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Why Shoot a Butler?

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Why Shoot a Butler? (1933) Georgette Heyer

Why Shoot a ButlerThis story was all over the place.

Barrister Frank Amberley gets lost taking a shortcut to visit his aunt and uncle, and comes upon a car alongside the road, and a young woman beside it. A closer look find a man dead in the drivers seat, and the woman claiming she found him shot.

Frank reports the murder–but not the presence of the young woman, and then ends up getting involved.

I stopped to ask the way to Greythorne and found the fellow was dead. Probably murdered. I’d come with you, but I’m an hour late for dinner already.’

I think my favorite part of this story was the language. Written in 1933 it was then a contemporary and now so much of the language is strange and unusual to the modern American reader.

(A) closed Austin Seven. It was drawn up to the side of the road, its engine switched off, and only its side and tail-lights burning.

Burning car lights.

Felicity became aware of an indignant motorist who was violently sounding his hooter.

You tell that to the marines.

‘Nothing would induce me to mount the velocipede again, I can tell you.’

‘Fountain rang up the police station at three in the morning?’

‘That’s right, sir. Some people seem to think the police like being rung up at all hours.

…supposed that the man had taken French leave..

Frank jerked his thumb downwards in a certain Roman gesture.

That last bit I REALLY want to know what it means.

So, although the story was a disappointment, I was fascinated by the way the words were placed together.

Publisher : Poisoned Pen Press
Rating: 6/10

Categories: British, Cozy, Historical, Mystery, Romance     Comments (0)    



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