Everyone had a motive but who had the means? Wally Carter’s murder seem impossible – not one of the suspects was anywhere near the weapon at the time the shot was fired. The superlatively analytical Inspector Hemingway is confronted with a neglected widow, the neighbor who’s in love with her, her resentful daughter, a patently phony Russian prince, and a case of blackmail that may — or may not — be at the heart of this most unusual case.
No Wind of Blame (Georgette Heyer) is a rollicking murder mystery full of colorful players and numerous plot twists. The first quarter of the book is devoted to introducing the reader to the vast array of characters. The descriptions are not overt. Yes, the usual physical details are given but the true nature of each individual is cleverly exposed through dialogue and reactions to situations and each other. Ermyntrude, the drama-queen of a widow, Prince Alexis who blatantly expresses his desire to marry Ermyntrude while her husband was still among the living and the properly steadfast Inspector Hemingway are just a few of the principles that create a quick and sometimes comical read. Personally, my favorite character was Vicky, the daughter of Ermyntrude from her first marriage. Vicky lives each moment of the day as if she is on stage – literally. She changes clothing and personality depending on the situation and other players involved. She actually becomes jealous when she discovers she is NOT considered a prime suspect in her step-father’s murder and creates a storyline making her the “star” of the investigation. The investigation following the murder is a head-spinning venture for Inspector Hemingway with everyone a suspect. His job is made all the more difficult with that not one of those suspected seems to be very concerned and at times, say and do things that creates even more doubt as to their innocence. There are some love triangles, some unexpected twists and a satisfying conclusion.
It took me a few pages to acclimate myself to Ms. Heyer’s writing style. There are some dated phrases but this is to be expected as the book was originally published in 1939. It certainly has stood the test of time and I look forward to reading other titles from this entertaining author.
Thank you to Sourcebooks, Inc. for allowing me to read and review this book.