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A Blunt Instrument

Inspector Hannasyde Series, Book 4
Narrated by: Ulli Birvé
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)
Regular price: £24.49
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Summary

When Ernest Fletcher is found bludgeoned to death in his study, everyone is shocked and mystified: Ernest was well liked and respected, so who would have a motive for killing him?

Enter Superintendent Hannasyde who, with consummate skill, begins to uncover the complexities of Fletcher's life. It seems the real Fletcher was far from the gentleman he pretended to be. There is, in fact, no shortage of people who wanted him dead. Then, a second murder is committed, giving a grotesque twist to a very unusual case, and Hannasyde realises he's up against a killer on a mission.

©1938 Georgette Rougier (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"Sharp, clear and witty." ( The New Yorker)
"Ranks alongside such incomparable whodunit authors as Christie, Marsh, Tey, and Allingham." ( San Francisco Chronicle)
"Miss Heyer's characters act and speak with an ease and conviction that is refreshing as it is rare in the ordinary mystery novel." ( The Times Literary Supplement)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One that any Heyer fan is likely to appriciate

I've never read this one before and I l honestly found myself laughing out loud several times during the book, owed greatly to the narrators' sense of timing and understanding of the humor in Heyers' books. I heard the detective stories were hit and miss but obviously got lucky with this one. Cards on the table, it's technically not that great a detective story, I guessed the killer quite quickly and knew for sure by half way through the book. What this really is, is a funny, romantic and charming romp, with a reasonable detective story to hang it all on. The narrator does a really good job with and incredibly hard task because she not only has to cope with voicing all the male and female parts and manage the comic timing but due to the era it's set in, she also has to convey markedly different accents because of class. I read the series out of order and was disappointed in the first but you really don't seem to miss much by skipping the ones less well rated. In summary not for those who want the next Jo Nesbo but I think most Heyer fans will really like this one. It's up there with my favorite Heyer books and I will be listening to it for years to come.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A classic piece of Heyer's crime thriller nonsense

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if one can get over an occasional irritating pronunciation (sal vol-a-tile rather than sal vola-tilee) and silly police methods, this is a very entertaining stroll through a stage or radio imagined thriller.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Constable Glass aka Ichabod alias Malacai, a wonderfully annoying, meticulous, and crystal clear self-righteously inglorious messenger if ever a novel had one.

What does Ulli Birvé bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Her tone is ideal for a spoken rendition of Heyer's creations, with repertoire of character voices that is uncomplicated but appealing. Ulli delivers a Woman's Hour type of serialised drama treat, perfectly suited for the old BBC Light Programme - engaging but not overpowering. In fact, a perfect setting for any Georgette Heyer tale.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh, cry in frustration, want to throw a brick at the police handing the case, and throttle all those present .. who hadn't already had their head's bashed in. What can I say, except: marvellous. I settled myself down in a comfortable chair, with a nice cup of tea and a sweet biscuit, then suspended my disbelief .. and was carried away on a flight of fantasy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Georgette Heyer murder stories.

The stories will always be top class vintage murder mysteries but it would have been better if they were read by a native English speaker who understood idioms and how to pronounce e.g "sal volatile" and the different pronunciations of "dilatory". Little things like this are exceedingly irritating!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Get a new reader

A good, old fashioned story witty and entertaining with eccentric characters totally ruined by appalling reader.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice story, but spoilt by mediocre performance

The plot is really worth it, although I spotted the murderer right from the beginning. Yet G.Heyer succeeds in writing an amusing and still interesting mystery with strong characters.
The performance is less than average. I really wish the Georgette Heyer audiobooks were available with another speaker, so to end the misery of a great story being spoilt.

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Delicious

Delicious 30s detective story with characters like her regency novels updated to the nineteen
thirties

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Easy who done it!!!

