Read Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer Online


Beneath a sky the colour of sapphires and the sinister moonlight, a gentleman in evening dress is discovered slumped in the stocks on the village green - he is dead. Superintendent Hannasyde's consummate powers of detection and solicitor Giles Carrington's amateur sleuthing are tested to their limits as they grapple with the Vereker family - a group of outrageously eccentrBeneath a sky the colour of sapphires and the sinister moonlight, a gentleman in evening dress is discovered slumped in the stocks on the village green - he is dead. Superintendent Hannasyde's consummate powers of detection and solicitor Giles Carrington's amateur sleuthing are tested to their limits as they grapple with the Vereker family - a group of outrageously eccentric and corrupt suspects....

Title : Death in the Stocks
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781402217975
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 314 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Death in the Stocks Reviews

  • Susan
    2019-05-21 04:55

    This is the first mystery featuring Inspector Hannasyde and is the first Georgette Heyer mystery that I have read. It begins with a very unusual murder – Mr Arnold Vereker, who has a weekend cottage in the country, is found stabbed to death with his body left propped in the stocks of Ashleigh Green. As the story unfolds, we find that Mr Vereker was a wealthy man, who was disliked by his younger half sister and brother. Antonia was engaged to a man that Mr Vereker disapproved of; while her artist brother Kenneth is in debt, and wants to marry the beautiful Violet Williams, who makes no secret of her desire for a good life. Both Kenneth and Antonia treat the matter of Mr Vereker’s murder flippantly, to the despair of both Inspector Hannasyde and their, considerably more sensible, cousin Giles Carrington. This mystery has a relatively small amount of possible suspects and a lot of humorous conversations between the characters as to who could be guilty. The characters are eccentric, rather than unlikeable, but it is easy to see how the generation divide leads to misunderstanding. I liked this enough to want to read more by Heyer, with a fun storyline, some good plot twists and turns and a likeable amateur sleuth in Giles to aid the Inspector.

  • Dfordoom
    2019-04-27 04:42

    Georgette Heyer is best remembered today as having been virtually the inventor of the Regency Romance genre but she also wrote a dozen or so detective novels. Her fourth detective novel was Death in the Stocks, published in 1935.A man is found stabbed to death in the middle of the night, in the stocks in the village square. His name is Arnold Vereker. Superintendent Hannasyde will face a number of problems in solving this case, not the least of them being that everybody who knew Arnold Vereker had an excellent motive for wanting to murder him. Even worse, not one of the suspects has an alibi.An even bigger problem will be the Vereker family. To say they are eccentrics is putting it mildly. Both Arnold’s half-sister Antonia and his half-brother Kenneth are not only delighted he is dead, they are absolutely thrilled to be considered suspects. Antonia is engaged to be married to Rudolph Mesurier, who also had a very strong motive for killing Arnold. There are several other suspects and the case is already shaping up as a major challenge when yet another suspect arrives on the scene, and this new suspect also has no alibi!Despite the best efforts of their cousin Giles Carrington who is acting as their solicitor Antonia and Kenneth insist on making no serious effort to clear themselves being far too busy sorting out their complicated love lives.Heyer’s husband apparently wrote the plot outlines for her mystery novels while Heyer herself was more interested in the characters. And it’s the characters and the sparkling dialogue that are the strong points of Death in the Stocks. Judged purely on its plotting it’s nothing special. As a witty social comedy though it’s highly successful.An enjoyable and very amusing read.

