Earlier this year I read Georgette Heyer's Venetia. Considering that I don't like romances (read love stories), I really enjoyed Venetia. One of the reasons was Venetia itself and the other was the surprises. I wanted to try one of Heyer's mysteries and picked up Behold here's Poison published in 1936 from the library.
When Gregory Mathews is found dead one morning, his family is sure that it is the roasted duck that caused his heart attack. The friendly doctor Dr.Fielding, engaged to be married to Gregory Mathews' niece, has no suspicion and is ready to sign the death certificate. But dear Gertrude, Gregory's sister, feels there is more to his death than a roasted duck and asks for a postmortem much to the discomfort of the family. Is it a surprise that Mathews was poisoned and the roasted duck is not the culprit? He died of Nicotine poisoning. Ever heard of anybody being killed of Nicotine poisoning? Yes, Nicotine kills not just slowly but on a overdose very quickly. This is the second book in months that I read that features Nicotine poisoning. I don't remember the other book so Nicotine poisoning is not a surprise to me. It looks like Nicotine was not ingested so how was it adminstered? Is the police bothered? Superintendent Hannasyde and Sergeant Hemingway conduct the invesigation. They go on a chase of an elusive person who was depositing money in Gregory's account every month.
The pool of suspects is very small. The bickerings between the sisters-in-law is interesting and the way they make fool of themselves is comical. Randall is an interesting character. Do people like Randall really exist? Some of things that follow the first death is predictable and the final reveal is no surprise. I did guess the killer there were good many clues. I found the story interesting mainly because of Randall, with his sharp foul tongue and the way he rattles everybody. 'I may be a vile beast, but at least I am not a bore.' Randall reminds me of Oscar Wilde's characters with their ready wit and sharp tongue. Not a great mystery but a witty one.