Thursday, December 24, 2009

Death In The Stocks by Georgette Heyer

Arnold Vereker has been found murdered and his body has been left in the stocks on the village green.  Vereker was wealthy and as the police investigate, they discover many characters who had a motive to kill him, most of them his relatives. 

There are his half-brother and half-sister, Kenneth and Antonia Vereker.  Arnold was their guardian and kept them on a very short lease.  Antonia is engaged to Rudolph Mesurier, the accountant at Vereker's business.  Arnold had just discovered that Mesurier had been embezzling funds and was ready to prosecute him.  Kenneth is also engaged, to a venomous but beautiful woman named Violet Williams.  She flirts with every man she encounters, and makes it clear that her affections can only be bought and paid for, never freely given.

Then there are the investigators.  Superintendant Hannasyde, finds the case perplexing, specifically because it seems so simple.  Giles Carrington is Kenneth and Antonia's cousin, and also their lawyer.  He helps the superintendant understand the relationships that exist, and they discuss the case over drinks and dinners.  A further wrench is thrown in the case when another half-brother emerges; Roger, who the family had thought dead for years.

Readers who enjoy cozy mysteries such as those written by Agatha Christie will enjoy Georgette Heyer's writing.  The character's speech and personalities place the setting firmly in England, and the mystery gets untangled satisfactorily.  This book is recommended for all readers.

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