Tricia's bookstore has caught fire and she is waiting for the insurance to finish dotting the i's and crossing the t's and pay off her claim. She is living in the Chamber's upstairs apartment while working for them as a volunteer. She also helps her sister, Angelica, take care of her dog. She is out walking him one day, when they find the President of the Historical Society, in the gazebo. He whispers a cryptic message to her and then dies at the hospital. She is just out and about and she starts learning things that lead her to find out who really murdered him.
I enjoy the Book Town Mysteries. This one did make me cry at the end.
Georgette Heyer: Behold, Here's Poison
(Narrator: Ulli Birvé)
The first Georgette Heyer mysteries I read were her Inspector Hemingway books, which in a way meant I was starting from the wrong end, as Hemingway progressed to the rank of inspector from having been the lead investigator's sergeant in the earlier Superintendent Hannasyde books. That doesn't impede my enjoyment of Hannasyde's cases in the least, however, now that I'm getting around to these, even though I found the first one (Death in the Stocks) seriously underwhelming. But Heyer redeems herself in a big way with Behold, Here's Poison: Though a fair share of her mysteries have a sizeable contingent of 1920s-30s stock-in-trade bright young things and generally "nice chaps" (which got on my nerves enough at one point to make me decide I'd had enough of Heyer), when she did set her mind to it, nobody, not even Agatha Christie, did maliciously bickering families like her. And the family taking center stage here must be one of the meanest she's ever come up with, only (just) surpassed by the Penhallows. I'm not overwhelmed with the story's romantic dénouement (there always is one in Heyer's books), and while I guessed the mystery's essential "who" and had a basic idea of the "why" at about the 3/4 - 4/5 mark (the actual "why" was a bit of a deus ex machina), by and large this has to count among my favorite Heyer mysteries so far ... though not quite reaching the level of my overall favorite, Envious Casca.
Ulli Birvé isn't and won't ever become my favorite narrator, and she seriously got on my nerves here, too. Since all of the recent re-recordings of Heyer's mysteries are narrated by her, though, I've decided I won't hold her mannerisms against the author, and I've read enough print versions of Heyer books at this point to have a fairly good idea of what a given character would sound like in my head if I'd read instead of listened to the book in question.
Colin Dexter: The Riddle of the Third Mile
(Narrator: Samuel West)
For Veterans' / Armistice Day I'm claiming the very first book I revisited after the beginning of the 24 Festive Tasks game: Colin Dexter's The Riddle of the Third Mile had long been one of my favorite entries in the Inspector Morse series, but Samuel West's wonderful reading not only confirmed that status but actually moved it up yet another few notches. (Samuel West is fast becoming one of my favorite audiobook narrators anyway.) The fact that due to the progress of medical research a key element of the mystery would have been much easier to solve these days does not impede my enjoyment in the least ... changing social mores aside, half the Golden Age crime literature, including many of the great classics by Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and even, on occasion, Arthur Conan Doyle would be deprived of substantial riddles if they were set today. -- The book qualifies for this particular "24 Festive Tasks" square, because some of the characters' and their siblings' encounter as British soldiers at the battle of El Alamein (1942) forms the prologue to the book and an important motive for their actions in the world of Oxford academia and Soho strip clubs, some 40 years later.
Erin Murphy's wedding is getting closer and so is Christmas. While the town decorated the storefronts in Jewel Bay, MT, she and her fiance, Andy, discover they have the wrong lights for their building. She takes them to the correct store to come upon her former kindergarten teacher screaming at her oldest daughter. Erin brings Merrily back to the Merc with her and they become friends. But she is found dead the Monday after the fight on her parent's property and is being accused of stealing from the company that had hired her, a former boyfriend.
Erin receives a phone call from the owner of the hardware store, where Merrily had been employed, he asks for her help, but then starts pushing her away. This doesn't stop her and the new deputy from Florida doesn't seem to be interested to hear what she knows and she is more determined to find out who had murdered Merrily.
This was a really good story for me. It is holiday themed, Christmas, and took care of another state that I hadn't finished on the reading challenge I am working on (all 50 states). I listened to this story more than reading it, getting an ebook version was difficult and I was driving a lot Thursday and Friday.