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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer

Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (314 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Cholla

A bobby on his night rounds discovers a corpse in evening dress locked in the stocks on the village green. Inspector Hannasyde is called in, but sorting out the suspects proves a challenge. Anyone in the eccentric, exceedingly uncooperative Vereker family had the motive and means to kill Andrew Vereker, who seemed to have been universally disliked. One cousin allies himself with the inspector, while the victim's half-brother and sister, each of whom suspects the other, markedly try to set him off the scent. To readers' delight, the killer is so cunning (not to mention the author), that the mystery remains until the very end.

A hysterical and suspenseful novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat… if you don’t fall out from laughing first! I love both a good mystery and a good laugh, but never have I come across a novel that so beautifully incorporates crazy characters, insane situations, and a suspenseful whodunit all in one.

When Andrew Vereker is found murdered, the theories fly about who did it and why… the trouble is, no one really cares all that much. Having been a disagreeable person in life, not even his family can manage to be too upset by his demise. The poor superintendant, Hannasyde, more than has his hands full with the uncooperative and rather boisterous Vereker family. This is probably the craziest family I’ve ever encountered – fictional or real. They’ll utterly support each other one moment and the very next be accusing them of being the murderer.

Toni and Kenneth are brother and sister and the deceased is their half-brother, Andrew. Kenneth fancies himself the best suspect, but never quite doubts his sister, Toni, is just as good as a suspect as he. Giles Carrington, their cousin, is probably the only sensible one in the bunch. When you add in Kenneth’s gold-digging fiancĂ©e, Violet, and Toni’s book cooking fiancĂ©, Rudolph, then the insanity is amped up to yet another level. Despite their over-the-top attitudes and antics, they are very much like a real family. Toni and Kenneth alone make the story worth reading.

The mixture of the crazy Vereker family and the dour, more sensible Superintendent Hannasyde, as well as a few other outside characters, make this a very well-balanced story with something for everyone of all ages. You’ll be delighted, youl’ll be surprised, and most of all, you’ll be thoroughly and completely entertained by this well-written and enthusiastic novel. It is a must read novel for any lover of mystery and cheeky English families!