No Wind of Blame, by Georgette Heyer
As you know, I mostly read books based on history (fiction and non-fiction) as well as literary and regency…this one was none of the above. I read it because it was a Georgette Heyer one and I just couldn’t pass it up. I figured that I love a good mystery, humour and Heyer- so I made the exception and took the plunge into a 20th c read. Blame it on Georgie…
No Wind of Blame is an hysterically funny murder mystery. Who gets killed? No other than the most inconsiderate, obnoxious, good for-nothing, adulterer, gambler, schemer, middle-aged- and he’s not even remotely close to being handsome; Wally Carter. Wally is married to a once-famous actress, the very flamboyant, but kind and warm-hearted, Ermyntrude. The couple lives with Ermyntrude’s eccentric young daughter, Vicky and plain Mary, Wally’s niece.
Everything is in preparation for a grand dinner for their guest, the Russian Prince Varasashvili (whom everyone, except Ermyntrude, thinks is way over the top). All the guests, which include some neighbors (liked and disliked) and friends (including those who would rather be more than just friendly towards Ermyntrude)are also invited to hunt for sport.
As situation will have it, Wally has one… with all the characters in this story. Firstly he owes money he gambled, to his neighbor Mr. White(who is crude and detested by Ermyntrude for his vile ways). Then there’s Mr. Steel, who is secretly (but it’s no secret) in love with Ermyntrude and this annoys Wally in no small way. Pierce is a young man who claims that Wally has misled a young lady and she is now in the ‘family way’ so he wants Wally to own up (ca-ching, ca-ching). Vicky is the young step-daughter who is always causing him stress with her young mundane ways. Mary, his niece, has taken Ermyntrude’s side now that he’s claimed a gambler and a womanizer. Then there's the desolate Ermyntrude who is hysterical with him for having gotten hismself into so much trouble (but nonetheless, she’s rich and he desperately needs her money to clarify all his troubles). Lastly, there’s that darn Prince (whose name matches that of Wally’s dog)- The Prince who is way too elegant and way too gallant towards Ermyntrude…
On that fatal day that Wally gets shot, who’s to blame? Everyone’s got motive and everyone’s got a glitch in their story or alibi. It’s more than touch- and –go for the inspectors and just when the suspect seems found and the mystery solved, something else comes up.
Heyer’s talent is incredible. How she’s kept me dancing through more than 360 pages of ‘It’s him-No -it’s her’, I just don’t know. All I know is that I laughed right through this one.
For anyone who loves a good funny mystery, read this. You won’t be disappointed. As for me, I’m done- although I did find this entertaining and a definite change of pace and genre, it’s back to Heyer regencies from here on.
I’d like to Thank Danielle from Sourcebooks for this fun and engaging read.