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Blunt Instrument [Paperback]

Georgette Heyer
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 1 2010
"Ranks alongside such incomparable whodunnit authors as Christie, Marsh, Tey, and Allingham." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Who would kill the perfect gentleman?

When Ernest Fletcher is found bludgeoned to death in his study, everyone is shocked and mystified: Ernest was well liked and respected, so who would have a motive for killing him?

Superintendent Hannasyde, with consummate skill, uncovers one dirty little secret after another, and with them, a host of people who all have reasons for wanting Fletcher dead. Then, a second murder is committed, giving a grotesque twist to a very unusual case, and Hannasyde realizes he's up against a killer on a mission...

"Given the chance I could happily devour a stack of her novels one after the other." (A Work In Progress)

"A few things that you are guaranteed when you pick up a Georgette Heyer novel of any kind are unique characters and a fast-paced plot." (We Be Reading)

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Product Description

About the Author

The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or private life. It is known that she was born in Wimbledon in August 1902, and her first novel, The Black Moth, was published in 1921.

Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Heyer's large volume of works included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known also as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and they had one son together, Richard.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Dated Sept. 27 2013
By Bootsy Bass TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was written in the early 1900's and reflects its time. I found it a difficult read ( unlike Agatha Christie books surprisingly). It was a "job" for me to finish this book. It may just be me though, as I know this author is (was) very popular.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  80 reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Georgette Heyer's Breezy Style and Her Humor May 29 2012
By Deb in Oregon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I have always loved Georgette Heyer's writing style. She always uses her words in a clever and breezy way. She has truly humorous characters that are highly memorable. I highly recommend her mysteries! Having said that though, anyone reading her mysteries MUST remember the time in which she wrote. In our modern 21st century era readers expect a certain level of sophistication in their mysteries. But since Heyer wrote most of her mysteries in the 1930's you should expect them to read differently that a modern mystery. Her mysteries ARE NOT fast paced reads like the Jason Bourne novels, but more a leisurely stroll into the time and place of which she wrote. Many of her choices in words and situations reflect a time that is much different than our modern day.

I look upon her writings as a microcosm of a time and place that I did not know personally. Since I am an American, my knowledge of life in 1930's Britain is almost nonexistant, but I find it a fascinating era. One thing I have always loved about Heyer is her use of the English language. I have read this book many times in book form and just recently finished the Kindle Edition, which allows me to instantly look up a reference or word definition. Wow! I was amazed at her ability to find the perfect word to fit the circumstances. I have a reasonably good vocabulary and understanding of words, but looking up some of her references really expanded my knowledge. Looking up words such a tout, panegyric, vieux jeu, atavism, "blood and thunder" or ha'p'orth (and many more) really helped me to THINK about what she was writing. Her ability to use an obscure word that perfectly fits the situation has really intrigued me and more than once brought a smile to my face. Some of her historical references to Havelock Ellis or the White Rose League or even the laxative Bile Beans gave me hours of pleasure.

While I read for pleasure (as I suspect most of us do), I'm not interested in just getting through a book like a train running down the track. I like to think I can grow in my knowledge and understanding of the world - even with a light fluffy mystery novel. Heyer writes for the "thinking" reader. She doesn't rely on sex, foul language or brutality to engage her readers, but an exquisite understanding of the English language. And while, as some have stated, they were able to "spot" the villian, that doesn't take away from the humor and deftness with which she handles her subject. I view it the same as I might view a rerun of Seinfeld - I may know the plot, I may guess how the characters will react in a certain sitution, BUT it doesn't affect my appreciation for the humouous way they handle the subject.

So, as you can see - I am a big fan of Georgette Heyer.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Try reading twice Jan. 19 2013
By birdwalker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Heyer must have had enormous fun writing this one: she flings her clues at the reader with incredible audacity. This book needs a second reading to appreciate her sense of humor -- much as mischievous as her character Neville Fletcher.

I really enjoy light-fiction writers who understand that what they are doing is entertainment, and enter into a tacit complicity with the reader, assuming intelligence on the part of same. To this end, Georgette Heyer creates some fairly realistic characters and scenes, and some rather fanciful ones. Her fanciful characters, however, are frequently acting that role deliberately. As to her realistic characters and scenes, there is in this book a scene between an estranged husband and wife that is so touching and rings so true that one wonders if Heyer had seen or participated in something of the sort.

If you enjoy Blunt Instrument -- even mildly -- put it away for a year (or a decade) and read it again, with full knowledge of who the killer is and how he committed the murders. See if you don't agree with me that Heyer must have been chuckling along from page one to the end. This is my (accidental) second reading of Blunt Instrument, and I laughed aloud continually at Heyer's skill and wicked sense of humor.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously ridiculously funny. Feb. 7 2008
By NoNamePlease - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hilariously ridiculously funny. Again, Georgette Heyer's characters and dialogues are highly entertaining and witty. The plot is very well thought out too. I disagree with those who think this book is dull. Dull is never the word for this book.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable but otherwise unmemorable Dec 5 2004
By Ron - Published on Amazon.com
An old-fashioned murder mystery set in the days when life was simpler. I hardly ever figure out 'whodunit', and thus probably enjoy these types of books more than more discerning readers. But even I figured this one out fairly quickly. Maybe I've finally read enough to see the clues. Still, I recommend this as a lite-snack for the brain.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bash on the Head Aug. 5 2007
By Nash Black - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"A Blunt Instrument" is below the style expected of Ms. Heyer. Too many characters have a reason to kill Ernest Fletcher, a ladies man drawn to the fine line of repulsive, it makes a modern reader wonder why any woman would get within fifty feet of him.
The best lines are among Superintendent Hannasyde and Sargent Hemmingway as they plot the crime and its execution with a Biblical quoting local policeman who discovered the body. Other exchanges between characters seemed contrived and uncomfortable.
A good read, but not one of her best, which includes an interesting romance.
Nash Black, author of "Qualifying Laps" and "Sins of the Fathers."
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