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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Country manors, village bobbies and a serial killer?
A dead butler. A sly, creeping valet. Nerve racking assignations in lonely woods. And a village policeman who though loveable, is totally inadequate at dealing with murder. A rich assortment of characters come alive in this gripping story. Frank Amberley, brilliant, watchful and unbelievably rude; Shirley Brown, mysterious, sulky and desperate; Sir Humphrey and Lady...
Published on 13 May 2002 by kirphi@tiscali.co.uk

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why Shoot A Butler?
A dead butler, a mysterious brother and sister, a sinister valet, intruders in the night form the basis of this mystery.

I was left rather cold by this, the story was well thought out and Heyer manages to whip up some suspense, but the characters are very shallow and the whole book feels as if Heyer's heart wasn't really in it. The ending especially feels as if...
Published on 1 July 2010 by Rich


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Country manors, village bobbies and a serial killer?, 13 May 2002
This review is from: Why Shoot a Butler? (Paperback)
A dead butler. A sly, creeping valet. Nerve racking assignations in lonely woods. And a village policeman who though loveable, is totally inadequate at dealing with murder. A rich assortment of characters come alive in this gripping story. Frank Amberley, brilliant, watchful and unbelievably rude; Shirley Brown, mysterious, sulky and desperate; Sir Humphrey and Lady Matthews, providing real comedy; and Basil Fountain, the sort who would 'drink his own bath water'. The plot is masterly, the suspense is real. As the plot thickens and the race to the truth intensifies you will be unable to put the book down. The Heyer magic at its best.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, disappointing production, 26 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Why Shoot a Butler? (Paperback)
Gripping plot, engaging characters, wry humour, and a touch of romance too. But do modern publishers not employ proof-readers? There must have been half a dozen or more silly typographical errors. I bet they weren't in the first edition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars . . . . why indeed, 4 Nov. 2010
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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Frank Amberley - visiting his uncle and taking an ill advised short cut - finds a man dead in his car on a country road. Naturally, being a respectable citizen - he informs the police. But he omits to tell them that there was a woman - Shirley Brown - standing beside the car.

What follows is a complex plot with many twists and turns which reveals some secrets which many people would prefer to keep hidden. Amberley is asked to investigate the murder by the Chief Constable as he has had some success unravelling a previous criminal case.

I found the book intriguing and I didn't guess exactly what was going on. The characters are interesting and believable and the villains are suitably creepy. The ending was exciting as it was a race against time. A very enjoyable detective story of a traditional type and I recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why Shoot A Butler?, 1 July 2010
This review is from: Why Shoot a Butler? (Paperback)
A dead butler, a mysterious brother and sister, a sinister valet, intruders in the night form the basis of this mystery.

I was left rather cold by this, the story was well thought out and Heyer manages to whip up some suspense, but the characters are very shallow and the whole book feels as if Heyer's heart wasn't really in it. The ending especially feels as if she just gave up. As other reviewers have noted, the Arrow reprint is littered with typographical errors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passable, 10 Aug. 2014
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Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
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The book's protagonist hides things both from the police and the reader; the latter is annoying, the former inexplicable except that there wouldn't be a book otherwise. The plot is serviceable enough, convoluted although with a certain internal logic. However, many of the characters are so unpleasant and or useless that the book would better be called 'Why didn't they shoot all of them?'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good escapist story with the solving of the plot being ..., 29 Jun. 2014
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Quite well handled but, as is often the case, the plot has taken precedence over the characterization. Most of the characters are fairly unbelievable, and are quite hard to establish at the beginning of the story - the two romantic leads being the most unbelievable of all!.

However, a good escapist story with the solving of the plot being well explained at the end - by the typical Heyer-hero (languid and snooty) who has managed to do everything practically singe-handed - apparently in order to humiliate the silly old police, who for some reason seem prepared to take orders from this off-duty barrister .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Charming Period Mystery, 24 Sept. 2011
By 
Poldy "Paul" (Darwen, Lancashire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Why Shoot a Butler? (Paperback)
Frank Amberley, barrister and amateur sleuth, is driving along a country road on his way to a dinner party when he comes upon a young woman standing beside a car in which sits the body of a butler, shot dead. Amberley reports the crime to the police, but does not mention the young woman, whom he believes innocent of the murder. What follows is Amberley's attempt to divine who the true murderer is, and why the crime was committed, before the killer strikes again.

This is a witty and charming light-hearted mystery in Ms Heyer's usual style. Frank Amberley makes a very personable hero, charming, debonair, always the gentleman. The story moves at a good pace, strewing clues and red-herrings as it goes, with Amberley having much opportunity to woe the leading lady and score points off the inept local police. The one draw-back is that there are so few suspects, the identity of the culprit isn't hard to guess, however the motive, both for the murder and the young woman's silence, is cleverly handled and will keep the reader guessing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, That's Why!, 24 Oct. 2014
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Why Shoot a Butler? (Paperback)
If you like a good old-fashioned detective novel (and I do) then this is for you. Plenty of 1930s detail, a country house setting, a village with lots of strange goings on and a body count of three plus one attempted murder brings all the requirements into the mix. Naturally, there's a little romance in there, too because it is Georgette Heyer.

She does a good job with this one. Frank Amberly is a fairly dour amateur detective, but guess what? He's better than the police! When he finds a dead butler in a car on a dark road with a mysterious woman standing alongside he can't resist investigating the case. Someone has got something someone else wants who is prepared to kill for it. Guns, libraries, secret meetings in the dark of a winter's night and an exciting climax.

One little downside: the denouement is rather wordy. However, I thought it was great fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super! One of her best & a masterpiece of intrigue., 17 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Why Shoot a Butler? (Paperback)
This is one of the best mystery books Georgette Heyer has written. The plot is intricate, the characters are well woven and interesting and the story has unexpected twists and turns from beginning to end. Heyer weaves a mystery that she will not allow the reader to unravel any more than she chooses to allow. The result is an exciting, gripping tale that will captivate you until you have finally discovered, 'who dunnit'& maybe more tantalising - WHY!

....Unfortunately I have to agree with a previous review, that there were dozens of typing errors throughout the book, which I found annoying and 'shoddy'. Heyer would be appalled to see her work so casually reproduced!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why Shoot a Butler, 7 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Why Shoot a Butler? (Paperback)
Why shoot a Butler? Well because he knows something dangerous to his killer. This story starts of with the death of a Butler. Seems very none descript at the beginning, but after a while you feel yourself being gently pulled into the story by the author.

Lots of different suppositions, but the true one is certainly not what you'd expect. Lots of different characters to like, dislike and suspect, and I certainly didn't guess the right one.

Very good book, a nice light read, but with plenty going on to keep you thinking until the end. Would recommend.
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