They Found Him Dead

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Murder in Black and White

"Mrs Mansell had been to college in the days when such a distinction earned for a woman the title of Blue-Stocking and the right to think herself superior to her less fortunate sisters." ~from the book

	Okay, I admit to being a huge fan of black and white movies and kept visualizing this as one.  We are introduced to the rather large cast at a dinner party in honor of the senior Mr. Kane on the occasion of his 60th birthday.  Barely middle-aged these days, in the pre-war (WWII) era this was looked upon as dotage and heirs awaited inheritance with bated breath.  We have a full range of personalities, from the young, movie-mad half-brother of the great nephew on up to the doyenne of the clan, plus the partners.  Confused?  Don't worry, as they are fleshed out the relationships fall nicely into place.  With all the elegance, subtle humor, casual brutalities, and style of a bygone era, this cleverly plotted murder mystery unfolds with a flair.
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I received this book for free from Netgally. This did not influence my review.

They Found Him Dead struck me as an awful title for a murder mystery, yet I’ve discovered I love Georgette Heyer’s mysteries almost as much as I love her romances, so an off-putting title could not deter me from requesting this book for review.

Heyer often opens her novels by throwing her reader into the middle of family muddles where the family trees are large and complicated. I’ve learned not to fret when I’m lost at the beginning. Heyer does such a fine job of drawing her characters that their individual personalities and quirks define them. Very quickly the large cast sorts itself out.

In They Found Him Dead, a large dysfunctional family gathers with long-time business associates to celebrate the sixtieth birthday of the head of the family/head of the business. It is not a pleasant party. Some of the attendees, anticipating a large inheritance, are hoping he won’t have many more birthdays. Moreover, his business partners are peeved at his reluctance to cough up the money for a risky new investment opportunity. When he is found dead the following morning, there are plenty of potential murderers.

The local police investigate and declare the death to be the result of a weak heart. Although those who know the situation have doubts, nothing is pursued until the heir is shot in the head in the middle of the day while sitting at his desk and the murderer disappears into thin air. 

Now they bring in Inspectors Hannasyde and Hemingway. Although it seems likely they have two murders to solve, they can’t be sure the first death was a murder. And it seems impossible to find someone with motive and opportunity to commit both. The more they explore, the more baffled they become.

There is a sweet romance brewing alongside the mystery. A nephew farther down the line of inheritance (Jim Kane) has become smitten with Miss Allison, the companion of his great-aunt. (The elderly aunt is the reigning queen of the family.) While everyone believes Jim is far too nice to be a suspect, the second murder unexpectedly moves him into the spot of heir, which means he has an uncomfortably strong motive. The inspectors will not rule out the possibility Jim killed both men until it becomes clear someone is also trying to kill Jim. Solving the crimes takes on a new urgency.

There are a couple of likely villains, but the tight plotting makes it difficult to pin the blame on anyone in particular. Meanwhile, the business and family dynamics propel the plot forward until Hannasyde plucks out the final clue and everything falls into place.

This novel is not as amusing as Death in the Stocks, but it is still very entertaining. I look forward to more of the Inspectors Hannasyde and Hemingway series.
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A man dies in a seeming accident, just before he would have rejected a certain business deal that his partners want. Then his heir is murdered, also just before rejecting that same deal. Who is the killer? Is it the next heir to the property? Or the man who wanted the wife of the murdered man? Or perhaps one of the partners in the fatal deal? Most importantly of all, is the next heir in danger of being killed too?

With Heyer's usual flair for interesting characters and witty dialogue, this is an enjoyable mystery with enough background interest to keep things rolling without the need for constant suspense. Though it does seem a shame (spoiler alert?) that no one had the decency to bump off either Rosemary or Betty! Overall, the writing is good, the content clean, the characters interesting, the plot/mystery well managed and the conclusion satisfying. My only quibble is the amount of blasphemy that Heyer seems to consider necessary - probably every few pages on average, though I've got good at ignoring it. 4.5 stars, the half star removed because of this problem.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.
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They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer is another masterful read. This is the third book in a series but can be read as a standalone. There are no references to previous cases and books can be read in any order.

