There is something utterly enjoyable in spending time with the intelligent wackos of the Georgette Heyer world. Considering this book was written initially around the time my grandparents were born and the fact that I enjoyed it all the same today seems to be a testament to the beauty of its writing.
This book is a ‘Inspector Hannasyde book #1’ being a forerunner to the Inspector Hemingway series that I enjoyed earlier (links to those reviews :#1,#2,#3,#4). This book did give us an introduction to an over eager young Hemingway who seemed more eager to please than the smart talking senior detective I am used to by now, but that is the way of reading out of turn.
This book consists of a family of eccentric ( when are they not!) individuals who have just received the news that the head of the family was found dead with no culprit in sight. Giles the family’s sanest relative as well as their solicitor seeks out the truth ( this did not reflect too well on a first book to introduce us to the Inspector Hannasyde though since Giles actually solved it all). Uncontrolled chaos ensues with theories bandied about and a lot of tempers running astray. Overall the mystery is not a hard one to crack but watching them fumble around in the book for the solution is fun.
Being a book based in 1935 I have found a few words that I had earlier never paid close attention to :
- Stocks: Guillotine ( I am surprised it did not strike me as soon as I saw the context)
- Sanguinary:involving or causing much bloodshed.
- Cogitations:Contemplation ( I have seen this word in passing but never had the need to confirm its actual meaning)
- Welter:move in a turbulent fashion/lie soaked in blood.
- Delphic:deliberately obscure or ambiguous ( You can see the essence of the book being revealed in these synonyms of ambiguous)
- Supineness: Never seen this usage of supine ( lying on the back) before and probably will never see again!