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Behold, Here's Poison (1936)

by Georgette Heyer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspectors Hannasyde and Hemingway (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9013823,277 (3.76)118
Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Meet the Matthews... before the next one dies

It's no ordinary morning at the Poplars??the master is found dead in his bed, and it seems his high blood pressure was not the cause. When an autopsy reveals a sinister poison in his body, it's up to the quietly resourceful Inspector Hannasyde to catch the murderer in time to spare the next victim. But every single member of the quarrelsome Matthews family has a motive and none, of course, has an alibi.

"The ingredients are so well and carefully mixed, the writing is so bright, and the solution so unexpected that the book achieves success and remains one no reader can fail to enjoy."??Manchester Guardian

"A marvelous mélange of malice, murder, mystery, and mirth. Priceless!"??Saturday Review… (more)

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» See also 118 mentions

English (37)  Spanish (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
When Gregory Matthews, patriarch of the Poplars is found dead one morning, imperious Aunt Harriet blames it on the roast duck he ate for supper. After all, she had warned him about his blood pressure. But a post-mortem determines the cause of death as murder by poison. Suspicion falls immediately amongst his bitter, quarrelsome family. Each has a motive; each, opportunity.

It falls to the quietly resourceful Inspector Hannasyde to sift through all the secrets and lies and discover just who killed Gregory Matthews. He faces the deadliest test of his career when members of the wealthy Matthews clan begin to die, one by one. With motives everywhere, it is no easy case for the inspector to solve in time to spare the next victim. Meet the Matthews -- while they last... Gregory, Harriet, Gertrude, Zoe, Guy, Stella and Randall. Hemingway/Hannasyde Book 2 ( )
  Karen74Leigh | Jul 6, 2023 |
Did grumpy old Uncle Gregory die from a stroke, brought on by high blood pressure and over-rich food, or was he poisoned? If the latter, who did the unpleasant deed?

This novel is set in 1930s upper-class England, contemporary fiction of the time. Georgette Heyer's detective stories don't have such clever plotting as Agatha Christie's, but their characterisation is always very well done. This book brings in the intelligent Superintendent Hannasyde and his sidekick, Inspector Hemmingway. The pair are frequently foiled in their investigations, not just by the lack of clues but by the prevarication of Uncle Gregory's family. Most of them had plenty of motivation to bump him off, but insufficient expertise or, indeed, opportunity.

Just when it seems that the crime may never be solved, another one is committed, which confuses everyone still more and causes the domestic staff to give notice. I was pleased that I managed to figure out what had happened to cause the second crime before any of the characters did, but had not guessed the identity of the perpetrator. The ending, when it came, was rather sudden and abrupt, and while it made sense, it didn't give the satisfaction that the final resolution of a Christie book usually does.

Still, as a piece of social history and some nice characterisation, I thought it a good book. Re-reading ten years later, I concentrated more on the people than the crime, and enjoyed it very much.

Latest longer review here: https://suesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2022/10/behold-heres-poison-by-georgette-he... ( )
  SueinCyprus | Oct 10, 2022 |
OK, pretty much all the main characters (except the Scotland Yard men) are unlikable in this one. Totally not ok with the romance in this one, either. Randall had no redeeming qualities and was a rude jerk to everyone, including the cops and Stella, so why the hell should Stella fall for him? ( )
  fernandie | Sep 14, 2022 |
This is a book I should have enjoyed more than I did. The dialog between characters is scathing, often hilarious in a ‘I can’t believe he/she said that out loud’ kind of way, and the murder was clever and the karma both just and tragic. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, so much as I think I might have been better off choosing something else at that moment, with the result that I was impatient with the reading of it. It’s a weird place to be when you’re reading thinking this is good and are we done yet? at the same time.

Heyer’s strong point in writing wasn’t her detectives; Hannasyde is flat and Hemingway needs to switch to decaf, but the rest of the cast of characters are all vividly written, and as I said, the dialog scorching. Mrs. Lupton came on the scene with a speech that had me laughing and wanting to stand and applaud and the rest of the case all have a shot at each other at least once or twice.

The romance, arguably Heyer’s raison d’être, just … failed. To put those two together with so little development or subtlety makes me wonder if Heyer hated these characters and wanted them so suffer. I mean, there’s playful verbal sparring, and there’s what these two were doing. Me? I don’t find anything romantic about being called a little idiot. ( )
  murderbydeath | Apr 12, 2022 |
This was my first introduction to Heyer, and it took me awhile to take to her, but once I did, well, I enjoyed her a lot. The pleasure of these isn't the detective or the mystery, but rather this lovely look at the world in the 1920s & 1930s and how the smart set live. I adore her conversations, the match of wits between people and the intresting things that happen when a detective, an outsider, enteres their midsts to slove the crime. Great fun! ( )
  Colleen5096 | Oct 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Addis, MattNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bartolomé, Gemma MoralTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Birvé, UlliNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dickson, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dou, MiriamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffini, Grazia MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Inomata, MiekoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liebe, Poul IbTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meunier, DeniseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ogani︠a︡na, R. R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reiter, FranziskaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
To
Dr F.C. Ford
Affectionately
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It was going to be a fine day.
Quotations
'Why shouldn't he have a mistress? I am inclined to think that in his place - as your spouse, my dear Aunt Gertrude - I should have several.'
'Is nothing sacred to you, Randall?' asked Mrs Matthews tragically.
'Certainly,' he replied. 'My personal appearance is quite sacred to me. I am shocked at being asked such a question. Surely you must have realised that so perfect a result could not be attained without solemn prayer?'
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Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Meet the Matthews... before the next one dies

It's no ordinary morning at the Poplars??the master is found dead in his bed, and it seems his high blood pressure was not the cause. When an autopsy reveals a sinister poison in his body, it's up to the quietly resourceful Inspector Hannasyde to catch the murderer in time to spare the next victim. But every single member of the quarrelsome Matthews family has a motive and none, of course, has an alibi.

"The ingredients are so well and carefully mixed, the writing is so bright, and the solution so unexpected that the book achieves success and remains one no reader can fail to enjoy."??Manchester Guardian

"A marvelous mélange of malice, murder, mystery, and mirth. Priceless!"??Saturday Review

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