A Blunt Instrument


When Ernest Fletcher is found bludgeoned to death in his study, everyone is shocked and mystified: Ernest was well liked and respected, so who would want to kill him?

Enter Superintendent Hannasyde who, with consummate skill, begins to uncover the complexities of Fletcher’s life. It seems the real Fletcher was far from the gentleman he pretended to be.

~ Synopsis from goodreads

Georgette Heyer can do no wrong in my book. If I am at literary loose ends, I can always turn to her books for a little pick me up.

That said, I did find A Blunt Instrument was a bit of a chore to read. There are some signs of Heyer’s trademark humor and quick repartee, but very quickly the humor turns repetitive.

The mystery also is a dud. This is probably the quickest I ever guessed the murderer’s identity (almost the very first page of the book). The only thing left was to slog through the rest of the book to have my guess confirmed.

However, the lack of mystery can be forgiven if the rest of the story was bright and sparkling. But a major character in the book was downright annoying. There is a police constable who is prone to quoting bits and pieces of the Bible. At first it was funny and so were the put-downs he receives from the others. But, goodness, there was just too much of it. He’s practically on every page spouting nonsense and before I knew it I was skimming through entire sections of the book.

The bright spark was the rest of the suspects. There are a couple of guilty secrets, a couple of red herrings, and some love complications that make the rest of the book fairly entertaining.

However, that one loose screw of a constable mucked up the entire book. There are pages and pages of Bible spouting that could have been trimmed down, the mystery also could have been a little less obvious.

Still all said and done, Heyer is Heyer and since this was a quick read, I don’t mind the time invested in this book too much. However, it’s not a book I’d jump through hoops recommending either.

  • FictionFan

    I love her Regency romances, but never really found her mystery novels worked for me – in fact, i think I only ever tried a couple and decided to give up. I’d rather re-read Cotillion…

    • Nishita

      @fictionfan:disqus I think you’re right, her mysteries are drab.

  • London Mum

    Hmmmm… I might give this one a miss. I’ve not actually read any Heyer books so I might give them a try seeing as you recommend the others!


    • Nishita

      @london_mum:disqus you should try her romances. Like FictionFan mentioned, try Cotillion. Sparkling!

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