English Mysteries Club discussion

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Book of the Month pre-2020 > February 2015 - Why Shoot a Butler?

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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ I'm looking forward to this - should be able to get a copy from a friend later this week. :)


message 2: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 83 comments And I'm next in line for my library's ebook


message 3: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 1663 comments I have read this before but will be rereading with the group. My paperback copy is tattered and missing some pages so this time I will be reading the Kindle edition, which I have already borrowed from the library :)


message 4: by Ramla Zareen (last edited Feb 03, 2015 07:27AM) (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 13 comments Hey, what a coincidence...! I just wrote a post on Georgette Heyer on my blog, last Sunday ...and while writing it I was remembering how much I enjoyed reading this particular book...about 6 or 7 years before...! Lolz :-) And now this discussion will give me an added incentive to re-read it...! Really looking forward to it. By the way, I have only recently joined Goodreads so this will be my first online book discussion ever...! :-)


message 5: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 1663 comments Welcome Ramla. Enjoy the reread :)


message 6: by Ramla Zareen (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 13 comments Leslie wrote: "Welcome Ramla. Enjoy the reread :)"

Sure will :-) Thanks...!


message 7: by Ramla Zareen (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 13 comments Ramla Zareen wrote: "Leslie wrote: "Welcome Ramla. Enjoy the reread :)"

Sure will :-) Thanks...!"


By the way, I see that you will also be re-reading it, this time from Kindle, ...hope you enjoy as well...! :-)


message 8: by Carola (new)

Carola Goodman (goodreadscomcarola_goodman) I also read this book sometime ago. Always enjoy going back to good books.


message 9: by Ramla Zareen (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 13 comments Carola wrote: "I also read this book sometime ago. Always enjoy going back to good books."

Yeah, me too...! :-)


message 10: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 102 comments Carola wrote: "I also read this book sometime ago. Always enjoy going back to good books."

Ditto. And ditto.


message 11: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 16 comments I'm in, thanks for telling me about this group Carol.


message 12: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Me, too!


message 13: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 1663 comments So much fun! I will wait until the 15th to discuss but am glad I decided to reread this!


message 14: by Karlyne (last edited Feb 05, 2015 02:14PM) (new)

Karlyne Landrum I just got the book out so that I can start it later, and after my granddaughter read the title, I asked her, "Why would anyone shoot a butler?" Her reply: "If he wasn't doing his work right?"


message 15: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 16 comments do we read the whole thing before the 15th?


message 16: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 1663 comments Jackie wrote: "do we read the whole thing before the 15th?"

You can but it isn't required. But after the 15th there may be plot points discussed that you might want to avoid reading about if you haven't finished the book.


message 17: by Ramla Zareen (last edited Feb 06, 2015 02:02AM) (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 13 comments Karlyne wrote: "I just got the book out so that I can start it later, and after my granddaughter read the title, I asked her, "Why would anyone shoot a butler?" Her reply: "If he wasn't doing his work right?""

hehehe :-) Lolz Hope you don't mind my asking ...but how old is your granddaughter...?! :-)


message 18: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Ramla Zareen wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "I just got the book out so that I can start it later, and after my granddaughter read the title, I asked her, "Why would anyone shoot a butler?" Her reply: "If he wasn't doing his..."

She's 8, which is why I laughed so hard. And, no, we've never even met a butler in real life, but she's seen a few movie ones!


message 19: by Ramla Zareen (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 13 comments Karlyne wrote: "Ramla Zareen wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "I just got the book out so that I can start it later, and after my granddaughter read the title, I asked her, "Why would anyone shoot a butler?" Her reply: "I..."

She sounds cute :-) I have a daughter of about 3 years old ...she is just beginning to speak ...but sometimes she says really funny stuff as well ...guess that's the way kids are...! :-)


message 20: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum I have a grandson who is 3 (the 8 year old's brother), and the things he says absolutely keep us in stitches! They're both intentionally funny at times (I thank God regularly for their senses of humor), but often they make us laugh unintentionally!


message 21: by Ramla Zareen (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 13 comments Karlyne wrote: "I have a grandson who is 3 (the 8 year old's brother), and the things he says absolutely keep us in stitches! They're both intentionally funny at times (I thank God regularly for their senses of hu..."

