Envious Casca

by Georgette Heyer

‘I always go to church on Christmas Day,’ replied Maud. ‘And on Sundays, too.’ ‘One had not realised that there were still people who did!’ said Roydon, with the air of one interested in the habits of aborigines. This was felt to be an observation in such bad taste that Mathilda at once offered to accompany Maud, and Stephen – although not going to these lengths – ranged himself on Maud’s side by telling the dramatist to shut up, and get on with his breakfast.

One of her very best mysteries and a Christmas one at that. It is a very clever locked-room murder. Clues to the how and who were there, particularly in the establishment of the alibi. Hemingway was right to figuratively kick himself for not suspecting the killer earlier. Of course, as I have read it several times previously, I knew who the murderer was, so I enjoyed seeing the setup and Heyer’s methods from that perspective. Most of the characters came from Heyer’s big bag of stock stereotypes, which she does so well. Honestly, I think every one of her “types” populate this novel. The two original characters were Joseph and his wife, Maud. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like either one of them. Enjoyed the humor and the little romance as well. I think the last paragraph is one of her best and funniest endings. I won’t include it as it would be a spoiler and wouldn’t make a ton of sense unless you have read the book. **4 out of 5 stars**

August 23, 2018

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