  • QNPoohBear
    2019-05-17 22:41

    3.5 starsArnold Vereker, a wealthy businessman, is found dead in the stocks in the village of Ashleigh Green, his weekend getaway, and no one much cares. His much younger half-sister Antonia, is the chief suspect, having spent the night alone in her brother's house unexpectedly and she was engaged to Arnold's employee, Rudolph Mesurier, whom Arnold loathed. If Tony didn't do it, surely her brother Kenneth, an eccentric artist did it. He claims he doesn't care about the money except that he's hard up right now. He just wants to go on being a bohemian artist and marry his fiance, Violet Williams. The rest of the family all hate Violet for being a gold digger. Tony's cousin Giles Carrington acts as solicitor and friend to his eccentric cousins and right hand man to the baffled Inspector Hannasyde who is on the case. When an unexpected person shows, another suspect is added to the growing list. Arnold was clearly murdered for his money but which one of them did it? The mystery in this novel is engaging. The mystery is not as obvious as her Regency mystery type plots. I was certain I knew who the murderer was right away and then there were so many red herrings that I only figured it out just before the characters did. It came as a bit of a surprise but the clues were there. I had a hard time putting the book down but managed to make it last two nights. I enjoyed all the twists and turns but this is a very intellectual story and there isn't a lot of action. It's not a traditional murder mystery in that sense. The writing style isn't bad but not as lively as her Regency novels. She inserts some period slang that is just as archaic as her Regency slang but readers familiar with the time period will recognize some of the words. (My favorite is "pimple"). I had no idea there were so many different ways of saying drunk in the 1930s. The contemporary 1930s setting is very much in evidence in this novel. It's a good thing they aren't American subject to Prohibition or the story would be a lot different and lose some of the color that makes it good. The characters are unlikeable at first but they grow on you. Heyer seemed to have a set of stock characters to populate her mysteries and this unloving family is no different from the rest but they're a bit more eccentric and likeable once you get to know them. I did like Tony, being a fellow dog lover, I think we would get along. She's a bit impetuous but she's young. I liked her story though it seemed a little out of place. Her fiance Rudolph is not as likeable. He's weak and cowardly. He's hiding secrets but it quick to spill when confronted and is the most bizarre person of that sort I've ever encountered. Kenneth, Tony's brother, is the least likeable of the bunch. He's supposed to be an eccentric artist but I would label him as mad. He's temperamental and has really bad taste in art and women. His fiance Violet seems like a do-gooder but she has hidden depths that her fiance can not see. The other characters think she's a gold digger and that may be, but she's also struggling to get by during the Great Depression and she is engaged to Kenneth, who is not wealthy. I did really like the surprise character (who wasn't much of a surprise to the reader). He/She was charming and added some humor to the story. Giles is a good man but a little on the boring side. He doesn't have a larger-than-life personality like his cousins but I liked him. This is the first of the Inspector Hannasyde mysteries and Inspector Hemingway makes an appearance too. Hannasyde didn't strike me as very bright but he has a wry sense of humor. I liked this mystery the best of the three Heyer mysteries I've read but it doesn't compare with her Regency novels.

  • Gail W
    2019-04-26 22:50

    I liked it. First time reading this author, can't believe I had never heard of her even though she wrote in the 30's. As I read, I kept thinking it would have made a great black and white movie, in the syle of the My Man Godfrey, etc.

  • Judy
    2019-04-30 23:07

    Georgette Heyer is a writer I keep meaning to read more of. In the past I've enjoyed a couple of her Regency romances, most recently listening to one of the audiobooks read by Richard Armitage, but this is the first time I've tried one of her mysteries.The style of writing seems quite similar to that of her Regency novels, with a lot of witty dialogue and larger-than-life characters. The story is also laced with romance. Although this is the first in the Inspector Hannasyde series, I'd have to say that quiet professional Hannasyde is totally overshadowed by glamorous amateur detective Giles Carrington, who has hints of Wimsey or Campion about him.As the title suggests, the book starts with a man's body being found in the stocks on a village green. The victim, Arnold Vereker, soon turns out to have been a thoroughly unpopular character, who had a weekend cottage nearby. The action soon moves to London, where Arnold's younger half-sister and brother, Antonia 'Tony' and Kenneth live in Bohemian splendour - Kenneth is an artist who has cultivated amazing rudeness as his normal mode of conversation. Solicitor Giles is their cousin and struggles to keep them out of trouble. Tony and Kenneth are both awful, but I rather loved to hate them. There aren't very many suspects to choose from, but the mystery is still puzzling, with several twists to keep readers guessing.One character who I do find a bit much is Tony and Kenneth's housekeeper, always referred to just as 'Murgatroyd' - she is something of a sub-Dickensian eccentric. But in general I enjoyed this a lot and will look forward to reading more Heyer mysteries.

