>For my first book in the Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge (hosted by Book Chick City), I chose a Georgette Heyer mystery, The Unfinished Clue. I kept meaning to read one of her books and this was a good excuse. Fortunately, along with romance and historical fiction, this prolific British author also wrote mysteries. I’m not much for writing book reviews so I’ll keep this short and sweet.
In a nutshell, Sir Arthur Billington-Smith has a bunch of guests he doesn’t like staying in his country home. He’s basically a jerk who treats his family horribly. With an odd assortment of characters and plenty of motive to go around, it’s up to Inspector Harding to find out which one is a killer.
My initial reaction to this novel is that it’s not the best mystery I’ve ever read. However, I think the main problem lies in the pacing, not the story itself. Long chapters of nothing but questioning and a lack of any action to speak of wore on my patience and I had to quit sometimes simply because I couldn’t stand to read another interview. It would have helped to intersperse some of the interrogations with other investigating or conversations.
All of that said, the best part of the story by far, which ironically had nothing to do with the actual mystery, was the interaction between Inspector Harding and Dinah Fawcett. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you read the book for no other reason, the two of them are worth it. I’ve reread their scenes together over and over, which is pretty rare for me.
Heyer knows how to make characters come alive and how to define them purely based on dialogue. Most of the people are annoying, though I got a kick out of Lola simply because she’s ridiculous, but Harding and Dinah are a perfect blend of interesting and likable.
If you want a quick and relatively satisfying read, you might give The Unfinished Clue a whirl this weekend.