A Christmas Party - Dec 2020 Book Group discussion thread

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Dec 2020
9:11pm, 21 Dec 2020
781 posts
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Plumpuddingeater
Thank you Autumnleaves - grateful that you took the time to set out what you get from Georgette Heyer. I will also take a look at one her historical ones. And this wasn't a heavy-weight pudding to sit on our tummies for the rest of the month.
Dec 2020
7:45pm, 30 Dec 2020
11,620 posts
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Little Nemo
I've mostly enjoyed Heyer's historical novels so I found this a bit of a let-down.

All the characters were horrible and the dialogue was bizarre. I wondered if some of it was badly edited as sometimes it seemed nonsensical. I guessed that the locked door was a complete red herring but I found the uncovering of how it was done disappointing. It seemed ridiculous to assume that the victim wouldn't realise they had been stabbed and would go off and die conveniently by themselves.

The romance between Steven and Mathilda was very thin and it's a bit cliched to have the beautiful-but-boring one thrown over for the plain-but-interesting one.

I found some parts unintentionally funny unless the author was going for parody. I think this could make an interesting film if this was exaggerated, but that might be slightly disrespectful to the author.

When I was in the right mood this was an OK read and I quite enjoyed the way the method was revealed. No gather everyone together to uncover the murderer but more of a gradual reveal.

I gave this book a 5 but I won't be seeking out any more of her crime book unless someone tells me the rest are brilliant.
Jan 2021
11:38am, 3 Jan 2021
2,769 posts
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Minnie Mince Pie Mad
I do like a good Who-Dunnit, and I'm not sniffy about an Agatha Christie or a Dorothy L Sayers. However, this has to be the first one I ever read where I worked out who did it before anyone died! The book was originally titled "Envious Casca" and I made the mistake of Googling Casca, who was the first of the Roman Generals to stab Julius Caesar. So, in Chapter one we are introduced to two brothers, one who is rich and nasty and the other who is a creepy and over-familiar actor who has spent years bumming around the world, playing bit parts in Shakespeare. He likes to make out that he plays lead roles but it's obvious he was only ever in small parts. I haven't read Julius Caesar, but I am imagining Casca didn't have a very big part except for doing the stabbing, so we already know who did it and how the victim died, while he's still sitting down stairs in the library surrounded by his rather unpleasant family.

The story line wasn't helped by the introduction of a detective so wooden that I can't actually remember his name, and the lack of a Hercule Poirot-style denouemont at the end meant it all fell a bit flat.

My sister tells me that Georgette Heyer is better at Historical Novels and has loaned me one to try, so I shall give her another go. Time to crack on with that and with January's book.
Jan 2021
7:18pm, 5 Jan 2021
18,458 posts
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Bazoaxe
I found this hard work and having read reviews I clearly glossed over and missed the detail of the ending in my desire to be finished.

I found the first third tough to follow and pick up who was who and where they fitted in. Once the murder happened I started to get into it a bit and follow the characters better, then I just wanted to be finished. It just never gripped me as a book I wanted to pick up and crack on with.

I have a feeling a read a Heyer novel before though and felt it was better than this.

5/10
Jan 2021
8:10pm, 5 Jan 2021
44,136 posts
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LindsD
I have to say that was my experience too.
Oct 2021
9:08am, 2 Oct 2021
937 posts
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Peregrinator
theguardian.com

Stephen Fry in praise of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels

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