  • Kim
    2019-05-12 00:55

    Yes, well, it's fair to say that Georgette Heyer was not the world's best mystery writer and the plotting in this one is not particularly strong. (I say this because I guessed the culprit early in the piece. It was just a process of elimination, as there weren't that many suspects to choose from!) But I still enjoyed listening to the audiobook of this novel. Most of the characters are unlikeable, but they are quite funny. I loved their in-depth discussions about how they could have been the murderer. I also loved Roger: he reminded me of one of the stock characters in Georgette Heyer's Regency romances: the disreputable but entertaining younger brother. I don't think Heyer's mysteries are anything like as good as her Regency romances, but for someone who grew up reading and loving those romances - or for someone with an interest in period mysteries - they still make rewarding reading.

  • Andrea
    2019-05-20 04:42

    This reminds me a little of Marsh's Surfeit of Lampreys, with the introduction of a family not only indulging in the brittle gaiety of the time, but added a level of eccentricity of their own - though in this case the eccentricity mainly involves being openly rude to their relatives and acquaintances.The mystery is one of those where you can spot your murderer by considering main characters who no-one suspects of the murder (even though there's a logical motive for that person.A reasonable story, but not one of the more compelling of Heyer's mysteries.

  • Mela
    2019-05-02 04:55

    I am positively surprised.I had had many doubts before I started to read it. I am not much a fan of mystery books. I always suspect that either the truth would be too obvious (consequently boring) or a writer would be unfair against a reader concealing important facts to make a story probably more engaging (but it makes me feel cheated).I have found here a very entertaining book. All characters were suspects (at least to me). One couldn't be sure who was a murderer, almost to the end. I suspected this person but it didn't disturb my pleasure in reading.It was very witty - like one would expect from Heyer. In my opinion it was the best advantage of the novel. Together with the mystery and well written characters it made me want to read page after page.There was a love story in the background, it was very obvious from the beginning. One could see Heyer's [heroine vs. hero] relationship. Although we were here not in Regency times it was the same (loved by me) relationship. So, in spite of the fact that you will find here only one romantic scene and a few meaningful glances, if you are a fan of Heyer's romances you will feel 'love in the air'.

  • Abbey
    2019-05-05 23:09

    1935, #1 Inspector Hannasyde, London; nasty (wealthy) older brother who holds the purse strings in an odd family gets himself messily murdered whilst on a weekend get-away. Comfortable, if a bit bland, genteel mystery, well-crafted and still enjoyable although showing its age rather a lot. The Vereker family is what we now-a-days call a "blended" one - the (deceased) patriarch had several wives - sequentially - and there are now four adult half-siblings, most of whom dislike each other extremely. As the eldest half-brother, Arnold holds the purse strings and manages the family company, and seems to be doing quite well at it; the younger siblings are due to get rather nice trust funds when they turn 25. But they're in need of money far sooner than this, as there are romances and possible marriages in the picture, plus Arnold is the sort of person you simply love to hate. The Perfect Victim, in fact. So when, early in this novel, he is found dead in a peculiar place, the suspects are many, and the stage is set for a fairly typical romantic mystery of the period. Heyer doesn't disappoint in this 80-year-old novel, throwing in lots of expected bits, but also including a keen sense of humor and a nicely snappy attitude as well. It's slow-moving, but fairly plotted, and the snippy interactions between the siblings and/or other relatives and/or the police are quite entertaining. The only drawback for me was the extremely soft/sweet ending, but it doesn't spoil the read, it's just that the overall story doesn't satisfy as well as it might have. Bottom line: Even though this is rather full of tropes and stereotypcial behavior for mystery novels of the period (mid-1930s), the writing is rather good, the plot decent, the characterizations rather fun. A comfortable, and comforting, read.

  • Katherine Clark
    2019-04-27 06:43

    Definitely the best of the bunch so far. I am now 1/3 through Heyer's oevre. OK, some interesting observations. This is the first in her Superintendent Hannasyde mysteries, yet he didn't solve the crime, an amateur did. I wonder if she was uncertain about whether to make this a series or not? Also, while we had a romance that ends in marriage at the end, as in all the other books, at least this time the two people knew each other. Finally, there were some really good chapters here. I mean in particular, chs. 13 and 14 which were relatively absurd. They reminded me of Michael Innes, but more amusing. That might be something worth looking at. The fact that she was able to maintain the absurdity for complete chapters is quite impressive. The mystery itself was blech, but the absurdity is worth looking at.Final thought: these books are also interesting for what they show us about the time period. In particular, each book talks about electrical plants, and how these were set up for individual restaurants and hotels. And businesses would hire someone to run the plant. Electricity, even in the 30s in England was still relatively new, as was using a phone. These little tidbits are quite fun.

