Silas Kane's sixtieth birthday party is marred by argument and dissension amongst his family, and then the next morning, Kane is found dead. The coroner's verdict of death by misadventure would seem to confirm that Silas accidentally lost his way in the fog. But then his heir is shot, and threats are made against the next in line to inherit his fortune. The redoubtable Superintendent Hannasyde is called in to investigate. All clues point to an apparently innocuous eighty-year-old woman, but as the Inspector delves further into the case, he discovers that nothing is quite as it seems…
If you like British manor house mysteries, you are in luck with this reprint of Heyer's, They Found Him Dead. It's the classic set up - large extended family gathering where we meet a variety of characters; some nice, some not so nice and one or two that are downright obnoxious! A little bit of back and forth bickering and some spats amongst family sets the tone for the mystery. The large estate set on the cliffs, the 1930's time frame and the pea soup fog certainly create the perfect ambiance. But when young Timothy wildly proclaims it's the perfect night for a murder, he is looked on askance. Who would be murdered? Most importantly, why would someone commit such a heinous crime? What would they gain?
Heyer gives readers enough suspects and motives to keep them guessing all through out the book. Inspector Hannasyde certainly has his work cut out for him sifting through clues and interrogating suspects time and time again but time is of the essence as the third in line to the family business and fortune has some narrow misses. Is someone out to get him too or are these murderous attempts just red herrings?This was a very enjoyable read for me. Several things I really liked about the book are the time frame and the myriad of characters so deftly described as Heyer brings her characters to life on the page with all their distinct personalities, weaknesses, strengths and loyalties. An intriguing whodunnit as well as a fun read. Highly recommended for mystery fans. 4****
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 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 barrister, and they had one son, Richard
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Sourcebooks, Inc. Thank you so much, Danielle.