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Why Shoot a Butler? Paperback – 4 Jan 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; paperback / softcover edition (4 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099493721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099493723
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Praise for Georgette Heyer's mystery novels:"

"'We had better start ranking Heyer alongside such incomparable whodunit authors as Christie, Marsh, Tey and Allingham'" (San Francisco Chronicle)

"'Rarely have we seen humour and mystery so perfectly blended'" (New York Times)

"'Sharp, clear and witty'" (The New Yorker)

"'Heyer's characters and dialogue are an abiding delight to me ... I have seldom met people to whom I have taken so violent a fancy from the word "Go"'" (Dorothy L. Sayers)

Review

'Georgette Heyer is second to none.' (The Sunday Times)

'Heyer is an author to read ― this means you!' (The New York Herald Tribune)

'Sharp, clear, and witty.' (The New Yorker) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE on 24 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Nov. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
This review is about the audio recording on audible.uk, the reading of the book by Ulli Birve, who reads all of the Heyer whodunnits. It's a great book but the reading is appalling, probably one of the worst readings of a book I've had on audible. I asked for a refund. My advice is: READ THE PAPER VERSION. It's a good rollicking Golden Age murder mystery.
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Format: 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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