When very rich and slightly eccentric Silas Kane is found dead on the cliff everyone thinks he just slipped and fell. Next in line for inheritance, his cousin Clement Kane steps up dreaming of finally being able to make a deal with an Australian businessman Roberts and keeping his unfaithful wife happy with diamonds and furs when he is shot in his study. By the time third cousin Jim Kane becomes an heir it is obvious that someone is trying to kill the family off.
Inspector Hannasyde and Sargent Hemingway are taking the case over. With the help of Jim Kane's younger half brother and his fiancee story slowly unfolds. 
What I a particularly like about this series is that old fashioned mystery style of writing and storytelling. 
Flamboyant and quirky characters, English countryside and great mystery with a well developed plot make this one of my favorite series.
I also appreciate a good sense of humor and make sarcastic comments.
It is steady paced, giving readers time to get to know characters, and get the feel of the place and time. 
Setting is beautiful. I also like how it always ends with all involved getting together for the murderer to be revealed.
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I'm a fan of Georgette Heyer but I think I missed some of her mysteries this one included.
I like the Golden Age feeling in this book, the likable cast of characters and the plot.
The mystery was very good and it kept me guessing till the end.
It was en engaging and entertaining read and I'm happy I still have Heyer mysteries to read.
Recommended!
Many thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Landmark and Netgalley for this book, all opinions are mine.
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The morning after the celebrations for Silas Kane’s 60th birthday he is missing then is found dead at the foot of a cliff. The theory that Silas accidentally lost his way in the fog is confirmed when the coroner returns a verdict of death by misadventure. then Kane's nephew and heir is murdered and threats are made on the next in line to the fortune. So Scotland Yard are called in  & as the redoubtable Superintendent Hannasyde delves further into the case he discovers that nothing is quite as it seems.
The author is my all time favourite for Historical romances so I had to read her mystery novels & I haven’t been disappointed, there are plenty of red herrings & as always Hannasyde is his unflappable self, ably aided by Hemingway. The novel was written in the 1930’s & is evocative of the period. A well written story with well fleshed characters & a murder mystery that kept me engrossed from cover to cover
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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Vintage Who-Dunnit Enters the Digital Age
This is the digital version of the original 1937 release. This wonderful story read like a movie in my mind. I do love 1930s mystery films and this could easily be one. From the classic cars to English country estates to choosing to fly over going by ship – it is a delight! Aside from the era in which it was written, the story is excellent. It follows the classic formula; lots of suspects with motives, a few red herrings, a few scandals, and excellent characterizations. There are old doddering people, old cranky people, bubble-head beauties, hard workers, loyal workers, spoiled children, and spoiled wives. There is nothing not to love in the entire book! I am looking forward to reading more of these classics! I received this book for free and this is my honest review.
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It is my first Georgette Heyer's book and the plot and even the characters reminds me of Agatha Christie's stories. Silas Kane is missing only to find him later death. Who was it? Lots of suspects and Superintendent Hannasyde is going to tell us which one was it. I really enjoyed the book and I will continue the series.
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Having celebrated his sixtieth birthday with a party, Silas Kane is found missing the next morning. Nearly everyone occurs that his death was an acident, until another body is discovered, murdered.
Superintendent Hannasyde investigates all the red herrings in the story.
The style of writing is certainly indicative of it being written 1937. 
An enjoyable mystery but not with a lot of depth as far as the characters were concerned, and admittedly a couple of annoying ones.
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Georgette Heyer, famous for her Regencies, should not have her crime series overlooked. The mysteries are charming, with fully developed characters and a Country House background. They are tightly woven and entertaining and I had more than one chuckle out of a character named,"Terrible Timothy."