Yeah :-) I know what you mean...! Lolz


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ & my friend thought she had all the GH mysteries but she doesn't have this one - or Penhallow. I may have to sit this one out. :(


message 23: by Kay (new)

Kay | 218 comments I may have to sit it out, too. I enjoy reading the comments of the group members.


message 24: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum ***Carol*** wrote: "& my friend thought she had all the GH mysteries but she doesn't have this one - or Penhallow. I may have to sit this one out. :("

I just finished it, Carol. Would you like to come by and borrow it? (heeheheehee)


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Karlyne wrote:
I just finished it, Carol. Would you like to..."


Ha! Smartypants! I may have found another source!


message 26: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 16 comments library! if they don't have it, complain!


message 27: by Kay (new)

Kay | 218 comments I just got it from Amazon for $1.99.


message 28: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 16 comments is someone going to start it? another thread or what?


message 29: by Kay (new)

Kay | 218 comments I think the discussion starts on the 15th. I'm half way finished. Liking it a lot so far


message 30: by Leslie (last edited Feb 17, 2015 11:22AM) (new)

Leslie | 1663 comments I whizzed through this earlier in the month. I have read most if not all Heyer's mysteries before (most more than once), but I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the dialogue! Truly one of Heyer's strengths in my opinion.

For example, the section where Sir Humphrey keeps trying to read aloud to Frank:

   "Sir Humphrey, pleased to find his nephew more widely read than he had imagined, unbent and said that he had borrowed the book from Fountain that morning. He presently made another attempt to read a passage aloud and was still more firmly checked. 'Do you remember this bit, Frank?' he began.
    'Yes,' said Mr. Amberley.
    Sir Humphrey informed him that his manners were intolerable."


So funny!!


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

I finished the book a couple days ago. I enjoyed it! Heyer is witty. My favorite character was Lady Matthews. The denouement at the end was a little long, but besides that a good read.


message 32: by Ramla Zareen (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 13 comments Yes, I also highly enjoy the humour in Georgette Heyer's books ...especially her talent of 'witty dialogues' ...and her ability of creating 'entertaining characters'...! :-)

By the way, Leslie, the section that you have mentioned, actually made me laugh out aloud...!


message 33: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum One of the funniest sections, Leslie! And I love Lady Matthews, too, Christina. Her very intelligent vagueness is a treat, and I'd love to meet her in real life.

The section in the pavilion and the woods was deliciously scary. In fact, I had to tell myself to calm down already; you'd think I hadn't read this before!


message 34: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 1663 comments Lady Matthews reminded me a little of the early Miss Marple -- inarticulate but internally sharp.


message 35: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Leslie wrote: "Lady Matthews reminded me a little of the early Miss Marple -- inarticulate but internally sharp."

They do resemble each other! I always feel that Miss Marple is a bit shy about voicing her opinions, because she's a maiden lady- even though she knows she's right. I can't seem to find the adjective for Lady Matthews.


message 36: by Lesley (new)

Lesley I saw Lady Matthews as a thinker, not a talker. Very astute and when she said anything she was quietly confident - and right. Yes, very Miss Marple.


message 37: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum And they're both rather surprised to find that not everyone is following their thought processes. Nice, humble women!


message 38: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Ella's Gran wrote: "I saw Lady Matthews as a thinker, not a talker. Very astute and when she said anything she was quietly confident - and right. Yes, very Miss Marple."

Oh, and, Ella's Gran, I'm an Ella's Gran, too. My youngest grandgirl, Ella, just turned 2!


message 39: by Lesley (new)

Lesley She is my first of 5 grandchildren - 3 girls and 2 boys. My Ella is 13 years young now!


message 40: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 83 comments I enjoyed Why Shoot a Butler. It was the first Heyer mystery I read though I've read most of her Regency romances - and loved them. The romance part of this book was its weakest component, in my opinion; I didn't feel any chemistry. The mystery's interesting and has twists and turns, but the best part, as mentioned by others, is the dialogue. The relationship between the hero's aunt and uncle is priceless; Lady Matthews has the household under control. The various policemen are interesting characters and are manipulated skillfully by our hero. All in all a very enjoyable read!


message 41: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Ella's Gran wrote: "She is my first of 5 grandchildren - 3 girls and 2 boys. My Ella is 13 years young now!"

