Friday, May 1, 2009

'Behold, Here's Poison' by Georgette Heyer

Am I the only person on Earth who up until yesterday didn’t know what Georgette Heyer had been capable of producing with her writing talent? I had surely felt like that for quite some time before I actually picked up Behold, Here’s Poison to see what the ruckus was all about. And I have to say that the fact I had not heard about Ms. Heyer seems now to be verging on abomination.

Behold, Here’s Poison is one of mystery books written by Heyer and yes, there are more genres that this author was very skilled at writing. It is what one might call a cozy mystery. The action of the book revolves around the murder of George Matthews, a master of the Poplars where he lived with his sister, Miss Matthews, his sister-in-law, Mrs. Matthews, and her two children, Stella and Guy. Mr. Matthews is found dead one morning in his bed and upon closer examination it turns out that the cause of his death was poison and not his high blood pressure. Of course no one in the house accepts this fact easily even though everyone seems quite glad that the master is dead, including family members living outside the Poplars, Mrs. Lupton and a new head of the family, Randall Matthews. And everyone, as it turns out, may have benefited from his untimely death. That’s when Inspector Hannasyde steps in to try and untangle the web of secrets and find the murderer.

Hats off to Georgette Heyer! She is now my most favorite author and I am only glad that I have so many more books of her waiting for me to delight in. This book got me hooked from the first pages and I was laughing out loud by page 10. The Matthews family is absolutely hilarious with Miss Matthews and Mrs. Lupton leading the way. It’s amazing how witty and clever the dialogue is and quite refreshing after many books where all you read is slang and cursing. The way the whole book is written just gave me this feeling of unadulterated pleasure and I am positive that when I wasn’t laughing I had a grin on my face all the while reading. Yes, it is a classic whodunit where everyone has a motive and no one has a solid alibi. But above all the elements that are necessary to create a perfect murder mystery, Ms. Heyer also created wonderful characters, some quite simple, some outrageously funny and others very unlikable, but none of them boring. The fact that the author made me start accusing people from one character to another and then back to the original, until I just gave up trying to guess, was simply icing on my favorite cake. All I have to say to the ones who have not yet read any of Heyer’s books (if indeed there are such unfortunates), don’t despair and waste your time looking for a perfect book. Instead delve right into the world of Behold, Here’s Poison.

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Special Thanks to Danielle J. from Sourcebooks for sending me a copy of this book.