It is no ordinary Christmas at Lexham Manor.
Six holiday guests find themselves the suspects of a murder enquiry when the old Scrooge, Nathaniel Herriad, who owns the substantial estate, is found stabbed in the back.
For Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard, ‘tis the season to find whodunit but it’s a real conundrum how any of the suspects could have entered the locked room to commit this foul deed in the first place.
~ Synopsis from goodreads
This book is one of those typical locked room mysteries where a universally hated character is found fatally stabbed to death within a locked room. Suspects are many, alibis are few, and there are plenty of red herrings and clues strewn about.
Georgette Heyer is more known for her romances than her mysteries and that’s not very surprising. Her mysteries are pedestrian and totally non-mysterious.
Reading Envious Casca, I guessed the killer long before even the murder was committed, so liberally were the hints thrown around. So, yeah, this isn’t a challenging read nor is this a book likely to linger in your memory for very long.
The book is immensely readable though, and I enjoyed it in spite of its quite serious flaws – the non-mysterious mystery, the stereotypical characters, and the hackneyed old as the hills plot.
It was the perfect book to read while on holiday. I didn’t have to concentrate too hard on the plot. Instead I settled down to enjoy the family fights between all the characters. The barbs fly fast and furious and if you are into watching soap-opera style fights, you will enjoy all the fights in this one. Also, while the who aspect of the murder is obvious very early on in the novel, it is the how that’s a bit of a head-scratcher.
Overall, a pleasant, well-written, but totally forgettable read.
Have you read Georgette Heyer’s mysteries? Which mystery of hers do you recommend? I enjoyed this book well enough that I want to read more by her.