This is a time frame when the language was full of words like "corkers." I have always liked the Golden Era of writing mysteries for their colorful language and descriptions of evenings spent with cocktails and playing games after everyone dressed for dinner. The sophisticated atmosphere included mists and walks after dinner... filled with ways to bump off a character. The English Manor house style is just a narrative I really like. When you read these books you are getting a bit of history too on the side. I had a good laugh at the fast cars of 40 miles per hour.

Silas Kane is celebrating his sixtieth birthday among family and business partners. The celebration is rife with atmosphere between Rosemary Kane and her Husband, Clement, as well as the Mansell's... Partners to the Kanes and very much interested in a business proposition, which Kane would need to put up twenty thousand pounds in - if he agreed. A business proposal that he meant to turn down ...when he is found dead one morning.

A very delightful mystery and one that was extremely entertaining  I quite admit I love these British 1930's and 1940's set mysteries and if you do -read this one. Five stars...
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A really good golden age mystery one of my favorites in the series great for mystery fans or anyone looking for a quick good read
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I generally like Georgette Heyer's character descriptions and this book does a pretty decent job getting you into the character's lives and time. The mystery strung out a bit but leaves you guessing quite a bit and the whodunit is well wrought. A nice little mystery read for Heyer fans.
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The morning after Silas Kane’s sixtieth birthday, he is found dead at the foot of a cliff. Everyone believed he got lost in the fog and fell to his death. But, when his nephew is killed and threats are made on the life of the next heir, Superintendent Hannasyde is called in to find out whodunit.
This was a good classic mystery. The characters were quirky and self-involved and I loved reading about them. The plot was intriguing, although I knew who the culprit was from almost the beginning. At times, I felt that the story needed a quicker pace. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.
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I love a good who done it and this one is certainly that. Not only did I find that the storyline drew me in, but I also loved all of the characters. They were beautifully portrayed and I found them so engaging from the very beginning. 
Much of the start of this book is spent building up the background story, with the mystery coming in later in the book. Sometimes books like this can drag a little bit, but the story itself drew you along so that it didn't matter that there wasn't much of a mystery to get your teeth in straight away.
Once the murder actually takes place, there was the usual cast of potential suspects and plenty of clues and red herrings to confuse and enlighten. As well as the two professional detectives, Hannasyde and Hemingway, (who apparently appear in some of Heyer's other mystery novels). A young member of the family, fourteen-year-old Timothy, spends much of his time trying to work out who the murderer is. I loved how excited he was, diving around, without really taking anything very seriously. He reminded me very much of my own son, who is a little bit younger, he was fantastic though and really added to my enjoyment of this book.
The mystery itself worked well. I had pretty much solved it by the end of the book and before the detectives in the book had got there. It wasn't too obvious though and worked well (my two usual tests for a good murder mystery).
This was a great read and an excellent classic style mystery. I really enjoyed it and I love Georgette Heyer's writing. I'll certainly be giving some more of her mystery novels a go.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Poor Silas Kane. He falls to his death on his sixtieth birthday!
After his party, he decides to go for a walk and never returns home. The following morning, Silas is discovered dead. It was ruled accidental. However, when the heir, Clement is murdered, Inspector Hannasyde certainly has his work cut out for him. An accidental death??? And a murder!
This was a good mystery. I enjoyed it. There were interesting characters. They were all likable. There really wasn't anyone in the story I could say I didn't like. Timothy was especially fun, energetic and eager to help Scotland Yard. He could certainly get into well-meaning mischief. Jim Kane's mother was great! I would enjoy sitting down with her and hearing about her adventures! The mystery was written at a good pace and held my attention. I was thoroughly baffled until close to the end of the book, then I solved it. I recommend it. 4 **** stars!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from SourceBooks Landmark through NetGalley. Opinions express in this review are completely my own.
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I don't think the Georgette Heyer mysteries would be for everyone. To me, they have a pretty timeless feel (despite the setting in probably the 1930s-1940s?),  as well as having a very similar feel (again, to me) of an Agatha Christie-style mystery. However, they do have a somewhat frenzied feel to them, where one thing is constantly leading into the next with not a lot of breaks for stopping points. The action seems continuous and can at times be hard to follow the flow of things. I did have to re-read quite a few things several times to make sure I had them clear in my mind because of that. Also, the author interchangeably refers to her characters by so many different names that I did struggle at time to keep who's who straight.

