Monday, November 16, 2020

Sophia Rose Reviews- Envious Casca by Georgette Heyer, Narrated by Ulli Birve

 Thanks for all the well wishes my hubby is home and recovering from surgery. 

Today I once again turn the blog over to Sophia Rose who's reviewing #6 in the Inspectors Hannaslyde and Hemmingway series,  Envious Casca by Georgette Heyer, Narrated by Ulli Birve.

Envious Casca by Georgette Heyer, Narrated by Ulli Birve

#6 Inspectors Hannaslyde and Hemingway

Historical Mystery, Holiday

Publisher:  Bolinda

Published:  5.1.15

ISBN:  1486231365

Time:  11 hours 36 minutes

Rating: 4

Narrator: 5

Format:  Audiobook

Source:  Purchase

Sellers:  Amazon/ Audio

Add To: GoodReads 


GoodReads Blurb:

Resigned to spending Christmas at Lexham Manor, Mathilda Clare wasn't sure what she dreaded most--the foul temper of Nat Herriard, the filthy-rich old Scrooge who owned the place, or the sweetness-and-light of his brother, Joseph. Joseph had concocted a guest list brilliantly headed for mayhem... acid-tongued young Stephen, his sly sister Paula, and Nat's sharp-dealing partner, with a finger in some strange pies. "There'll be murder before we're through," Mathilda laughed. And she was absolutely right. This it is no ordinary Christmas, when the holiday party takes on a sinister aspect when the colorful assortment of guests discovers there is a killer in their midst. The owner of the substantial estate, that old Scrooge Nathaniel Herriard, is found stabbed in the back, and the six holiday guests find themselves the suspects of a murder enquiry.

For Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard, 'tis the season to find whodunit. Whilst the delicate matter of inheritance could be the key to this crime, the real conundrum is how any of the suspects could have entered the locked room to commit this foul deed. The investigation is complicated by the fact that every guest is hiding something-throwing all of their testimony into question and casting suspicion far and wide. The clever and daring crime will mystify readers, yet the answer is in plain sight all along...



Sophia Rose's Review:

A Holiday Whodunnit with a behind locked door country house party setting was a delicious prospect. I eagerly turned this audio version on and settled in for some enjoyment. It wasn't as sparkling as I expected in that it was draggy and some of the characters came across as annoying more than humorous many times, but still afforded me a good mystery. I figured out quickly enough who did it and why, but I was pleasantly surprised as to the how.

The jocular old uncle staying with his crotchety brother at Nat's country house is determined to have a Christmas house party. Joseph pulls together a motley group of people and there is no hope that his naive attempt will not end in disaster. Nat's niece, Paula, brings with her a promising young playwright and hopes to convince him to back a play when he doesn't even care for such stuff and definitely doesn't want Paula involved. His nephew, Stephen, an argumentative young man brings down his fiancé' whom Nat sees as a little gold-digger and can't stand. Then there is Nat's business partner who irritates him with the latest business proposal. Joseph and his distant wife Maude along with family friend, Matilda round out the party. It is ghastly from the start and then this is compounded by Nat's murder behind the locked door of his room. Inspector Hemingway has his work cut out for him with so many suspects and motives, but stuck on the means and opportunity with that frustrating locked door.

As I said, it was a teaser, but I worked out some of it. The characters were mostly cantankerous types, but yet I did find their rancor fascinating. It was amusing to have the vapid, stunning yet a bit cunning Valerie and her histrionics set against her opposite, the placid and uninterested Maude always looking to bore people over her book on Elisabeth of Austria. It was a low-key murder and mayhem piece that I found engaging.

The narrator, Ulli Birve, did a splendid job once again with the second book in the Inspector Hemingway series. She had a large cast of quirky characters and she produced them well. She is a great storyteller.

All in all, this was a good period mystery set against the holidays.


Author’s Bio:

Georgette Heyer was a prolific historical romance and detective fiction novelist. Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth.

In 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer. Rougier later became a barrister and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.

Heyer was an intensely private person who remained a best selling author all her life without the aid of publicity. She made no appearances, never gave an interview and only answered fan letters herself if they made an interesting historical point. She wrote one novel using the pseudonym Stella Martin.

Her Georgian and Regencies romances were inspired by Jane Austen. While some critics thought her novels were too detailed, others considered the level of detail to be Heyer's greatest asset.

Heyer remains a popular and much-loved author, known for essentially establishing the historical romance genre and its subgenre Regency romance.



  1. Oh this looks fun! Adding to my holiday listening list!

    1. It was great. I got my turn at the library waiting list. Definitely a good pick for #HoHoHoRAT. :)

  2. Sounds fun. I remember my mom reading her books years ago.

    1. I didn't know about them until a few years back so it's been fun picking them up now and then.

  3. A period mystery is the best mystery :D

  4. I remember reading quite a few of her books when I was younger, and really enjoyed them. A holiday mystery sounds great, and such a wonderful review, Super Sophia! Dear Debbie, glad that your hubby is on the mend. Sending hugs to everyone! RO

    1. Oh yes, her books are keepers. :) Thanks for dropping by and for the well wishes, Radiant Ro!