And my Ella is the youngest of 9! But, she's an only so far, and the other 8 belong to different parents!


message 42: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Sandy wrote: "I enjoyed Why Shoot a Butler. It was the first Heyer mystery I read though I've read most of her Regency romances - and loved them. The romance part of this book was its weakest component, in my op..."

The chemistry was so unspoken and undemonstrated that I think it stretched its believability. But, I read Heyer mostly for the dialog, and she never disappoints there.


message 43: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Sandy wrote: "I enjoyed Why Shoot a Butler. It was the first Heyer mystery I read though I've read most of her Regency romances - and loved them. The romance part of this book was its weakest component, in my op..."

I agree totally with your sum up of this read Sandy. I thought the mystery was really good with all its twists and turns, but was made great by the dialogue. Loved Lady Matthews. Not only had the household under control, but all those who inhabited, and visited! I loved the way she 'managed' the husband - much the same way as her nephew managed the policemen.

I was somewhat dumbfounded at the marriage proposal as I hadn't got even an inkling that there was a romance blossoming between anyone in the book. A very weak component particularly considering Heyer's other genre of Regency romance that is well done. Maybe she felt she ought not include 'real romance' in a mystery book since people might think she was piggy-backing her mysteries on her romance success.

I know I read all of Heyer's books many, many years ago so must have read this, yet had no recollection of the story at all. Great stuff.


message 44: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum I think the only serious clue about the romance is that he doesn't turn her in, although she thinks that's because he wants to catch her himself. And then when she's relieved to run into him in the woods, too, but it's not obvious, is it?


message 45: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 1663 comments Really surprised by the comments re: romance. I thought it was clear - almost just like the romance in Regency Buck! Shirley, like Judith, wanting to be independent and unwilling to trust. Frank, like Worth, amused by the show of independence but wanting her to confide in him of her own free will; taking actions for protection of her brother which are misconstrued.


message 46: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Well, Lady Matthews wasn't in the least surprised! I don't remember being surprised the first time that I read it, either, but I think, as a Heyer fan, I was expecting it. Probably thinking of Regency Buck, sub-consciously!


message 47: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 16 comments I'm in the middle of my re-read and enjoying it - but was shocked to run into "the N word", is it in anyone else's version?

meanwhile, I am enjoying the teasing between Amberley and his old school pal. without it, he wouldn't have been as likable.


message 48: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum Jackie wrote: "I'm in the middle of my re-read and enjoying it - but was shocked to run into "the N word", is it in anyone else's version?

meanwhile, I am enjoying the teasing between Amberley and his old schoo..."


It was a reference to working, wasn't it, Jackie? It's hard to read it even in a non-nasty context, kind of makes shivers run up and down my spine. I remember my father-in-law using it in a really nasty way once, in front of my kids, and I told him I'd rather hear the f-word than the n-word. But I'd rather not hear either.


message 49: by Ramla Zareen (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 13 comments When I was doing research on "Georgette Heyer" for the post on my blog, I came across few comments which implied that she was better known for her romance and humour ...and that the mystery plotting in her books wasn't so intricate. In fact, I came to know that it was her husband who was responsible for most of the mystery plots... Well anyway, I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but personally I am a big fan of both her 'mysteries' as well as 'historical romances'. And while it's true that her 'witty dialogues' have always been the best part to me in her writing, including in this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery element too ...and as for romance, it was pretty much obvious to me, right from the start... and I remember it was the same when I first read the book several years before...! :-)


message 50: by Kay (new)

Kay | 218 comments I too was shocked by the use of the "N" word. I have a kindle edition and thought they could have put dashes instead. I did enjoy the book. The witty dialogue and interaction among the characters was great. Amberley is about the most sarcastic main character ever. The romance part was an unnecessary addition but also funny because she is the perfect person for him.


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