Prompt: The book that’s been on your TBR the longest
While sorting through the bookshelves I found a selection of Georgette Heyer that I hadn’t read. I picked then up in a charity shop years ago and they have sat on the shelves ever since. I have some of her Georgian romances but have never read any of her murder mysteries so picked They Found Him Dead for this prompt.
What’s it about?
It is the morning after wealthy Silas Kane’s sixtieth birthday party – a celebration that brings to light a number of familial controversies. When Kane is found dead at the foot of a cliff, the assumption is that he simply lost his way in the fog and fell by accident.
But the subsequent death of his nephew and heir and threats on the life of the third Kane, the newest heir, raises obvious suspicion, and the redoubtable investigative skills of Superintendent Hannasyde prove critical once again
What I think:
Written in 1937, this is a great country house murder mystery with everything you would expect to find – a grand estate, feuding heirs, a no nonsense matriarch and a household of interesting characters.
Silas Kane is found dead the morning after his birthday. He always takes a walk along the cliff before bed so it is presumed that he has fallen and his death is accidental.
When just a few weeks later his heir is shot in his study there definitely seems to be something sinister going on and the police start to investigate the idea that the deaths are connected. And the new heir could be in danger.
This book is an easy read. The dialogue is fast and fizzy and although there are a lot of characters each one has a distinct personality.
New James Kane is an appealing lead. He loves speed boats and fast cars but is engaged to very sensible Patricia Allison, companion to family matriarch, Emily Kane. He knows nothing about the business he unexpected inherits and sets out to learn before being pushed into business deals that the firm’s partners are pushing for.
The most entertaining characters are Rosemary Kane – a thoroughly spoiled and silly woman who would be utterly infuriating in real! And Timothy Harte, half brother of James, a young man obsessed with murder and American gangster films who is determined to help the police with their enquiries.
There are loads of red herrings and the investigation takes plenty if twists and turns. I had a hunch about the who but had no idea about how or why. And Heyer keeps the reader guessing right until the very end.
This was a fun read and I will definitely be dusting the rest of the series off.