  • Carol Clouds ꧁꧂
    2019-05-01 02:06

    This is the cover picture of the copy I read but it was a cheap edition - small font, closely spaced, only 174 pages. Through no fault of GH's, this made it quite a tiring read.On to my review! This was my favourite of GH's mysteries when I first read it, & all these years later it still is. I probably wouldn't like Kenneth much in real life (in fact I probably wouldn't be able to stand him) but the dialogue between him & his sister as they argue that they could each of them have been the murderer just crackles with wit. Only a writer as gifted as GH could have made their callousness appealing!There is one general criticism I have of GH's mysteries (view spoiler)[ there are always some characters, usually the romantic interests that the reader just knows won't be the murderer. However, the disreputable, but likeable Roger becoming a victim is unusual. But allcharacters in a Christie are fair game & this is one of the reasons why GH will never be considered as good a murder mystery writer as her.(hide spoiler)]My only other criticisms are that the solution is quite poorly written. & there isn't enough Hemingway!But just put your brain in neutral & enjoy!

  • Leslie
    2019-05-12 04:01

    The first of the Hannasyde/Hemingway books -- it doesn't have enough of Sergeant Hemingway for my tastes :(As for the plot, Heyer gives the reader pointers to who is the guilty party but she holds back the final proofs (a bit 'unfair' to my mind). I did enjoy the Vereker siblings' squabbles!

  • William
    2019-05-13 04:55

    Once again I have no path forward in reviewing a new mystery writer but to compare her to Agatha Christie. I had read from others that they sometimes read Heyer and forgot that they weren't reading Christie. I'm not certain I can agree entirely, but it's easier to see the comparison here than with Sayers, Tey, or Rinehart. The narrative is almost completely focused on the crime, the cast of suspects is sizeable but closed, and the length is roughly that of a Christie.The biggest difference comes in the form of the characters. The detective, usually a strong presence in a Christie, plays a fairly minor role. Instead, the characters are encouraged to palaver amongst themselves. Occasionally, this means affairs can drag a bit, but on the whole, it is the single place where Heyer bests Christie. In fact, the characters are the reason to pick the book up in the first place. Christie occasionally throws out a wry piece of dialogue, and in her best books, the characters come to life, but on average, her characters are simply part of a puzzle- which is fine; I come to a Christie for the puzzle. In Heyer's book, the characters get a great deal more time to develop, and in them, the consummate mystery reader will find plenty of enjoyment- I'll say not a word more on the subject so as not to spoil the enjoyment of the book's chief pleasure.The mystery itself is very passable, and I was only certain that I had solved it some 20-30 pages before the end. The mystery is tight enough- or becomes so, that I got that work-things-out puzzle feeling necessary to a solid whodunnit. Interestingly enough, Heyer's husband actually created the puzzle part of Heyer's books and then Heyer, who wrote mostly regency romance, took on the task of fleshing out the characters and turning the whole thing into a novel. Somehow, it works. Perhaps necessarily, it works. It is rare to find in the same brain the capacity for writing strong, believable characters paired with a mind for clever plotting. But this husband-wife team found a workaround, and I'm eager to see what else they have in store.

  • Damaskcat
    2019-05-20 22:49

    A man is found dead sitting in the village stocks by a patrolling policeman one moonlit night. He has been stabbed. Superintendent Hannasyde is called in from Scotland Yard and soon finds that there are plenty of suspects for Andrew Vereker's murder. His half brother and sister - Antonia and Kenneth - seem not to care that he is dead and are almost happy to be cast as first murderer. The dead man had had a row with his company's accountant - engaged to Antonia - because of the man's thefts from the company. He had sacked his chauffer hours before the murder providing another suspect and who was that down at heel man who paid a visit to him hours before he was found dead?This is a well written crime novel from the Golden Age of British crime writing. It is well plotted and certainly kept me guessing for most of the story. The Verekers are not particularly likeable characters to modern readers but they do conjure up the atmosphere of the era in which the book was written. The book is still worth reading today for its superb plotting and touches of humour as well as its well drawn characters - both likeable and not so likeable. Hannasyde himself is a interesting person - laid back - not easily riled but seeing more than his suspects actually want him to see.

