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review 2019-01-16 01:19
A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer
A Christmas Party - Georgette Heyer

This took me quite a while to get through, and I didn't finish it in time for the 24 Festive Tasks game, but I still really enjoyed it. The idea is that the master of the house is murdered at Christmas when the house is full of guests; suspicions ensue. I had guessed the murderer but I couldn't quite work out how they had done it, but that added more to my enjoyment than it detracted from it. It was quite clever overall.

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review 2019-01-06 09:07
Penhallow
Penhallow - Georgette Heyer

I went into Penhallow thinking that this was a murder mystery. I was wrong about that. This was a bleak and depressing drama about a dysfunctional family, a family drama which I didn´t enjoy.

 

And I tend to like  stories about dysfunctional families and I don´t mind bleak stories. But there is just a certain amount of bleakness that I can stomach. 230-250 or maybe 300 pages, that is enough. But Heyer goes on for 430 pages, dragging her characters through the mud and without a moment of reprieve for them. Everything is bleak, bleak, bleak ... all the time. And not a single one of these characters were likable, so they deserved what they got. But the negativity that went on and on and on for pages upon pages really got to me in the end and at some point I became competely and utterly annoyed by this book. 

 

Btw, old Penhallow dies on page 300. Heyer could easily have killed him of after 100 pages and so and I think I would have liked this book in the end. Definitely not a book that I would recommend to anyone.

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review 2019-01-02 15:03
Penhallow
Penhallow - Georgette Heyer

‘You’re right, sir. A very unsatisfactory case,’ the Inspector said.

I don't mind a bleak story. I even prefer a bleak story to a cheesy happy one, but I do mind mind boredom and exaggerated drama. 

So, when Penhallow's first 300 pages (of a 458 page book) could have been adequately achieved in 80 and the build-up of the family drama dragged on and on, it really annoyed me. And it isn't as if there was much character development to substitute for the lack of plot - endless bickering and people being vile to each other is not a development.

In fact, to borrow a term from the book, I "cordially detested" that it took 300 pages of repetitive, over-written drama to get to the point where the interesting part of the story started.

 

On top of that, old Penhallow's speeches were almost the same every time, using the same or very similar interjections of reaffirming questions, "by God", "my girl/boy", "damme", etc.

 

The over-use of the same phrases and patterns gets old quickly. What's more, it makes it very hard to believe that none of the family rolled their eyes at him and told him to stuff it. To me the whole setup just wasn't credible ... until the end. The ending was quite realistic.

I rather liked the ending for being so bleak but realistic in the way that secrets and intentions may have consequences that no one could have foreseen. 
Actually, I thought the events following Penhallow's demise were the best part of the book.

 

As for Heyer, this is my second of her books and I don't think Heyer is for me. I have one more of hers (Footsteps in the Dark), but will probably put that one off for quite a while, if I ever get around to it.

 

 

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text 2019-01-01 18:49
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Penhallow - Georgette Heyer

Thank goodness this is over.

 

Next!

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text 2019-01-01 16:33
Reading progress update: I've read 431 out of 431 pages.
Penhallow - Georgette Heyer

In the end I really didn´t like this book. And now there is only one thing I need:

 

[Source]

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