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The Unfinished Clue (Country House Mysteries) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Length: 332 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Sir Arthur Billington-Smith is not a nice person: he is arrogant, opinionated, and abusive. His verbal abuse makes life a constant misery for his hapless wife, Fay. One truly awful weekend when Fay is trying to host a house party, Arthur's son and heir, Geoffrey, brings home Lola de Silva, a Mexican cabaret dancer who is wonderfully obtuse, vastly colorful, and totally unsuitable as a future Lady Billington-Smith. Arthur is absolutely incensed and takes his rage out on everyone. Therefore, when he is found stabbed to death in his study later in the day, all those in the house become suspects. The characters are all rather one-dimensional: a scheming female foreigner, an idiot son, the married couple from hell, and a strong, silent lover. In spite of this, however, multiple red herrings in the plot are cleverly designed to keep the listener guessing until the last chapter. Narrator Clifford Norgate does a very nice job of vocally "typing" each character, so it is easy to visualize the speakers and keep all the suspects separate. The audiocassette is in a flimsy cardboard box and will require sturdier packaging for library circulation. Recommended for larger public libraries where the works of Heyer are popular. Barbara Rhodes, Northeast Texas Lib. Syst., Garland
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"These mid-twentieth century British mysteries amply display Heyer's gift for characterization and plotting (not to mention her wickedly sharp sense of humor), and are sure to please both fans of her romances and classic English mystery buffs." - Word Candy

"[A]worthwhile and classy mystery read..." - The Burton Review

"The mystery was clever, and the world-building and pacing were very good." - Genre Review

"[I] found the mystery in The Unfinished Clue really well-done, with information given at just the right points to keep me guessing and re-guessing until the finale." - The Book Zombie

Product Details

  • File Size: 1262 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 140221796X
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (March 1, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002WWKZM2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,271 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hurray, I've read a GH mystery I really liked ! Having been an avid fan of her Regencies and historicals I have been rather disappointed in my recent aquaintance with her mysteries. Admittedly my first was Death In the Stocks which I cordially detested or rather I detested all the characters so much I could hardly finish it . Still, I persisted and though all I read were better than DITS, I was still a bit disappointed .

But then I got The Unfinished Clue on Kindle and my faith has been restored . A charming and funny 'drawing room comedy' of a mystery, with lots of red herrings and a nice range of County types to choose from. This time, one of the local policemen -and only a sergeant at that - is actually portrayed as intelligent and dignified and not some sort of rural working class joke. He's not the hero of course, that's reserved for Inspector Harding, an erstwhile Balliol-educated lawyer turned policeman and indubitably a gentleman. So that all right then.

There is a good heroine, attractive, clever and amusing and unfazed by bullying. There is a great murder victim , an egregious type anybody could be forgiven for murdering . There is a 'silly ass ' heir, a impecunious near-heir, and Lola de Silva, the heir's utterly persona non grata fianceé. (nb for Regency devotées, don't you think Lola talks like a kind of modern, Jazz age version of Eustacie in The Talisman Ring ? "Me , I have of the talent the most enormous" etc)
And many others .

I thought I understood what the unfinished clue actually was, and I did up to a point , but I couldn't quite place it ,so still got a surprise at the end, always good value in a mystery of this kind .

Other reviewers have said this was not one of her best .. well, no accounting for tastes is there? After all, some people though DITS was !

For me, this and Penhallow are splendid pieces of genre writing .
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Heyer's mysteries are always more memorable for the characters than for the solution. There are suspects galore who hated the dead guy - or at least found him very annoying - and the various motives are more amusing than the identification of the actual culprit.

From the cover :

Sir Arthur Billington-Smith was nobody's idea of the perfect host. In fact he was absolutely frightful. He bullied his wife, grumped at his guests, refused gleefully to help out an indigent friend, and positively blew his stack when his wayward son took up with a nightclub dancer who was definitely N.Q.O.C. (Not Quite Our Class). Is it any wonder that one fine, bright, English June morning Sir Arthur Billington-Smith quite literally became a bloody bore when he was firmly stabbed in the back with a pretty little Chinese dagger? And is it any wonder that dev'lishly attractive Inspector Harding from London thought everyone was guilty?
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Format: Paperback
This is a mystery novel set in Britain around 1934 (which is when it was written). The mystery was clever, and the world-building and pacing were very good.

The author introduces a lot of the characters quite rapidly at the beginning, but it's clear how everyone is related to each other. The characters were all engaging and entertaining. There is a good-natured humor to the book which shows up in the dialogue and in the quirks of the various characters.

There were plenty of clues to this mystery. It's quite possible to guess the who and the why, and yet at the same time you're not likely to guess correctly. (As in, it's the perfect balance of being guessable without being too easy.)

There were two uses of very mild cuss words. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd rate this as good, clean fun.

Genre Reviews
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Format: Paperback
Hearing about Ms. Heyer's mysteries through a recommendation of similar good author on another mystery writer post, I picked up this one at the library. Noticed many reviewers stated this was not one of her best. However, I found it quite a refreshing palate cleanser (as someone said). That is, after reading some of those literary ladies also in the Golden Age, who allow their intellect to both bore and burden you. Really smart authors don't do that. I got right into it with immediate delight at the fun which opened up before me.

While enjoying the initial feast of characters, I began to consider who was going to be the victim. It divided between the purple faced fire eater and Miss Fandango. Oh, is she a treat. I quite liked her. I couldn't do otherwise as she provided such gratification in her every scene. What great stuff she says. What an entertaining attitude. Now, that's a memorable character.

I remembered Ms. Heyer as a Regency romance writer, whom I followed quite a while ago. I then thought mysteries to be tedious and boring mundanely detailed things with no human interest to speak of. Ah, ignorant youth. I could have read this lo these many years ago. I have learned since to fully enjoy mysteries, working my way through various writers' works. Now, Heyer mysteries! This new and vital source of reading enjoyment is a very pleasant and welcome find.

This was good enough. I'm really looking forward to more, and have started searching out her dedicated mystery series.
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