  • Jan C
    2019-04-25 05:47

    My first experience with Georgette Heyer. I will probably read more of her mysteries with Inspector Hannyside. I probably will never read her Regency books - not really up my alley.This was okay. When I was about 80% through when I suddenly woke up and said to myself - hey, wait a minute, it has to be so-and-so. And, lo and behold, it was.A not very well liked man is found dead in the stocks near his country place. A half-sister is found the next morning in the house. So there's her. The police take her back to London and they find that she lives at her brother's studio along with her brother and their general factotum. Other hangers on include his fiancee, a former girlfriend (or perhaps a hopeful future girlfriend) and the sister's fiance. None of whom particularly want to help the inspector. In addition, there is a cousin who doubles as their lawyer. Thus agreeing with Agatha Christie's theory about the reader being able to hold in mind five or fewer suspects.

  • Sandra
    2019-04-26 01:45

    Reseña en el blog: es mi primera novela de Georgette Heyes, y esperaba más por los comentarios leídos sobre ella, aunque también he leído que la novela romántica e histórica es su fuerte y no demasiado las de este género, pero estaba curiosa por leer algo escrito por ella.Esta fue una novela que me costó enganchar en principio, no tanto por su trama, finalmente el asesinato pasar a ser algo secundario con relación a los personajes principales Antonia y Kenneth y es por estos mismos que se me hizo algo lenta ya que resultaron ser para mí algo insoportables la mayoría de las veces, pero la historia mejora acercándose casi a su desenlace, no puedo decir que me gustó muchísimo, pero tampoco que es una mala historia o que me aburrió demasiado. Es como un término medio, tiene sus momentos buenos y otros algo lentos debido principalmente a los protagonistas, estos dos hermanos que no tienen fortuna propia pero viven y forman parte de la high society, es el fallecido Arnold, su hermano mayor dueño de una gran fortuna quien les procuraba la buena vida que llevan. Pero cuando comienza la novela se descubre que este ha sido asesinado y son los principales sospechosos.Antonia o Tony es bastante infantil, impetuosa y carece de sentido práctico, se deja llevar por los impulsos.Su novio Rudolph carece de escrúpulos, mentiroso y estafaba a su jefe (hermano mayor de Tony y que fuera asesinado en el cepo).Kenneth es temperamental, un seudo artista, al que le gusta el arte y pretende ser un famoso pintor a pesar que no tiene mucho talento, le gustan las mujeres bellas.Su prometida Violet es una mujer bella aunque algo vulgar y arribista, pero aun así parece ser una mujer sensata e inteligente, no tiene el estatus social de los Vereker pero ha logrado conquistar a Kenneth y pretende casarse con élGiles, Abogado y primo de los Vereker, se ocupa de los asuntos legales de los hermanos. Es un tipo inteligente, un par de años mayor que sus primos, es observador, maduro, serio pero no carente de sentido del humor, centrado, no es para nada un aventurero ni excéntrico, es el más “normal” dentro de la familia.Leslie, una amiga de Tony que vive enamorada de Kenneth y pareciera que es su alma gemela, solo que este está obnubilado por la ordinaria belleza de Violet y aunque pareciera tenerle cariño tampoco alienta demasiado la admiración de ella por él.El inspector Hannasyde es el encargado de llevar a cabo la investigación, un policía sin la carga intelectual ni las células grises al nivel de Poirot, hace bien su trabajo basado en su instinto, es directo y tiene un cierto sentido del humor… no es quien descubre al culpable, dentro de la trama tiene un papel menor siendo que podría haber sido más relevante.Tony y Kenneth, son muy parecidos, ambos resultan ser bastante desagradables, un poco groseros, insensibles y algo insoportables, niños mimados que no son considerados ni educados con quienes están a su alrededor, son de sobremanera superficiales y algo excéntricos. Con tales personajes la trama se hace un poco lenta a veces, sobre todo porque no se toman nada en serio en principio, entrampan la investigación, mienten de vez en cuando. No hay mucha acción pero si muchos diálogos entre los personajes, a veces sus conversaciones resultan algo reiterativas, sobre todo cuando intentan parecer culpables y juegan a lanzar teorías de cómo se cometió el crimen y en como habrían perpetrado ellos mismos el asesinato. Puede resultar divertida esta superficialidad pero a veces suele tornarse algo pesada dentro de la trama.La trama se desarrolla lentamente con relación al crimen y la policía poco puede hacer ante estos sospechosos algo insurrectos porque no obedecen a ley y mucho menos le temen, mienten, entregan pistas falsas por lo que la investigación poco avanza, además que la trama se desarrolla en los años ’30 donde no existía CSI, solo la sagacidad de la policía.Hay un segundo asesinato que me tomó un poco por sopresa, pero cuando una sospecha quien es el culpable, entonces este asesinato pasa a ser “lógico” dentro del let motiv para ambos asesinatos.El crimen o su ejecución en sí pareciera que es un tema secundario dentro de la trama, porque como dije hasta el detective cumple una función discreta, y lo más importante de la historia parecen ser sus personajes, sus personalidades y sus caracteres.El desenlace finalmente me resultó predecible porque mi sospechoso favorito era el culpable y también predecible en cuanto a la subtrama, la de carácter romántico que está sutilmente contada.Finalmente Tony y Kenneth logran ser un poco mas amables hacia el final y un poco mas agradables (solo un poco).La novela si bien me pareció lenta en principio, se acomoda y mejora desde la mitad hasta el desenlace donde ocurren más hechos y descubrimiento, hay un poco más de acción, finalmente termina entreteniendo. Por ahora no más misterios con Georgette Heyes, pero si una novela histórico romántica que está en mis pendientes.

