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A moonlit night A sleeping village And an unaccountable murderAn English bobbie returning from night patrol finds a corpse in evening dress locked in the stocks on the village green He identifies the body immediately Andrew Vereker was not a well loved man and narrowing down the suspects is not going to be an easy job The Vereker family are corrupt and eccentric and hardly cooperative It's another case for the resourceful Superintendent Hannasyde who sets off on the trail of a killer so cunning that even his consummate powers of detection are tested to their limits


10 thoughts on “Death in the Stocks

  1. says:

    This is the first mystery featuring Inspector Hannasyde and is the first Georgette Heyer mystery that I have read It begins with a very unusual murder – Mr Arnold Vereker who has a weekend cottage in the country is found stabbed to death with his body left propped in the stocks of Ashleigh Green As the story unfolds we find that Mr Vereker was a wealthy man who was disliked by his younger half sister and brother Antonia was engaged to a man that Mr Vereker disapproved of; while her artist brother Kenneth is in debt and wants to marry the beautiful Violet Williams who makes no secret of her desire for a good life Both Kenneth and Antonia treat the matter of Mr Vereker’s murder flippantly to the despair of both Inspector Hannasyde and their considerably sensible cousin Giles Carrington This mystery has a relatively small amount of possible suspects and a lot of humorous conversations between the characters as to who could be guilty The characters are eccentric rather than unlikeable but it is easy to see how the generation divide leads to misunderstanding I liked this enough to want to read by Heyer with a fun storyline some good plot twists and turns and a likeable amateur sleuth in Giles to aid the Inspector


  2. says:

    This is the latest listen with my daughter on our commute she likes mysteries I like Georgette Heyer It turned out well I think The mystery element of it was a little weak I guessed the murderer and the means they'd be detected pretty early but the characters were strong There's even a romance that didn't suck so that's all good I did notice a real dearth of likeability I suppose that makes sense in a story where you have to have multiple viable suspects to workI kind of hoped we'd see of Giles in future books in the series but that doesn't look to be the case Giles does the bulk of the work and all of the solving in this story with Detective Hannasyde for whom the series is named being almost ancillary to his efforts Hannasyde is competent at least but he does get the wrong bull by the horns in the end and has to be straightened out by Giles It's the start of a series so we'll see if he improves I hope so We already picked up the next for our listeningI'm calling this 3½ stars that I'm rounding up because Toni and Giles were just that funA note about Chaste This isn't a romance so there's no explicit anything Some very minor kissing once Toni dropped the loser and admitted that Giles is awesome


  3. says:

    Georgette Heyer is best remembered today as having been virtually the inventor of the Regency Romance genre but she also wrote a dozen or so detective novels Her fourth detective novel was Death in the Stocks published in 1935A man is found stabbed to death in the middle of the night in the stocks in the village suare His name is Arnold Vereker Superintendent Hannasyde will face a number of problems in solving this case not the least of them being that everybody who knew Arnold Vereker had an excellent motive for wanting to murder him Even worse not one of the suspects has an alibiAn even bigger problem will be the Vereker family To say they are eccentrics is putting it mildly Both Arnold’s half sister Antonia and his half brother Kenneth are not only delighted he is dead they are absolutely thrilled to be considered suspects Antonia is engaged to be married to Rudolph Mesurier who also had a very strong motive for killing Arnold There are several other suspects and the case is already shaping up as a major challenge when yet another suspect arrives on the scene and this new suspect also has no alibiDespite the best efforts of their cousin Giles Carrington who is acting as their solicitor Antonia and Kenneth insist on making no serious effort to clear themselves being far too busy sorting out their complicated love livesHeyer’s husband apparently wrote the plot outlines for her mystery novels while Heyer herself was interested in the characters And it’s the characters and the sparkling dialogue that are the strong points of Death in the Stocks Judged purely on its plotting it’s nothing special As a witty social comedy though it’s highly successfulAn enjoyable and very amusing read


  4. says:

    Though billed as a mystery this book is mostly a serious of long arguments between uppercrust albeit bohemian assholes The Inspector for whom this is supposedly the first book in a series scarcely features and does not solve the crime It's odd It's also got its fair share of racist nattering about dark foreigners while at the same time being highly in favor of cousins marrying This is the type of book that makes one worry about the English upperclass being terribly inbredI got it for free and mostly read it in between splashing around in the ocean and for those purposes it was all right But honestly there's no other reason to read this while inhabiting the same universe in which Dorothy L Sayers exists which whatever else one might rightly say about our universe at the moment fortunately we do


