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Envious Casca Paperback – 1978


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Paperback, 1978
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 6th THUS edition (1978)
  • ISBN-10: 0553111787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553111781
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,911,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I never figured out "who done it" until the very end.
Barbara E. Brewer
An enjoyable read that kept me guessing ‘whodunnit’ until the very end.
Jill Paterson
I really love Georgette Heyer's mysteries and this is one of her best.
Irene

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Barbara E. Brewer on April 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
To my way of thinking this is Georgette Heyers best mystery. I am not usually a mystery reader but I like her gothic romances and I thought I would try this one. She has such a good sense of humor and this book did not disappoint me. I have since read all of her mysterys that I could find. In this one Heyer takes one crabby bachelor uncle, one sweetness and light uncle, an actress niece and her long-haired playwrite, a sarcastic nephew and his blond bimbo fiance, one friend of the family, one business partner, and mixes them with a Christmas party. Out comes an impossible murder. I never figured out "who done it" until the very end. Heyers Inspector Hemingway is a great character and I would know him in a minute if I met him. Georgette Heyer at her best, it's well worth the reading if you can find it.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L. Blatt on May 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had always thought of Georgette Heyer as an author of romances, a genre which doesn't particularly appeal to me, but I wasn't aware until recently of her excellent mysteries. "Envious Casca" is considered one of her best. A disastrous house party gathers at an English country mansion to celebrate Christmas. There's a tyrannical head-of-family, his over-optimistic, ex-actor brother, some other bad-tempered relatives, a gold-digging fiancee, an aspiring playwright, a possibly shady business partner, a suspicious butler - all stereotypical characters, in fact, who are - as you might expect - at each other's throat. But beware. The stereotypes are made to be shattered and to deceive the reader, and Ms. Heyer neatly skewers the stereotypes. The murder, when it happens, is a classic locked room crime that simply could not have happened. Ms. Heyer provides legitimate (if well-hidden) clues while giving us an ingenious and exciting mystery, written with a great deal of with and humor. It's a delightful book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Caroline on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is one of Miss Heyer's funniest, wittiest and downright clever mysteries. Yet it also is one of those endings that when all is revealed and the culprit unmasked we are so frustrated with ourselves because, "Of Course!!! I should have guessed!"
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Collin Garbarino VINE VOICE on April 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
A murder has occurred at a Christmas party in an old English manor house. Most of the people at the party seemed to have a reason to kill the victim, and how the murder was committed baffles everyone (except the murderer of course).

This book is the first book that I've read by Georgette Heyer. It's a solid whodunit, leaving clues along the way, allowing the reader to try to guess the culprit, and revealing the murderer at the end. I was a little disappointed because I managed to put all the clues together very early in the book; I wanted more suspense. Even so, the ending was very satisfying.

The reason I give this book only three stars, instead of four or five, is that I just really didn't like any of the characters. They were all so quarrelsome and disagreeable. Of course having a cast of quarrelsome and disagreeable characters makes it easier to plot a murder, but as a reader, I really didn't care about any of the people in the book. The entire book is sneer and sarcastic remark and violent outburst followed by more of the same. A bit tiresome, in my opinion. This is one of those books where you finish it for the sake of the mystery, not for the sake of the characters. But as I said, a solid whodunit.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kelli on December 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
This was a really good book. The mystery had me stumped for a long time, but made perfect sense at the end. I hate it when the secret killer's movements and motive are just tacked on at the end as a twist. The characters were funny and Detective Hemingway was in his prime. Also, I read the book at Christmas and it takes place at a Christmas party gone bad, which made my own family problems seem much funnier.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Hill on January 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with the reviews that said that it was easy to figure out who did it and why. Inspector Hemingway revealed who did it long before the book was over. The mystery in this one was HOW. And that I never would have been able to guess. It was quite brilliant.

Her characters were perfectly disagreeable and snarky, but with cause, so I enjoyed it. I've been reading her mystery novels in chronological order and this was one of my favorites so far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chapati VINE VOICE on December 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Plot Summary:
A Christmas house party is arranged at a wealthy old bachelor's house against his wishes. Present are his brother and sister-in-law, his nephew and niece, a playwright, a ditzy beauty, a kind Plain Jane and a business partner. These personalities collide, however, and the house party is more explosive than congenial. Then the host is found dead in a locked room, and suddenly, everyone is a suspect. Inspector Hemingway must sort through the lies and the politics to determine who killed the wealthy host. And what does The Life of the Empress Catherine have to do with everything?

My Thoughts:
For some reason, the characters that populate Heyer's contemporary mysteries are not nearly as easy to empathize with as those in her historical novels. The mysteries are usually populated with rude and unkind people, most of whom dislike each other and the person who was killed. I don't know why this is the case, and I'll spare you all my psychological theories :-) However, even with generally unlikable characters, Georgette Heyer can write a very good story.

This one is no exception. Even though most of the characters were unlikable, their conversations were hilarious. There were so many snide remarks, so many one-off insults, and so many ridiculously funny situations (particularly the scene in which the playwright shares his play) that it was impossible not to giggle. And the mystery, too, really caught my interest. Though I had an idea of who committed the crime early on in the novel (which is saying a lot, as I never know those things), it was very interesting to see how it happened. While I don't like Inspector Hemingway nearly as much as I like Inspector Hannasyde, this was a great English country home mystery.
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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. Although most famous for her historical novels, she also wrote eleven detective stories. Georgette Heyer died in 1974 at the age of seventy-one.

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