Georgette Heyer

The Unfinished Clue

""Another clever mystery from this engaging writer." "


The stabbing of irascible General Sir Arthur Billington-Smith fails to stir up grief in anyone - least of all his family, which is no wonder considering the way he had treated them all during the fateful weekend. He had disinherited his son, humiliated his wife, refused to help his financially stricken nephew and made no secret of his loathing for his son's fiancée, a cabaret dancer. Inspector Harding picks his way through a mass of familial discontent to find the culprit - and find much more besides.

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This is another favourite author I have re-visited and allowed me to read that odd novel that I have been meaning to read for years. 'The Unfinished Clue' is one of Heyer's standalones as there is no Hannasyde or Hemmingway in attendance. However, the setting is the same for many of Heyer's novels, the rambling manor in the country with an army of servants to attend to the guests at some ghastly weekend party which always ends up with murder. The same happens here to the old General who being vile is not much missed when he gets what's coming to him. Cleverly, Heyer has most of her suspects on the patio waiting for lunch (I am amazed these people were not obese back then as they appeared to eat all the time!), with some coming and going, who may or may not be innocent. Heyer, as with many of her books, is sublime at the relationships between people, in particular the huge social gap class issues of the day, which I guess are still around, just not as in your face and with less servants! 'The Unfinished Clue' has a neat little conundrum behind it and is a very clever puzzle. I did guess the murderer, but I have to admit it was more a lucky punt than having deciphered any of Heyer's clues! Heyer is perfect at writing conversations that flow naturally and before you know it you'll be transported back to a hot summer's day in the 1930s. What more could you ask for? Another clever mystery from this engaging writer.

Reviewed By:

Chris Simmons