Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book Review: Georgette Heyer's No Wind Of Blame

No Wind of Blame, by Georgette Heyer

As you know, I mostly read books based on history (fiction and non-fiction) as well as literary and regency…this one was none of the above. I read it because it was a Georgette Heyer one and I just couldn’t pass it up. I figured that I love a good mystery, humour and Heyer- so I made the exception and took the plunge into a 20th c read. Blame it on Georgie…

No Wind of Blame is an hysterically funny murder mystery. Who gets killed? No other than the most inconsiderate, obnoxious, good for-nothing, adulterer, gambler, schemer, middle-aged- and he’s not even remotely close to being handsome; Wally Carter. Wally is married to a once-famous actress, the very flamboyant, but kind and warm-hearted, Ermyntrude. The couple lives with Ermyntrude’s eccentric young daughter, Vicky and plain Mary, Wally’s niece.

Everything is in preparation for a grand dinner for their guest, the Russian Prince Varasashvili (whom everyone, except Ermyntrude, thinks is way over the top). All the guests, which include some neighbors (liked and disliked) and friends (including those who would rather be more than just friendly towards Ermyntrude)are also invited to hunt for sport.

As situation will have it, Wally has one… with all the characters in this story. Firstly he owes money he gambled, to his neighbor Mr. White(who is crude and detested by Ermyntrude for his vile ways). Then there’s Mr. Steel, who is secretly (but it’s no secret) in love with Ermyntrude and this annoys Wally in no small way. Pierce is a young man who claims that Wally has misled a young lady and she is now in the ‘family way’ so he wants Wally to own up (ca-ching, ca-ching). Vicky is  the young step-daughter who is always causing him stress with her young mundane ways. Mary, his niece, has taken Ermyntrude’s side now that he’s claimed a gambler and a womanizer. Then there's the desolate Ermyntrude who is hysterical with him for having gotten hismself into so much trouble (but nonetheless, she’s rich and he desperately needs her money to clarify all his troubles). Lastly, there’s that darn Prince (whose name matches that of Wally’s dog)- The Prince who is way too elegant and way too gallant towards Ermyntrude…

On that fatal day that Wally gets shot, who’s to blame? Everyone’s got motive and everyone’s got a glitch in their story or alibi. It’s more than touch- and –go for the inspectors and just when the suspect seems found and the mystery solved, something else comes up.

Heyer’s talent is incredible. How she’s kept me dancing through more than 360 pages of ‘It’s him-No -it’s her’, I just don’t know. All I know is that I laughed right through this one.

For anyone who loves a good funny mystery, read this. You won’t be disappointed. As for me, I’m done- although I did find this entertaining and a definite change of pace and genre, it’s back to Heyer regencies from here on.

I’d like to Thank Danielle from Sourcebooks for this fun and engaging read.


Sheila Deeth said...

I've not read this one, though I read a lot of her books when I was younger. Sounds intriguing.

Unknown said...

Ooooh! That sounds like a juicy read! I can't wait to steal some time to sit down and read it! Sounds great!
I hope you are well!

Marg said...

I've only read one of her mysteries, and quite liked it. One day I will read more!

BurtonReview said...

I had read Agatha Christie in high school and Heyer brought back those memories when I read "The Unfinished Clue" another one of Heyer's mysteries. While not my preferred genre, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and the laughter. Thanks for this review Lucy, I hope to read this one as well.

Ingrid Mida said...

Sometimes it is fun to read a different genre. I love any kind of book that makes me laugh!

BookChook said...

I LOVE Heyer. The historical romances are tops, but the murder mysteries are such fun. I have read them all and then re-read them.
So glad you liked this one!