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No Wind Of Blame (1994)

No Wind of Blame (1994)

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2.37 of 5 Votes: 2
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0425102319 (ISBN13: 9780425102312)

About book No Wind Of Blame (1994)

Wally Carter is a jerk. He cheats on his wealthy wife Ermyntrude, squanders her money on shady schemes, and even asks her to pay off his pregnant girlfriend (and then moans about how much it sucks for him that he's so broke he has to ask for her help with said blackmail). He's ill-tempered, greedy, and lecherous. He's an indifferent guardian to his adult ward (and heir) Mary, and completely uninterested in his stepdaughter Vicky, a young would-be actress with a penchant for making scenes and a fierce desire to protect her foolish mother from harm. In fact, pretty much the only person he gets along with is his ne'er-do-well neighbor/distant cousin Harold. So when Wally winds up dead, it's a bit of a mystery who did it--after all, there are so many choices! Was it his wronged wife, Ermyntrude? The strong, silent farmer (aptly named Steel) who dotes on her and hates to see her treated so poorly? The impoverished Russian prince who's been staying with the family and making eyes at the wealthy Ermyntrude? Or someone else altogether? When the local constable is at a loss to makes heads or tails of the matter, it becomes clear that this is a case for Scotland Yard . . . and the delightful (and insightful) Inspector Hemingway.As with many Heyer mysteries, the murder takes place at a country manor, and the list of suspects includes pretty much everyone staying in the house, along with a few interested neighbors. The solution is, perhaps, a bit more convoluted than is strictly necessary, but it's still a fun story.I've mentioned before that I have a very soft spot for Ms. Heyer's mysteries (and her delightful characters), and this book is no exception. However, it does include a bit of a change-up from the usual Heyer fare. See, Heyer favors female characters with good minds, sharp tongues, and a lively sense of humor. They're not always downright witty, but they are usually possessed of common sense. You can usually identify the heroine of the story right from the get-go. She may not be the only female with a romance arc, and she may not be the only likable one, but you know which one you're supposed to like best--which one the story revolves around.In this story, it seems at first that Mary--good, down-to-earth Mary--will be our heroine, the character through whom we perceive the events of the story (not to say that we only see what she sees, but that her view of the characters informs our own; we like the people she likes and dislike those she hates). Surely she will be paired off with our leading man.Similarly, we think we know what to think of Vicky--the lovely, frippery heiress who loves to be the center of attention and views all of life as merely a stage upon which she can act out any scene she desires. She seems shallow and spoiled and rather annoying. Perhaps Heyer will pair her off with someone, but no one too wonderful.However, Mary is fundamentally incapable of appreciating the ridiculous events around her. Her sense of humor is, well, negligible. There is no sparkle in her eye. Meanwhile, under all that drama, Vicky has a fairly sharp brain and a lively sense of humor, as well as a genuine desire to shield her mother from mistreatment. She may use rather unorthodox means, but her ends are largely sound, and though she's undoubtedly a handful, there is a certain charm to her impossible antics. And then there's the voluptuous Ermyntrude--quite foolish, as it turns out, and highly sensitive and amusingly prone to overreacting, but good-hearted, generous, and exceedingly fond (and protective) of the two young women in her charge. She, too, is a heroine of sorts--she is likable, and we can't help wanting her to be happy.So instead of just one heroine--one female who endears herself to the readers, one leading lady we just know will get to live happily ever after--we have three. Heyer does sometimes employ two heroines in her romances (as in Bath Tangle and arguably The Grand Sophy and The Masqueraders), this is the first time I've seen her do so in a mystery--and certainly the first time I've seen her present fully three female protagonists.Other than that, it's fairly standard Heyer mystery fare, which is to say: the mystery isn't great, but the characters are a hoot. Definitely worth reading, particularly if you're a fan of Jane Austen and/or Agatha Christie (or Heyer herself).