  • Aspasia
    2019-04-25 06:10

    Es el primer libro que leo de Georgette Heyer y me ha gustado. Había leído algunos comentarios que me hicieron esperar una gran novela de misterior pero me ha parecido más bien que el asesinato por resolver es una excusa para retratar a los miembros de la familia Vereker.Sinceramente la mayoría de los protagonistas exceptuando a Giles Carrington y al inspector Hannasyde me han parecido muy extravagantes: seguros de si mismos hasta el punto de creerse capaces de engañar a la policía, rebeldes con los convencionalismos pero con un código de conducta propio y variable. No he conectado mucho con ellos. Ni siquiera con Giles o el inspector.Supongo que la intención de la autora era retratar las miserias del alma humana y ciertas hipocresías sociales. La acción parecen llevarla Kenneth y su hermana Antonia acompañados por Violet (prometida de Kenneth), Leslie (enamorada de Kenneth), Rudolph (prometido de Antonia) y la niñera de Kenneth y Antonia. Son constantes las teorías lanzadas por los protagonistas que páginas más tardes son desmontadas por pruebas recientes o coartadas confirmadas o desmentidas. La sensación que tenemos al terminar de leer la novela puede ser de confusión puesto que la sorpresa al descubrir quién es el asesino de Arnold Vereker resulta un tanto precipitada, al menos para mi.Como siempre insisto que estas son mis impresiones después de leer esta novela. La primera de la autora. Quizás en siguientes lecturas tenga otra visión sobre los recursos utilizados por G. Heyer. No por ello dejaría, ni dejaré, de recomendar su lectura porque es una novela de misterio que se lee de forma ágil y denota un muy buena capacidad para crear personajes.

  • Paraphrodite
    2019-04-28 07:04

    3.5 stars.I will be forever grateful to my high school librarian who introduced me to the world of Georgette Heyer. I have read all of her regency romances but have never read these mysteries set in the 1930s, a somewhat awkward era (not quite contemporary and not old enough to be historical). However, I was pleasantly surprised. The narrator Robbie MacNab did an adequate job but the story is filled with her trademark zany conversations and irrelevant characters that probably needed to be acted out a bit more. The mystery is almost secondary and I thought the culprit quite easy to spot. Hannasyde didn't take as pivotal a role as I would have expected in the denouement. I'll be interested to see whether his role is expanded in the next book. (BTW - I had to look up to find out what Stocks were!!)

