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Publisher's Summary

A holiday party takes on a sinister aspect when the colourful assortment of guests discovers there is a killer in their midst. The owner of the substantial estate, that old Scrooge Nathaniel Herriard, is found stabbed in the back. While the delicate matter of inheritance could be the key to this crime, the real conundrum is how any of the suspects could have entered a locked room to commit the foul deed.
For Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard, the investigation is complicated by the fact that every guest is hiding something, throwing all of their testimonies into question and casting suspicion far and wide.
This clever and daring crime will mystify listeners, although the answer is in plain sight the whole time.
©1941 Georgette Rougier (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"The wittiest of detective writers." ( The Daily Mail)
"Georgette Heyer is second to none in her ability to make detective stories entertaining." ( The Sunday Times)
"Miss Heyer's characters are an abiding delight to me." ( Dorothy L Sayers)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Carol on 12-21-14

Disappointing Peformance of a Really Good Book

For a number of years only two of Georgette Heyer's dozen or so murder mysteries were available on Audible, and those were reissues of weak audiocassette recordings. So I was pleased when the first of these Bolinda productions appeared. But I wasn't keen on the samples of Ulli Birve's narration I listened to, so held off getting any of them.

Enter "Envious Casca," my vote for the best of Heyer's mysteries. "Envious Casca" is an exceptionally clever and well conceived mystery with an unexpected twist, interesting if not particularly lovable characters, and great dialogue full of wry British wit and plenty of humor. And it's set in the midst of a country house "Christmas jollification," so I decided in the spirit of the season to give Ulli a try.

Unfortunately my reservations about the narration turned out to be justified. Although Ms. Birve handles dialogue and character differentiation passably well, she reads narrative prose in a jerky, irritating style--pausing after what seems like every third word and breaking phrases into chunks that decimate the flow of the prose. Worse, she either doesn't recognize the humor in what she's reading or she's simply incapable of anything resembling comic timing or nuance. It's a disservice to what should have been a delightful "old school" mystery.

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26 of 28 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jerri C on 12-20-14

Heyer's Christmas Mystery

This novel was one of Heyer's "modern" works, set during the 1930's about when it was written. Now it has become a period piece. Being an American, I can't speak to how well Ulli Birve pronounces the English of the 1930's, but I love how she captures the personality of the characters. I enjoyed listening to this novel very much, and hope that Ulli continues with her reading of Heyer's mysteries, she has most of them available on Audible now.

This specific book is set during an "old fashioned English Christmas", a setting that has been used by mystery authors from Agatha Christie to Rhys Bowen. I read it most Decembers, and enjoy it. This year, it is pleasant to let Ulli Birve do the reading for me. While there are Heyer novels I enjoy more, this one is a fun title.

I do wish that Audible and Amazon would make more of Heyer's works "wispersync" capable. It is frustrating to own both the Kindle book and the Audible audiobook of the same work and not be able to use wispersync. Not to mention the nice discount pricing on the audiobooks if you already own a Kindle version.

(It would also be nice to have a discount on the Kindle version if you already own the Audible version!! Hint, hint!!)

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Carôle on 12-30-14

Meet the ultimate in 'Locked Door' murder

I used to read Georgette Heyer's mysteries when I was a child. So I'd obviously read this one before, but this was like it was the 1st time. The characters were superbly portrayed by the narrator & all were extremely well written! A beautiful novel for a cosy 'fireside' read, with a twist that you really never see coming.

I'm off to purchase the next one. Well worth the investment.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Janey on 02-24-18

Ruined by awful narration

Yet another audio book ruined by the awful narration. Ms Birve not only uses an Australian accent for the English upper class, but her pronunciation of the English language is mystifying. Paula is pronounced Poller and pince nez pronounced pin snares. The pronunciation prevents one from listening to this book in a relaxed manner because it gets more and more annoying.
As far as the story is concerned. The listener cannot fail to work out who the culprit is by chapter 6, for all the reasons the detective finally gives in the last two chapters.

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