  5. says:

    I was in the mood for this book after having started it sometime last year and really enjoying the first few chapters Unfortunately the first few chapters are the best part of the book but fortunately the rest is uite good too though I've read better The murder in the stocks of Arnold Vereker sparks a series of hilariously convoluted conversations among his eccentric family members who all had motive and opportunity to murder him and all seem eager to show how cleverly they each could have contrived his murder The Verekers were entertaining without being likeable and overall the story was pleasant to follow if a little slow It pretty much consists only of conversations between various people and while the wit level is cranked up to eleven from the beginning the plot was definitely stagnant towards the middle at which point I correctly guessed the culprit and kept on reading puzzled that the detective wasn't adding all the pieces together My favourite part of these mysteries is the cleverness and resourcefulness of the detectives and police which was lacking in Death in the StocksWhile I greatly enjoyed the way Superintendent Hannasyde and Mr Carrignton handled the Verekers I was hoping for a few clues and twists to happen and for them to better manage to corner the suspectsview spoiler The reveal of Miss Williams as the murderess fell incredibly flat because it was only them two talking about it It would have been so much better if they revealed in front of her and everybody else too hide spoiler


  6. says:

    35 starsArnold Vereker a wealthy businessman is found dead in the stocks in the village of Ashleigh Green his weekend getaway and no one much cares His much younger half sister Antonia is the chief suspect having spent the night alone in her brother's house unexpectedly and she was engaged to Arnold's employee Rudolph Mesurier whom Arnold loathed If Tony didn't do it surely her brother Kenneth an eccentric artist did it He claims he doesn't care about the money except that he's hard up right now He just wants to go on being a bohemian artist and marry his fiance Violet Williams The rest of the family all hate Violet for being a gold digger Tony's cousin Giles Carrington acts as solicitor and friend to his eccentric cousins and right hand man to the baffled Inspector Hannasyde who is on the case When an unexpected person shows another suspect is added to the growing list Arnold was clearly murdered for his money but which one of them did it? The mystery in this novel is engaging The mystery is not as obvious as her Regency mystery type plots I was certain I knew who the murderer was right away and then there were so many red herrings that I only figured it out just before the characters did It came as a bit of a surprise but the clues were there I had a hard time putting the book down but managed to make it last two nights I enjoyed all the twists and turns but this is a very intellectual story and there isn't a lot of action It's not a traditional murder mystery in that sense The writing style isn't bad but not as lively as her Regency novels She inserts some period slang that is just as archaic as her Regency slang but readers familiar with the time period will recognize some of the words My favorite is pimple I had no idea there were so many different ways of saying drunk in the 1930s The contemporary 1930s setting is very much in evidence in this novel It's a good thing they aren't American subject to Prohibition or the story would be a lot different and lose some of the color that makes it good The characters are unlikeable at first but they grow on you Heyer seemed to have a set of stock characters to populate her mysteries and this unloving family is no different from the rest but they're a bit eccentric and likeable once you get to know them I did like Tony being a fellow dog lover I think we would get along She's a bit impetuous but she's young I liked her story though it seemed a little out of place Her fiance Rudolph is not as likeable He's weak and cowardly He's hiding secrets but it uick to spill when confronted and is the most bizarre person of that sort I've ever encountered Kenneth Tony's brother is the least likeable of the bunch He's supposed to be an eccentric artist but I would label him as mad He's temperamental and has really bad taste in art and women His fiance Violet seems like a do gooder but she has hidden depths that her fiance can not see The other characters think she's a gold digger and that may be but she's also struggling to get by during the Great Depression and she is engaged to Kenneth who is not wealthy I did really like the surprise character who wasn't much of a surprise to the reader HeShe was charming and added some humor to the story Giles is a good man but a little on the boring side He doesn't have a larger than life personality like his cousins but I liked him This is the first of the Inspector Hannasyde mysteries and Inspector Hemingway makes an appearance too Hannasyde didn't strike me as very bright but he has a wry sense of humor I liked this mystery the best of the three Heyer mysteries I've read but it doesn't compare with her Regency novels


  7. says:

