The second last in my 2011 project of reading all of Georgette Heyer's mysteries, this was a fun read. It's an old-fashioned mystery of the locked room kind, complete with an old house, cantankerous victim, eccentric suspects and plenty of red herrings.
Heyer is not, in my view, the most talented of British Golden Age mystery writers. To my mind, that accolade goes to Dorothy L. Sayers, although a number of other writers of the period also deserve high praise. That said, a Heyer mystery has its attractions. This one, like the others, has lots of style and is easy and undemanding to read. It also has some snappy dialogue and witty one-liners as well as an obligatory romance. While I guessed the identity of the culprit (with luck rather than through a deductive process), I didn't work out how the murder was done until seconds before the big reveal. This was a plus, because there's nothing I hate more in crime fiction than solving the mystery before the detective has come even close to working it out.
I re-read a number of Heyer's romances fairly regularly. They are amongst my favourite comfort reads. While I may not read the mysteries again, I've had lots of fun with them over the past few months. It has been particularly good to tackle this one as a buddy read with my friend Jemidar.
Recommended for Heyer completists and fans of British Golden Age crime fiction. For me this is was a 3-1/2 star read.