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Behold, here's Poison (Panther Book. no. 1531.) Paperback – 1963


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  • Paperback
  • ASIN: B00A4C6XAU
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Author of over fifty books, Georgette Heyer is the best-known and best-loved of all historical novelists, making the Regency period her own. Her first novel, The Black Moth, published in 1921, was written at the age of fifteen to amuse her convalescent brother; her last was My Lord John. Famous for her historical novels, she also wrote twelve highly acclaimed mystery novels. Georgette Heyer died in 1974 at the age of seventy-one.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Rachael Abbott on 5 Jan. 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have long been a reader of Georgette Heyer's period romances and was surprised to learn she also wrote 'modern' (well 1920ish) crime novels. In my opinion this is the best of all her books.
With practically all her crime novels the most fascinating thing is not just who did it but how they did it. The method in this book isn't as ingenious as some of her other novels but I'd bet you never guess it.
The basic plot is that the obnoxious Gregory Matthews is dead but was he murdered or did he die of heart failure? If it was murder who did it? As in so many of these books, practically everyone has a motive for wanting him out of the way.
What places this book above so many similar ones are the wonderful characters from the oh-so saintly Zoe Matthews to her supercilious nephew Randall. I especially love Randall Matthews, described at one point as 'an amiable snake' - who says exactly what he pleases to everyone, especially his family.
If you like fiendishly clever plotting, a wonderful cast of characters and a practically unguessable ending then this is the book for you. If you have long been a fan of Heyer's romances and are unsure whether you'll like her crime novels let me reassure you they are just as amusing and charming as everything else she wrote.
This book is an absolute delight fom start to finish.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Merget on 14 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
Georgette Heyer was `Queen of Crime' only to her hopeful publisher. She went into writing detective novels because there was money in it and her husband was studying for the bar. There was an insatiable appetite for crime fiction in the 1930s. The husband and his friends concocted the plots for her with characters A, B and C - more fun in the pub than dominoes.

She would have looked over the rival talent. She wouldn't go head-to head with the conscious fine-writing and well-displayed erudition of Sayers. Her own education had been cut off short: like E L Wistey she didn't have the Latin for the judgin' (many years later, though, she wrote an accomplished romance in the Sayers mode, with all the literary allusions and sympathetic weather you could desire, but no lapses into crass sentimentality. It is called `Venetia') but she must have decided that, since she was a better writer than Marsh or Christie, she could knock up an acceptable murder-book with one hand tied behind her back.

Sadly, however, she really did have one hand tied behind her back: she was not in love with the genre. Notoriously, when she was well on the way through one of her whodunnits, she asked her husband to remind her `how this murder was actually committed'.

And she made a great big huge mistake, all the more surprising because she, of all people, made it. In a genre dominated by the gentleman-sleuth and the flamboyant foreigner she chose to make her detectives humdrum working policemen. Hello? She probably never went on the Clapham Omnibus in her life. She was not gregarious, and the mind of her own cleaner was a mystery to her.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Morley on 8 May 2006
Format: Paperback
I'd never read a detective novel and picked this up by chance (the camp cover doesn't really match the plot). It's great fun, wonderfully written and is like reading a Sunday evening tv whodunnit. The sotry was written in 1936 and is set for the main part in a middle class family home. The characters are all interesting and many of them have a motive. You won't guess the ending but it is belivable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gregory Matthews is found dead in bed. His doctor thinks he's probably died of a heart attack and is prepared to sign a death certificate to that effect until Gertrude - the deceased's sister insists on the death being reported to the coroner. All the members of Gregory's family have a possible motive for murdering someone who turns out to be thoroughly obnoxious.

This is an ingenious story which will keep you guessing right until the end. The nature of the poison is revealed very early on and there are many red herrings cleverly planted. How the poison was administered is not revealed until the very end of the book and I doubt most readers will guess the method. Scotland Yard is on the trail in the phlegmatic person of Superintendent Hannasyde and his sidekick Sgt Hemingway, but at first it seems as though the case may defeat them.

This book is well written and the characters are believable. There are enough suspects to keep most readers guessing and there is no on the page violence - which makes a refreshing change in the 21st century where violence sells. It was written in the 1930s but is still very readable today. Heyer's detective novels stand comparison with the best of the Golden Age writers - Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L Sayers and Margery Allingham - and if you like them you will like this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent entertaining mystery. Are the characters mostly rather flat? Yes, but not more so than many of the genre at that time, but with one character complex enough to perplex and a pleasantly engaging minor character in the form of a Detective Sergeant. Are there enough puzzles to keep even the most experienced of armchair sleuths guessing till almost the very end? Certainly.
If you enjoy the mystery crime genre popular in the early-mid 20th century but haven't yet discovered Georgette Heyer you have an ideal little wet weekend treat in store reading this or any of her other crime novels. If, like me, you are old enough to have read them long ago, and rather forgotten about them, then you will thoroughly enjoy becoming reacquainted. She's not quite in the same class as more literary writers of the period like Dorothy L Sayers or Michael Innes, nor do her books have the fiendish complexity of someone like Edmund Crispin, or the slightly unsettling atmosphere of Gladys Mitchell, but they are skilfully constructed and highly entertaining.
If you have been trying to read some of those awful pastiches aping the style of 'cosy' crime writers that are currently flooding Amazon and been — understandably — disappointed, give up and turn to this lesser-known but still vastly better Golden Age original. She's the real deal!
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