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Detection Unlimited (2006)

Detection Unlimited (2006)

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3.66 of 5 Votes: 2
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0099493748 (ISBN13: 9780099493747)

About book Detection Unlimited (2006)

In Georgette Heyer's Detection Unlimited we have more suspects and more detectives than we can shake a stick at. Sampson Warrenby is dead and just about everybody in Thornden has a motive and the opportunity to have done him in. He's found slumped on a seat under the oak tree in his garden....with a bullet through his head. Most of the suspects were at an afternoon tennis party and were wandering about the area on their way home when the the shot was heard. When the local police decide to bring in Scotland Yard, Chief Inspector Hemingway finds that he has more than the village policemen offering him assistance. The villagers each have their pet suspect and can't understand why Hemingway doesn't immediately arrest him...or her. Is the villain the dead man's niece--for an inheritance and to get rid of a controlling uncle? Or maybe it's the town's other solicitor--angry at losing clients and prestige? Then there's the new couple at the farm who seem to have a guilty secret. And what about the author who wants the starring role in a real live murder mystery? It doesn't help that Warrenby seemed to have had the nasty habit of finding out little tidbits about his neighbors and not quite blackmailing them with his knowledge.This was the only Heyer mystery that I hadn't read previously (I'm currently rereading them all for a Georgette Heyer reading challenge). And it's another fine specimen of the vintage village cozy. All the usual suspects are on board--and we even have the suspicious foreigner to grab some of our attention. Plenty of humor. And Hemingway has his usual "flair" and a new sidekick. Inspector Grant has moved on to better things and we now have Inspector Harbottle--dour-faced but a definite Hemingway devotee. There were plenty of red herrings which managed to keep me guessing until the end, although I was torn between two suspects--the correct one and another. Four stars for a grand story by one of the grand ladies of vintage crime.

First published in 1953, this was the last of Georgette Heyer’s mysteries and the last in my project to read them all. Written in order to pay a tax bill (if I remember correctly from Jennifer Kloester’s excellent biography, Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller) the novel has a cast of quirky characters and is full of Heyer's witty dialogue. The plot – a reasonably standard whodunit with a range of possible culprits – is not exactly a page turner but was engaging enough to retain my interest. I didn’t guess the identity of the murderer until just before the penny dropped for Heyer’s entertaining detective Chief Inspector Hemingway, which was a definite plus.This novel will appeal most to fans of Heyer’s writing and to readers with a fondness for the lighter side of British Golden Age detective fiction, rather than to dedicated readers of contemporary crime novels. However, it was a fun read, made even more fun by reading it with my friend Jemidar – who, clever clogs that she is - picked the culprit well in advance.

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inspector hemingway takes center stage in this one - unfortunately! heyer mysteries are always best when they forget they are actually supposed to be mysteries. wasn't so impressed with abe kobo's the ruined map (which is a surrealist or metaphysical take on detective fiction) when i first read it but now am inclined to think it rather brilliant. the tedium of that book is at least deliberate, and ostentatiously mundane - like with the dadaists, who took ordinary things and put them in extraordinary contexts. abe kobo's brilliance comes from his characters, who take themselves absolutely seriously and see their problems as absolutely critical but are also absolutely unaware that their own reality has been unmoored from ours (the readers). books like detection unlimited keep the tedium but not the self-awareness. oh well. without them i suppose books like the ruined map couldn't exist, so...maybe it evens out in the end.

Everyone hated Samuel Warrenby - and when he was murdered, everyone turned detective to prove that their own pet suspect was guilty. The fun thing about this book is that it turns out that Chief Inspector Hemingway doesn't need the amateurs' help to solve the crime. One of Heyer's best detective stories, with a light touch to the satire and an interesting detective plot (her worst combine boring plots and settings where everyone comes across badly). But the comparison with Christie's use of the

Rating Clarification: 3.5 StarsWho would have wanted to murder solicitor Sampson Warrenby?Apparently everyone in the village of Thornden.There's no shortage of suspects to question when Scotland Yard sends one of their finest -- Chief Inspector Hemingway -- to ferret out means, motive and opportunity. You've got the village squire and his ailing wife, the victim's long suffering niece, a rival solicitor, a mysterious couple, a crime writer, a handsome foreigner, and a military officer whose wife breeds Pekenese dogs with the unlikely names of Ullapool, Ursula, Umberto, Umbrella and Uppish. Oh, the wife had motive alright: Warrenby had had the unmitigated nerve to kick poor peekie Ulysses (!!!).Another classic whodunit from Heyer set in the mid-1950's, and one of her final mysteries. I enjoyed this one very much, and would have rated it higher except for the fact that the resolution and ending was too abrupt. It needed 2-3 more pages to smooth it out, IMO. In addition, this book would have been so much better with a map provided at the front of Chapter 1. It was hard to picture the village of Thornden and the juxtaposition of all the houses and plots of land which made up a good portion of the book. Otherwise, another winner from Heyer, whose powers of writing droll characters remains top notch.

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