I liked this book because it seemed to have captured the very essence of English society of the time and it was just so accurately done I had no problems picturing the setting, the characters, and as I progressed with the story it just got more interesting. I loved the mystery aspect of this, it certainly did keep me guessing! you're actually left until nearly the very end to learn who the culprit was. I found myself always changing my mind on who might have done it (some of my guesses were so outrageous I'm actually laughing about it now) but it was nice how it was written to make it look like as if each of the suspects could have possibly done it since they all had a motive to do it. Each suspect was explained with their possible connection to the murder and it was done in such a clever way you're left jumping from one character to another pointing the finger as to who did it. Definitely a job well done in that aspect of writing.Character wise, I liked most of them. With a name like Ermyntrude what's not to like! I have to admit I liked Mary from the start. She just seemed so steady and had a serious head on her shoulders I enjoyed her character a lot. I thought Vicky was one of the most annoying characters in the book. I couldn't really stand her and her melodrama and immaturity just made you hate her even more, especially when she started pointing the finger and trying to get Inspector Hemingway to go to other possible suspects to take the blame off of her (in many ways I had it set in my head that she was the one who committed the crime and she was my main suspect, but only because I just couldn't stand her and wanted her out of the way). Hugh doesn't really help much with telling Vicky to be quiet and I really don't see what he sees in her but to each his/her own, right? (I rather wanted him to be with Mary). The Prince was such a stereotypical charming character but had a phony side to him that made him enjoyable to read, especially his behavior towards Ermyntrude, it was obvious he was after her, but it was just funny to see him try and get her attention.A few criticisms about this book, well the plot is a little slow but it's to give you a proper introduction to the characters and a way to get you to know them more so the mystery will work out perfectly. I understand that and think it was a necessity otherwise if you were just to read about the suspects and their motives without really getting to know their character it just wouldn't be a fun read at all. It could have moved a little more quickly though. Another thing, because this book was written in the 30's, it's a very different style of writing and I found it a little hard to get used to. Plus Inspector Hemingway got so analytical about the case, and if you combine that with the style of writing it got hard to follow and understand sometimes. I had to reread some passages to get the understanding of it.Overall, a wonderful mystery read if you have the patience to get through the writing and a slow moving but interesting plot.

Do You like book No Wind Of Blame (1994)?

Georgette Heyer is known for her Regency romances; she single-handedly invented the genre. She also wrote several delicious English country house mysteries. This is the first of three books that feature Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard. It is the prototypical Golden Age mystery: the murder doesn't happen until the middle of the book and the brilliant, eccentric Scotland Yard detective solves the case after the bumbling country police force cannot. Ermyntrude Carter is fabuously weathy. Her second marriage to a rather feckless bounder, Wally Carter is not happy. Their country house, Palings, is also occupied by Wally's ward, Mary, and Ermyntrude's daughter, Victoria, better known as Vicky, as well as Ermyntrude's guest, a Russian prince. Hugh Dering is the country lawyer; Maurice Chester is the village doctor; there are the usual assortment of maids and butlers. The villan of the piece is Harold White, who is a bad influence on Wally and the despair of his children, Alan and Janet. Everyone is trading on Ermyntrude's emotional vulnerability. It's a a comedy of errors and the dialog is bright and brilliant and witty. When Wally is murdered, the cast of characters is aghast.

**** 1/2Hilarious, great fun! Heyer's characters are larger-than-life, boisterous, and outrageous; but her who-dunnit mystery plot, in my humble estimation, belongs to the rank and file of no less than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself! I laughed out loud at the antics of Vicky Fanshaw even as I puzzled over the murder mystery. Heyer took me totally by surprise. There's a love triangle (Vicky-Mary-Hugh Derring) to add a romantic subplot, but its break-neck pace seems designed deliberately to tip the author's hand so that comedy rather than syrupy romance provides a counterpoint to Inspector Hemmingway's mordant wit and brilliant detecting. Overall, this "Scotland Yard man" unravels his case with such skill and precision that initially baffling clues fall snugly and quite effortlessly into place. Delightfully silly and refreshing so that I find myself primed for something a bit more substantial: like an appetizer perfectly planned to whet the appetite for a rich and sumptuous meal. Count of Monte Cristo here I come!
—Sarah Ryburn

"No Wind of Blame" is a historical mystery set in 1939 in England. The characters were more believable (or less odd) and funnier than in some of Heyer's mysteries. Readers turned off by one of those mysteries might still enjoy this novel.I did correctly guess whodunit and how simply because I'd just read a suspense novel by another author that used a similar method. The mystery was clever. It had some good "slight of hand" that looked like hidden clues that pointed in another direction so I was kept guessing if I really was right or not. Even the romance didn't turn out quite the way it initially seemed like it would!There was some bad language and no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this entertaining mystery.

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