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Why Shoot a Butler? by Georgette Heyer

Why Shoot a Butler? (1933)

by Georgette Heyer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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The character and Brittish lawyer, Amberley, is larger than life and is quite rude, but can turn on the charm and be caring if it suits. Someone shot the butler from a neighboring estate, but why? When Amberley stumbles upon the dead butler, a pretty woman is standing near the car and insisting her innocence. Can Amberley trust her? And how did she know anything about this butler, as she is new to the area and only staying temporarily in a cottage outside the village? Many twists and turns make this an interesting mystery. I enjoyed this old English mystery though it got off to a slow start. I will read more of them when I am in the mood for a slower, quieter mystery. ( )
  MichelleConnell | Sep 26, 2018 |
Georgette Heyer is probably best known for being the Queen of Regency Romance, having written a barouche full of witty, clever, meticulously detailed examples of the genre over the years. I've read every one of her Regency capers, many of them more than once and some of them more than twice, but I'd never tried one of her forays into the mystery genre until now.

The first clue that this mystery is not set during the Regency period is that motor car on the book cover. Indeed, we are in 1930s England, where a young barrister, Frank Amberley, happens upon a car containing a dead man one evening after getting lost on a country road. There's a young woman standing next to the car, but Amberley's instincts tell him she isn't the culprit. Who was, and why, fills the rest of the book as Amberley conducts a parallel investigation to the official police inquiry.

The central mystery is solid, with lots of red herrings and twists to keep a reader guessing. And of course there's the obligatory romance subplot, though it's all very low-key until the very end. Heyer proves as adept at writing for her own time as she was at channeling 19th century high society, though with much less baffling slang and minute descriptions of clothes and vehicles. I don't know if I'll ever think of Heyer's mysteries on the same level as her romances, but I'm certainly willing to read more of them. ( )
  rosalita | Sep 21, 2018 |
3.5 stars ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
When Frank Amberley discovers a body in a car with a young woman with a gun beside it, on an untraveled road, he becomes involved in solving the mystery of “Why Shoot a Butler”.
A visit with a Heyer country mystery. Well researched, this story provides a gently humorous look at an earlier life style in England plus a cozy mystery. ( )
  Bettesbooks | Mar 21, 2018 |
"Why Shoot a Butler?" is a mystery by Georgette Heyer, set in the 1920s England. It reminded me a lot of Agatha Christie, only with Heyer's fun twist on words and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A butler is murdered on the side of the road with a young female in the car with him, protesting her innocence. The ending was somewhat predictable, but it was happy, and it made me happy. ( )
  bekkil1977 | Feb 10, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Scott, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The signpost was unhelpful.
After all, why shoot a butler? Where's the point?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Every family has secrets, but the Fountains' are turning deadly…

On a dark night, along a lonely country road, barrister Frank Amberley stops to help a young lady in distress and discovers a sports car with a corpse behind the wheel, dead from a gunshot wound. Shirley Brown protests her innocence, and Amberley believes her -- at least until he gets drawn into the mystery and the clues incriminating the girl begin to add up… The new heir to Norton Manor discovered the difficulty of keeping decent help when the butler got murdered on his night off. But why would anyone shoot a trusted old family retainer?

The bumbling police are well-meaning but completely baffled. Fortunately, barrister turned amateur sleuth Frank Amberley, is as brilliant as he is arrogant. He has a couple of suspects in mind, the nervy young lady discovered at the scene of the crime and the snooping gentleman in the halls of Greythorne, when suddenly there's a second body. In this dramatic tale of upstairs, downstairs and family secrets, Amberley, although he wants to discover the desperate killer, this time he's not sure he wants to know the truth…
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099493721, Paperback)

It is a complete mystery why anyone would choose to murder the trusted old butler of Norton Manor. But, barrister turned amateur detective, Frank Amberley, has a couple of suspects in mind, when suddenly there’s a second body in this dramatic tale of upstairs, downstairs and family secrets.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:30 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A lonely old man is murdered in a quiet country lane, apparently shot as he was driving home. The bullet from the murder weapon penetrated his left lung just below the heart. The only witness to the crime is a pretty young woman with a loaded automatic in her pocket--soon to become the main suspect.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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