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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heyer at her very best
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...
Published on 5 Jan. 2001 by Rachael Abbott

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Behold, Here's Poison
Everyone hated Gregory Matthews, but who would go so far as to poison him?

A big improvement on 'Death In The Stocks'. Here Heyer gives us people who are actually funny and their banter is based more firmly in their relationships with each other, rather than just for effect. Inspector Hannasyde proves to be as ineffectual here as the previous novel. Again,...
Published on 12 Oct. 2010 by Rich


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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heyer at her very best, 5 Jan. 2001
By 
Rachael Abbott (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Behold, Here's Poison (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice lounge-lizard, shame about the plod., 14 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Behold, Here's Poison (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. The would-be barristers in the pub (knowing much about the courts and the police) doubtless thought it would be a nice breakthrough idea to have real plods solving the crimes - as they do - but Hannasyde, Hemingway & co are just plot-moving machines, still as cardboard as when they were first put on paper.

What did interest Heyer is the young man with the long eyelashes who appears in several of the stories, with various names. When he wanders into the scene, snotting some and winding others up, the writing begins to sparkle as it should. He might be Randall the dandy or Neville the wandering scruff (I'd have him, if only once) but he is everything a golden age fictional detective should be: the educated outsider, the too-clever misanthrope, who might well have dunnit and, in one of the stories, diddit.

`Behold, Here's Poison' is possibly Heyer's most successful detective novel. It works partly because (as in `The Quiet Gentleman' and `The Toll Gate') the love story weighs heavily in the balance. But it's also a pretty piece of crime fiction, tightly worked out to the end. It puts some of Christie's plotting to shame. As love stories with a bit of murder on the side go `A Blunt Instrument' is even better. There are another couple that are well worth a read.

I suppose one should be grateful that Heyer did put out a slim few respectable whodunits along with her peerless romances but a reader is never grateful. We want a dozen Dirk Gentlys. We want Talleyman in India (along with any other mad stuff John James might have been contemplating). If Ms Heyer ended up in Purgatory I hope she wrote her way out with thirteen Plenmeller Mysteries - and I can peruse them in the afterlife.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun - crying out for a tv dramatisation, 8 May 2006
By 
David Morley (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Behold, Here's Poison (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Poison in jest . . ., 13 Feb. 2010
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Behold, Here's Poison (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars I'd forgotten how good Georgette Heyer was!, 9 Mar. 2015
By 
Aileen Mitchell Stewart (N.W. Sutherland, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars clever development, 28 Mar. 2009
By 
Mrs. Rina Ben-Ami (North London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Behold, Here's Poison (Paperback)
Georgette Heyer A Blunt instrument

Story well developed. No obvious clues given in early chapters.
Although a murder story, she does not make a feature of gory detail.Nearly sll the characters have motives, but the climax is woven in near the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars rosiemwall, 21 Mar. 2014
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Excellent book it a very good. Plot riveting up to her usual standard l would highly recommend this book to read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab, 12 Jan. 2014
By 
M. Lovett (UK) - See all my reviews
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A genuine Heyer. She was wonderful and so is this book.. I have so many of hers and read them to ragged shreds.

5 stars is well deserved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deadly intent, 18 Nov. 2013
By 
Kindle Customer (Manachester U.K.) - See all my reviews
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A good detective story from a master story teller once again.I enjoyed immensely the story and was kept interested up to the end .A good detective book. Thoroughly enjoyable once again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 July 2013
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Rounded characters, excellent wit, classic whodunit with the requisite clues, red herrings, and plethora of suspects. Fans of Wimsey, Poirot and Alleyn will love this.
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Behold, Here's Poison
Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer (Paperback - 6 April 2006)
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