Wednesday, 9 July 2014

No wind of blame by Georgette Heyer

Considering that it is July, and I have plenty of reading challenges to finish. I had been looking for a book with all wierd combinations. Like 'wind' in the title, preferably written by a women writer, I am doing the women author reading challenge and I haven't even finished half the required number of books for it. Preferably a mystery or crime novel. And I found this book in openlibrary. I read three books by Heyer before : Venetia, Behold, here's poison and Why shoot the butler. I liked the humour and characters in her books. But I did think the 'wicked baron' act thing is becoming repetitive and was quite happy that this book didn't feature a wicked baron,  a man so immoral that we all love to hate and hate to love, or some such thing. 

We have the rich and Vulgar Ermyntrude, ex-actress who is married to the philandering Wally Carter, whose cousin Mary looks like the only sensible person in the household especially when compared to the over the top dramatic Vicky, Ermyntrude's daughter from her first marriage. And dethroned exiled Prince, with an unpronounceable name, of Georgia, their house guest, and Prince their dog, and Robert Steel a man who is silent and passionate about Aunt Ermy, as Mary calls her. Hugh Derring a possible suitor for Mary and finally the disreputable Whites. 

It had all the elements of a country house murder, the stage is set. Wally's philandering and Aunt Ermy's drama should lead to something, right? Into a quarter of the book I realised that nobody is dead yet. I had been expecting Aunt Ermy to die at any moment, she is the rich one, isn't it? But then a vague suspicion dawned on me, that this is probably not one of Heyer's mystery, that this is probably a romance. Heyer had written plenty of romance, and the first book I read by her Venetia is a romance, which I loved by the way, but I do hate romances. There are some benefits in reading an ebook in Ipad and one is being immediately able to google to find out about the book. Then with a sigh of relief I learnt that it is a mystery alright. And Wally is going to be murdered. But why Wally? Oh yes. He is causing lots of pain to Aunt Ermy with his philandering ways. And Aunt Ermy has lots of admirers and sympathisers, still why Wally? If somebody is going to be murdered it should be Aunt Ermy, after all she is the one with money. 

Then I plunged into the book again. Nobody has an alibi and almost everybody a motive. So who killed Wally and why? Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard makes an appearance to the end of the book when local inspector fails to make much headway into the investigation. Vicky pulls of a nice little stunt. Whatever would our lives be without creatures like Vicky. Did I guess who killed Wally? No! I more or less decided who the culprit was and the story was definitely pointing that way. But a nice little surprise that I should have seen it coming with all those clues around.  Interesting puzzle with colourful characters.