  • Cameron Trost
    2019-05-04 04:58

    2.5 stars for this one. This mystery starts with a lot of promise, with the atmosphere and intrigue created in the first chapter being perfect. A body is discovered in the old village stocks by a policeman on his way home from his nightly rounds. As the investigation unfolds, we meet the horrid family of the victim. The characterisation is excellent with a dramatis personae of selfish and calculating rich relatives. But the story becomes more of a soap opera than a mystery as it unfolds. There is plenty of gossip and speculation, and a couple of pleasing twists. Eventually, one of the numerous suspects ends up being the murderer. The problem is that this mystery, like so many others, isn't really designed for the mystery fan who likes to work in parallel with the detective to solve the crime. The story is more of an entertaining family drama than a puzzle. I found the denouement a bit of a let-down. That said, as a work of dramatic fiction rather than a mystery, it would probably deserve at least a solid three stars.

  • John Frankham
    2019-05-13 07:08

    A pretty good whodunnit from the 13 (?) Georgette Heyer whodunnits. I think I found the core of the book - the vituperative banter among members of the dead man's family and their entourage - more unlikeable than amusing, although it was among these relationships that the key to the mystery lay. Good fun.The GR blurb:'Beneath a sky the colour of sapphires and the sinister moonlight, a gentleman in evening dress is discovered slumped in the stocks on the village green - he is dead. Superintendent Hannasyde's consummate powers of detection and solicitor Giles Carrington's amateur sleuthing are tested to their limits as they grapple with the Vereker family - a group of outrageously eccentric and corrupt suspects.'

  • 4cats
    2019-04-26 04:46

    Death in the Stocks is the first of the Inspector Hannayside novels, a man is found dead in stocks and his family don't seem bothered by this event, in fact they are rather pleased, which makes things difficult for Hannayside to discover who the murderer is. Crime from the Golden Age, full of wit which makes it an unusual crime series to read.

  • Robyn
    2019-05-14 02:06

    Unlimited free trial | This was too many pages spent with truly awful characters, for what I felt was an obvious solution, to an unimaginative murder, solved not by the Inspector that this series is named for. | If you edited out just half of the unnecessary unpleasantness of the Verekers, this book would be about 150 pages. I know I was supposed to be hoping for a particular romance, I suspect I was supposed to be hoping for another, but I thought all those people were terrible and didn't deserve any happiness. It was not humorous at any level, if that was the intent. Why even make this an Inspector Hannasyde novel if he's not going to solve the case until the dull amateur steps in at the last second and figures it out in one night, handing him the solution on a silver platter?

  • Barbara
    2019-05-04 23:08

    I'm a huge fan of GH's regencies and historicals, - and remembered with some affection the whodunnits which I hadn't read for years. So I got Death in the Stocks on Kindle, execting a fun read.I pretty much hated it - or rather I hated almost every single character - except Hannasyde and I was disappointed in his lack of perspicacity .I expected much play on class and class attitudes and am familiar with them from the Regencies, but maybe because of the more modern setting , instead of amusing, it really grated. Unpleasant , mocking, smart-arse young people finding it utterly hilarious to mislead and delay and sneer at all and everybody they imagined to be less than their equals.For instance in the opening pages Miss Antonia ( called Tony, of course) mocks a woman and calls her a wet hen for being upset when Miss Tony's bull terrier tears the woman's dog apart. We are invited to be amused at Miss having to wash 'retriever-blood" off her skirt.Then the continual sneering and name calling of the woman Master Kenneth is engaged to - he openly calls her vulger, commonplace and so on but her beauty is such that he intends to marry her anyway. So he can paint her apparently. Right.The police, are routinely spoken of by the gentry as if they were not only stupid, but virtually subhuman , and all of them appear to think the merely denying something, or even just refusing as in " I simply can't disclose that Superintendant" is enough to stop anyone taking it any further , indeed they are outraged if they do. " I tell you it wasn't my car , so if some sleepy bobby imagines he saw it ( and,incidentally, took down and reported the reg. no.) then it's his word against mine isnt it and THAT won't get very far". All this, mind you, in a double murder enquiryI wasn't surprised at who the murdererer turned out to be - not because I'm good at that - but because h/she was so vilified by everyone. Frankly, I thought s/he was the most interesting person there.Dunno if I'll read any more if these, I prefer to keep my admiration for GH's lovely light clever touch with heroes heroines and villains in the Regency mode intact.Well, since I wrote this I have read more - and enjoyed them , having calmed down a bit . Before anyone tells me how authentic the class based stuff is - I know, I am English, so say no more . I know GH was reflecting the attitudes of her class and time, but still.... stillll ..