    Georgette Heyer is a writer I keep meaning to read of In the past I've enjoyed a couple of her Regency romances most recently listening to one of the audiobooks read by Richard Armitage but this is the first time I've tried one of her mysteriesThe style of writing seems uite similar to that of her Regency novels with a lot of witty dialogue and larger than life characters The story is also laced with romance Although this is the first in the Inspector Hannasyde series I'd have to say that uiet professional Hannasyde is totally overshadowed by glamorous amateur detective Giles Carrington who has hints of Wimsey or Campion about himAs the title suggests the book starts with a man's body being found in the stocks on a village green The victim Arnold Vereker soon turns out to have been a thoroughly unpopular character who had a weekend cottage nearby The action soon moves to London where Arnold's younger half sister and brother Antonia 'Tony' and Kenneth live in Bohemian splendour Kenneth is an artist who has cultivated amazing rudeness as his normal mode of conversation Solicitor Giles is their cousin and struggles to keep them out of trouble Tony and Kenneth are both awful but I rather loved to hate them There aren't very many suspects to choose from but the mystery is still puzzling with several twists to keep readers guessingOne character who I do find a bit much is Tony and Kenneth's housekeeper always referred to just as 'Murgatroyd' she is something of a sub Dickensian eccentric But in general I enjoyed this a lot and will look forward to reading Heyer mysteries


  8. says:

    I liked it First time reading this author can't believe I had never heard of her even though she wrote in the 30's As I read I kept thinking it would have made a great black and white movie in the syle of the My Man Godfrey etc


  9. says:

    This is the cover picture of the copy I read but it was a cheap edition small font closely spaced only 174 pages Through no fault of GH's this made it uite a tiring readOn to my review This was my favourite of GH's mysteries when I first read it all these years later it still is I probably wouldn't like Kenneth much in real life in fact I probably wouldn't be able to stand him but the dialogue between him his sister as they argue that they could each of them have been the murderer just crackles with wit Only a writer as gifted as GH could have made their callousness appealingThere is one general criticism I have of GH's mysteries view spoiler there are always some characters usually the romantic interests that the reader just knows won't be the murderer However the disreputable but likeable Roger becoming a victim is unusual But all characters in a Christie are fair game this is one of the reasons why GH will never be considered as good a murder mystery writer as her hide spoiler


  10. says:

    Slowly but surely I have been picking my way through Heyer's detective fiction and thoroughly enjoying my jaunt into her engaging blend of whodunnit with sparkling English country house London town settings of the forties and fifties eras Classy witty and delicious murder always await me and this earlier book was somewhat the exceptionDeath in the Stocks is the first of the Superintendent Hannislyde books Though part of a series it can easily be read standalone or out of order Heyer's method is to focus on the players in the mystery than the official police investigations so each book is separateIn this tale the Vereker family are under suspicion of murdering Arnold Vereker who is known by all to be universally disliked Hannislyde is provided a plethora of suspects and motives without much in actual clues The two half siblings their fiances the family retainer are all honest about their dislike and none have good alibis Giles the cousin to the deceased and the police must sift through what they let slip than what they actually admitFor most of the book there is a light and humorous tone as banter and antics are the form I enjoyed the tone and setting and the overall story Now that said I find myself admitting that the characters and mystery itself were the weak point for me Yes I understand those are the central elements of the bookI thought Antonia and Kenneth annoying as they sharpened their wit constantly on the police and everyone around them It was like they only opened their mouths to deliver shock and awe speeches rather than possess actual wit or understanding They were brats to be frank and are lucky that they weren't had up for obstructing justice the way they carried on with their stupid lies and withholding of facts just to be cute Tony was less so than her brother as she started to realize the seriousness of the situation and started to care what Giles thought of her Their old family retainer Murgatroyd was a nuisance like a small yapping dog as was the loyal family friend Leslie Tony and Kenneth's engagement partners were uite obvious in their placeholder roles even to the Verekers themselves which was another annoyance I liked Giles the family lawyer who was also connected to the family through the deceased and I liked the police He was the one reason I stuck this out because I enjoyed his class act and strong intelligence while having a great sense of humorI latched onto the killer the how and the why early on and the longer the story went on started to wonder how no one was seeing what I thought was obvious I'm not that astute so yes Giles or Hannislyde should have worked that out a lot sooner than they didThis one had good bones and had the appeal of the author's writing style and way of writing a setting and colorful characters but it feels and is an early effort that her later detective stories far outshine I'm glad I read it out of order so I didn't judge all her detective stories on this one