That said, I really enjoy the writing, the humor, and the red herrings that Heyer weaved into this story. I was also pleased that Hannasyde and Hemingway, the Scotland Yard men, played a bigger role in the solution of the mystery in this book (they were a little scarce in book 1 and I haven't read book 2), although, and this seems to be unique to Heyer's style, the main focus of the story is on the main characters/suspects/victims, told more from their points of view, than the approach of the detectives' solving the case. It's interesting and lends a unique quality to the story-telling, as well as the solution of the crime(s).

This story again focuses on one family and a few of their peripheral acquaintances. They are quite a cast of characters, double-meaning on the definition of characters!! James and his fiancee Patricia, as well as his younger brother Timothy (and his obsession with American gangster/detective movies -- the setting is in England), along with his stepfather and the later appearance of his mother, were very entertaining. There are so many facets and perspectives in this story that it kept me guessing throughout the entire book. I had so many guesses of who the killer could be, but the twist at the end that reveals the killer was unexpected but not unrealistic, just a well-hidden and well-crafted surprise. 

An entertaining mystery! I look forward to reading the rest of this series!!
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After reading a few chapters, I decided this book held no interest for me at this time nor was it a good fit for my blog.  I elected not to finish the book now, but it may be a case of "the wrong book at the wrong time" syndrome and I might be willing to try it again in the future.  Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS Landmark / Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to sample this title.
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It seems that Landmark Sourcebooks is re-issuing Georgette Heyer’s books.  I believe I read most of these years ago, and have always found Ms. Heyer’s stories to be welcome.

They Found Him Dead features the excellent Inspector Hannasyde.  I appreciate that the inspector is not portrayed as needing help to find the solution to a mysterious murder.  Rather, he bides his time, listens to helpful amateurs, and even utilizes some of their suggestions.  What I enjoy most about Georgette Heyer’s writing is her intelligent and stylish portrayal of characters and their interactions.  Her witty interchanges are entertaining and also give us valuable information about the people involved in this story.  In this case, we get a challenging mystery, with a heart-warming romance as a bonus.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience for me.
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The Kane family has a lot of controversies and family squabbles going on. Even in Silas Kane's professional life there are differences with his partners over a new investment. Silas Kane has steered the firm in a middle path, not given to extravagances and he intends to continue in the same way. Everyone is not very happy with that. Most people want quick riches and are not willing to wait ages to get their hands on the money.

The morning after Silas Kane's sixtieth birthday, his body was found dashed on the rocks. He had set out for his usual walk after dinner (a fact known to everyone) and it seemed like an accident. Not to the youngest member of the family who said it looked like murder. Clement Kane takes over as the heir, much to the joy of his wife Rosemary who only wants the money the position will bring. She was on the verge of throwing her husband over for her lover, but now all is forgotton with the newfound wealth brought by her husband! Clement's death by shooting in his study a few days later brings forth an unexpected heir - young Jim who was unaware of being the heir. He thought it was the female cousin living in Australia but apparently it was only if there was no male around that it went to her.

When a series of accidents coincidentally happen to young Jim, the police begin to suspect that even Silas's death may not have been an accident and enquiries commence. There are many suspects including the present heir and it has to be slowly whittled down one by one, till a most unsuspected  one emerges.

Nice old fashioned setting of a comfortable family, and all kinds of different characters to add to the interest, this is a very good comfort read.
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I have been in an Agatha Christie reading/viewing mood lately so I decided to try a different mystery author from around the same time period. I figured out pretty early who was responsible for the crime.. Also, I did not find the investigators as entertaining as Poirot or Miss Marple. They did not seem to have as much impact on the story.
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