  • Abby Miller
    2019-05-07 22:41

    Slow start...I need to read this for book club, and a number of friends adore Georgette Heyer...but for me, I never could get past the first few pages....Wish me luck.Finished! Finally...I still seem to be missing whatever it is that makes Ms. Heyer as beloved an author as she is... The mystery was so-so, and the characters I couldn't really connect with, and the one that I had just a modicum of sympathy for, turns out to be the perp...go figure. Humor? I couldn't find it, but I couldn't find it in her regency romances either. Maybe it is something genetic...What I did find with this book, is that it was a wonderful window on past era. Throughout it, I kept on imagining the automoblies, the fashions, and just the mannerisms of life that are gone forever. Even the style the book is written in is now considered antiquated, however I could just see this story being picked up by the BBC. Perhaps then, with a visual reference I could understand just what all the fuss is about.

  • Ladiibbug
    2019-04-27 02:56

    #1 Superintendent Hannasyde series - Mystery3.5 starsAndrew Vereker, a man hated by nearly everyone, is found murdered in the middle of the night in a small village. He's in evening dress, his feet in the stocks on the village green.The Superintendent discovers the dead man's family members are eccentric and odd. Many, including the family members, are likely suspects.The characters' eccentricities and dialog are entertaining. The list of those with good motives for murder grows quickly, as secrets are uncovered. I liked the surprises, and continuing new clues that kept me guessing until the final pages.

  • Becky
    2019-05-06 23:04

    Death in the Stocks may just be my favorite Georgette Heyer mystery so far. I really enjoyed Why Shoot A Butler, and, Envious Casca had its great moments. But. Death in the Stocks was so enjoyable throughout. Some murder mysteries take too long to introduce the corpse, that is NOT the case in Death in the Stocks! Readers get a chance to know all the suspects and work alongside the detectives in solving the mystery. Of course, not all the characters were lovely people that you'd want to spend time with. But were they CHARACTERS, they were! And sometimes that is just what I need in a good book!!! My favorite characters were Giles Carrington and Inspector Hannasyde.

  • Anna Huber
    2019-05-11 06:56

    I love Georgette Heyer - and enjoy reading her mysteries as well as her Regency romances and historicals. This, one of her mysteries, was a solid read. The characters were thoroughly interesting, even if they weren't always likeable, and their biting wit hilarious. I had figured out who the killer was by a quarter of the way through the book, but that did not take away from my enjoyment. I received just as much pleasure from reading about the characters and their antics as uncovering the murderer.

  • Laura Verret
    2019-05-18 03:44

    Hats off to Georgette Heyer for this delightfully crafted, ingeniously populated murder mystery. It is the greatest compliment I can give her to say that I feel my life a cheerier thing for having met her Vereker clan. :)This upon discovering that a mysterious unknown might have some involvement in the case."I object!" said Kenneth. "I won't have seedy strangers butting in on a family crime. It lowers the whole tone of the thing, which has, up to now, been highly artistic, and even precious." [pg. 147]:D

  • Teri-K
    2019-05-14 03:48

    Quite a fun story in which the older half-brother with the money is found murdered in the town stocks. Of course suspicion falls on his siblings, especially Kenneth, an artist with a money-hungry fiance. Their sister Antonia is really the focus of the story, as she struggles with her own unsuitable fiance, her difficult brother, their handsome cousin and attorney Giles and assorted friends. I knew who-dunnit but it was great fun watching everything unfold.

  • Julie
    2019-05-21 06:43

    How come cousins marry each other so often in Heyer books? Ok, he's handsome, smart, and charming. You've known him forever. Because you're related! Don't do it! Marry someone else's cousin!Anyway, this was another fun mystery with more snarky and uncompromising characters. And, I figured our who did it before the detective! Yesss!