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Georgette Heyer
Why Shoot a Butler?

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I bought this from a charity bookstall a while back. As I had previously read a couple of Georgette Heyer's crime novels and enjoyed them I thought this might put me back into the habit of reading.

I took it on holiday, and indeed I did read some of it every day, but another book might have been a better choice for enjoyment.

It is one of those classic period crime novels, very much in the style of Agatha Christie. However, unlike in an Agatha Christie  I found the clues easy to pick up, and when it came to the final chapter there was little that I had not already figured out, so it seemed to be a long while actually getting to the end.


 It starts with an elderly man (the butler) being found shot in a car on a lonely country road, next to which is standing a distressed young woman with a loaded, but unused, gun in her pocket. The arrogant young man who comes across this scene is a  barrister who likes doing a bit of private sleuthing on the side. He seems to believe the girl's story that she had found the victim already shot, and when reporting the body to the police he omits to mention her presence.

There follows a convoluted story, with a good number of suspects and it isn't such a bad plot. Being written & set in the 1930s it has some very un-PC attitudes, and apart from the heroine (yes, the girl by the car) and a quietly astute elderly woman, the characters are fairly stereotypical of the period - and of course, there is a romantic declaration at the end.

Not a bad read of its type, but I think I have lost my enthusiasm for the type.

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