor is essential, hence my enjoyment of Heyer’s mysteries, nasty characters and all!


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Thanks- you all saved me some reading. I just joined the Reading the Detectives group and they are reading Colour Scheme, Marsh’s 12th mystery; I was debating whether I should rush to try and read ..."

She's a very decent writer, but uneven, I think! I like the period feel of them, so I've read them all, but definitely not the wit and humor of Heyer.


message 16: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 06, 2018 03:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Karlyne wrote: "Susan in NC wrote: "Thanks- you all saved me some reading. I just joined the Reading the Detectives group and they are reading Colour Scheme, Marsh’s 12th mystery; I was debating whether I should r..."

I think I read a few many years ago, when they were being shown on my local PBS channel, but I don’t think they clicked for me like Poirot and Miss Marple! I’ll probably read the rest at some point - so many books...


message 17: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1198 comments I am so glad to reach the part where Hemingway comes in; he is my favorite character.
I also look forward to Valerie's Mother (view spoiler)


Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 337 comments Yes, I finally made it to chapter 9! There have been some funny moments so far, mostly in the exchanges between the foolish and those who don't suffer fools. I am definitely on Team Stephen. I thought the valet's defense of him was interesting--and significant. Now to see how Inspector Hemingway compares to the one he is replacing (who doesn't seem to have a name, unless I missed it.)


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Jackie wrote: "I am so glad to reach the part where Hemingway comes in; he is my favorite character.
I also look forward to Valerie's Mother [spoilers removed]"


Me, too! I’m glad it’s finally picking up, now that Hemingway is on the scene; I’ve been forcing myself to try and read a couple chapters a day, and I’ve been amused but not in a hurry to pick the book up again! I’ve got other books to get to, and a possible snowstorm on the way - and a Christmas tree to decorate...


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Sheila (in LA) wrote: "Yes, I finally made it to chapter 9! There have been some funny moments so far, mostly in the exchanges between the foolish and those who don't suffer fools. I am definitely on Team Stephen. I thou..."

Very well put, about the fools and those who don’t suffer fools!🤣


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Sheila (in LA) wrote: "Yes, I finally made it to chapter 9! There have been some funny moments so far, mostly in the exchanges between the foolish and those who don't suffer fools. I am definitely on Team Stephen. I thou..."

Yes! The fools and those who don't suffer them is exactly it!


message 22: by Sheila (in LA) (last edited Dec 13, 2018 07:23AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 337 comments I have formulated a theory, but don't feel that much certainty that it's the correct solution. A more obvious suspect has been eliminated--I've still got a few chapters to finish. Love the reference to the butler as "Lord High Everything Else."


Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 454 comments Sheila (in LA) wrote: "Yes, I finally made it to chapter 9! "

That's exactly how I felt! The murder didn't even happen until chapter 6.

It's definitely picked up, I like the sarcasm... although now we're going over everything for the third time as it's explained to the Inspector so it's a bit slow again.


back to top