Good book and excellent narrator but I knew who the killer was very early in the book. Well narrated. X

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 19-12-14

A great disappointment

A great lover of who dun its and a regular Georgette Heyer reader I have been looking forward to coming into another century and starting on the Inspector Hannasyde series. With reviews seeming to suggest that this 4th book was far better than the earlier books - a 'gem' I believe one reviewer wrote - I tackled this book first and with enthusiasm. Unfoftunately I found the characters far too stereotyped (and unpleasant) the reading wooden and the constant discussion on the time suspects went up and down a garden and in and out a study tedious. After much deliberation I have tried to be fair and give 2 stars because I did battle on so I could check out the ending, but really this was poor.




0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara
  • 20-01-15

My Favorite Heyer Mystery!

What made the experience of listening to A Blunt Instrument the most enjoyable?

The story. It keeps you guessing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sgt Hemingway. I love how he thinks.

Have you listened to any of Ulli Birvé’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is another great performance by Ulli Birve. A real professional.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No crying but I laughed...a lot!

Any additional comments?

I love Georgette Heyer books, especially the mysteries, and A BLUNT INSTRUMENT is my favorite Heyer mystery. It shows off Heyer's skill in creating characters that make the reader interested in the story. She paints such a vivid picture of the social culture of the time period that it becomes an element of the story. Bottom Line: This story is fun and Ulli Birve gives another great performance so you can't go wrong with this book if you like English mysteries and/or books by Georgette Heyer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 27-02-19

Excellent!

Georgette Heyer is always a good time! The narrator did a great job, but someone needs to tell her(or the editor) that maniacal is not pronounced
mane-e-akle. Those sort of mistakes take you right out of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • kuaikuai
  • 06-01-19

Is it the narrator or the author....

...probably a bit of both.

I enjoy a narrator with a bit more vigor, one who, if a book has comic elements (e.g. Neville telling wild stories about Balkan intrigues to the press) draws out the funny bits rather than plodding over them like a cold-footed policeman.

However, I dimly remember trying to read the book version and putting it down unfinished. It’s a shame because this period of the mid 1930s—the book was published in 1938 but references an event about a year in the past that occurred in 1935– has so much potential, especially the scenes with the writer Sally. But Heyer shines in her Regency romances because she describes the minutia of place and attire and mannerisms so exactly. In this mystery, she was writing about the 1930s to a contemporary audience and had no need to do so. As a result, her writing is less vivid and engaging than in her romances.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Constance Jenkins
  • 19-02-18

Good but not her best

I generally love Heyer's mysteries. This was enjoyable enough, but not among her best.

It was one of those mysteries where the reader figures out the key to the mystery half-way through and wants to smack the police upside the head repeatedly for being so dense.

On the plus side, her characters were, as usual, witty and interesting (if a bit over the top). The plotting was okay, except for the one key bit that a minimum application of logic unwinds (and the policeman doesn't unwind until the very end..sigh).

I actually did read the book, but was glad I got it on the buy one/get one sale. I might have been less generous if I'd spent a whole credit on it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-18

Just speed up the narration level!

Just speed up the narration! It's the same excellent narrator that reads all Heyer's "art deco" era mysteries. Plot is much slower than others but ends well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Greg Florence
  • 05-06-17

Fan of Heyer

I'm usually a great fan of Georgette Heyer, and this narrator is usually very competent as well. I'm not sure why she speaks so very slowly in a typical recording, unless it is to facilitate using the alternates speeds for listening.

For my taste, the plant spent far too much time focused on one and two minute increments of time during which the murder could have happened. I think the plotline could be fine, probably better for me if I was actually reading the book rather than listening, but the narration made one of the main characters (Neville Fletcher) seem possibly even more smarmy and unlikable than necessary. He had the potential to be witty and light, but came off as very patronizing and condescending. The first audiobook I just didn't finish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • CB
  • 22-12-14

Good characters but went on too long.

What did you like best about A Blunt Instrument? What did you like least?

The narrator seemed to have an Australian accent which was a bit odd but not too distracting.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan Alvin
  • 10-11-16

A very good story with a surprise ending. I really

The narrator was very good. I liked the different voices she used for the different characters

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M. R. James
  • 26-03-15

Great story by a terrific reader

One of the best of the wonderful Georgette Heyer mysteries. The reader brings the story to life by conveying the characters through a variety of pitch perfect accents and voices

1 of 2 people found this review helpful