Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Behold, Here's Poison

Behold, Here's Poison is the first mystery by Georgette Heyer that I've read. Now I want to find more. The title puzzled me - it sounds so contrived and archaic - but then I discovered that it's a quote from Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre. (I haven't read it yet, but I will now. Even if the quote that furnished the title for Heyer's book has no discernable relation to the mystery, I'm now curious about this play, one of the few romances by Shakespeare... .)
Mr. Gregory Matthews is discovered dead one morning. His family - two sisters, one sister-in-law, a niece and two nephews - assume he has died of a heart attack. But one of the sisters demands that a postmortem be done. The postmortem reveals death by nicotine poisoning. Scotland Yard comes in, and the family tries to discover the murderer as well.
The story moved so quickly and was so deliberately sophisticated, that I was completely surprised by the ending. For the first half of the book, I couldn't identify even one character as sympathetic or likeable, but Heyer managed to change my outlook as the story continued. And why was Mr. Matthews poisoned? That is explained convincingly, as well.
My only complaint is that it has been difficult for me to find Georgette Heyer's mysteries. I wish someone would re-issue them all.



Blogger I love a Good Yarn said...

I can't believe it! We DO have much in common. I have been reading Georgette Heyer Regency Novels since I was a young thing, but for the last 20 of my forty years I have savored her mysteries. What gems. She sure can write , can't she? Her turn of phrase is quite as enjoyable as her tricky plots. Ihave a friend who has collected them all. I just wish she loaned them out to me! LOL

10:34 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I like her Regency novels, too, but I've only read 3 or 4 of them. She reminds me of Jane Austen - yes, she certainly can write!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Carmon Friedrich said...

I have never read anything by her, but I happened to get this one as an audiobook and haven't listened to it will have to bump it up the (long) list!

6:47 PM  
Blogger Headmistress, zookeeper said...

We love Heyer's mysteries. We enjoy her Regency stuff, too.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Carmon, I'd love to know how the audiobook sounds.

Headmistress, it's always good to meet another Heyer fan!

4:10 PM  

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