Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Envious Casca (1941)

Envious Casca. Georgette Heyer. 1941/2010. Sourcebooks. 396 pages.

Envious Casca is locked-room murder mystery set during the Christmas holidays! Joseph Herriard has taken it upon himself to invite the whole family to his brother's house for Christmas. His brother, Nathaniel, is quite upset by the party, even before it gets properly started! And many of his guests are just as unenthusiastic as he is! The guests include Nathaniel's longtime business partner (Edgar Mottisfont), Nathaniel's niece (Paula) and her guest--a playwright (Willoughby), Nathaniel's nephew (Stephen) and his fiancee (Valerie), and a distant family cousin (Mathilda). Joseph and his wife, Maud, already live with Joseph at his estate, Lexham Manor. It soon becomes apparent to the reader that few of the guests can tolerate one another. Oh, some are better at pretending they can, but, the truth is all the guests are disgruntled for various reasons. (Most of the group HATE Stephen's girlfriend. Most of the group have little interest in hearing Willoughby read his new play aloud; and most definitely they have NO interest in giving him money to produce it!) It is several hours after this (unpleasant) reading that Nathaniel's body is discovered behind locked doors.

I definitely enjoyed this mystery. I enjoyed Heyer's writing and characterization. There were many little things that made me love this one! (For example, Maud and her library book!!!) This was my first introduction to Inspector Hemingway, and I enjoyed meeting him very much! I definitely want to read more in this series. And a locked room mystery can be quite enjoyable.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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