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No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1

Narrated by: Ulli Birvé
Series: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (127 ratings)

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Summary

The superlatively analytical Inspector Hemingway is confronted by a murder that seems impossible – no one was near the murder weapon at the time the shot was fired. Everyone on the scene seems to have a motive, not to mention the wherewithal to commit murder, and alibis that simply don't hold up.

The inspector is sorely tried by a wide variety of suspects, including the neglected widow, the neighbour who's in love with her, her resentful daughter, and a patently phony Russian prince preying on the widow's emotional vulnerability and social aspirations. And then there's the blackmail plot that may – or may not – be at the heart of the case....

©1939 Georgette Rougier (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Pungent dialogue and A1 characterisation." ( Time Magazine)
"Miss Heyer's characters act and speak with an ease and conviction that is as refreshing as it is rare in the ordinary mystery novel." ( The Times Literary Supplement)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narration spoilt the book

Would you try another book written by Georgette Heyer or narrated by Ulli Birvé?

Yes by Georgett heyer no to Ulli Birve

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Ulli Birvé?

Phyllida Nash

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Stroy intriguing and always like Georgette Heyer's dialogue which is why narration so important.

Any additional comments?

Reading as an Australian would have been fine, but pretending to be English badly and totally unanimated reading ruined an author I really like so now I can't buy any more of her crime books.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Death by monotone

Would you try another book written by Georgette Heyer or narrated by Ulli Birvé?

Would love to listen to anything by Heyer. Finely-tuned, intelligent, and funny.

What other book might you compare No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1 to, and why?

Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers

What didn’t you like about Ulli Birvé’s performance?

It is hard to imagine a more relentless, humorless, dull reading, of such wonderful material. Amazing that some vague traces of the wit and sparkle of the author actually survive.

Any additional comments?

Terrific books, worthy of re-issue. Would be brilliant in the right hands

5 people found this helpful

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great story dodgy narration

as always these stories are great, funny and good mysteries with a touch of romance but unfortunately all the characters who speak without a posh accent have a new zealand one. This can be ignored but it does grate on the nerves somewhat. I suggest listening to the ones where most characters should have an upper class accent thus minimising the problem or perhaps audible could get them redone with an english narrator, which would be much better all round.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Not recommended - Could not get into it - Did not find narrator engaging - Always hoping for the real story to begin

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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The narration is awful

I listened to so many audiobooks, not all were easy to listen to, but this detective story is completely ruined by the narrator. It is a shame as some of the dialogues are very entertaining. I even went so far as to read the book just to find out if the dialogues were indeed as stilted and dry.

2 people found this helpful

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Great story spoilt by Narration

Really enjoyed the mystery however the narrator is not good at all she only seems to do two types of voice upper class or a very poor common accent all delivered in a monotone the story though was good.

1 person found this helpful

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Problem is narrator not the book!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different narrator. I have read all the Heyer mysteries and have thoroughly enjoyed them as well written, lighthearted entertainment. Unfortunately this narrator's stilted style (perhaps she thought she was addressing an audience of children?) made this story unlistenable for me. I did check the sample before buying, and thought it sounded OK enough.

What was one of the most memorable moments of No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1?

Couldn't get past the first 15 minutes.

Would you be willing to try another one of Ulli Birvé’s performances?

Definitely not.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1?

Wouldn't change the story itself.

1 person found this helpful

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What a disappointment

What would have made No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1 better?

It would have been much better if the narrator had been able to give the reading more flow, it was very stilted in places. I don't know if she had a chance to read the book first or if she was 'winging it'. Either way I found it enormously irritating.

Would you recommend No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1 to your friends? Why or why not?

No, I only made it to the end because I wanted to know whodunnit, which given the annoyances of the reading is a tribute to Heyer's plotting.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Ulli Birvé?

Dawn French, Robert Glenister, anyone.

1 person found this helpful

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Save your money and purchase a different book!

What would have made No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1 better?

A different narrator

What will your next listen be?

More Patricia Wentworth, I haven't yet found another author who can replace her as my current favourite author.

How could the performance have been better?

The voices of the characters were jarring and unconvincing. There was very little variation between each character's personality in this re telling (common or posh were the only choices and because of this the narration kept me from focussing on the story).

What character would you cut from No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1?

Keep the characters, change the narrator.

Any additional comments?

Diana Bishop would have brought Georgette Heyer's stories to life-sadly, for me, Ulli Burve did not.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Crime in 3 Acts!

This is the 1st in the Inspector Hemmingway novels & it starts of rather dully to be honest, but because it's Georgette Heyer, one has to persist. And it's well worth the perseverance.

The first part is necessary - although you won't appreciate that at the time - because of the over abundance of Red Herrings, liberally scattered about!

Part 2 is the meat & potatoes of the piece & is in equal parts entertainingly humorous & doggedly sleuth-like.

Part 3, the finale, neatly ties together the whole & brings about not only a satisfactory conclusion, but a strong desire to wish for more narrative on the 'happy ever after' stories of the remaining characters.

Definitely well worth the read. If you're hesitant about purchasing this novel - think of it in a similar vein of the Miss Silver novels, without the staidness of Miss Silver, but all of the fun & humour of the same. Buy it. You'll thank me!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Monica
  • 30-01-15

Not a good read(er)

What did you like best about No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1? What did you like least?

Georgette Heyer's mysteries are sprightly and entertaining, though dated in regard to foreigners (teeth gritted), and rather contrived, shallow plotting (about which see comments on narrator). I am also less fond of the Inspector Hemingway novels than the earlier ones--they seem more routine. But like her other books, this was well written, full of fun, and had its share of wonderful characters--especially Vicky. And it is these qualities that make me love Georgette Heyer, even at her less-than-best.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Ingenious, if improbable. The villain is a most satisfying choice. Not sure I like the way one promising character gets reduced to a second-best dull old thing, but the emerging love story is fun.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Aside from pleasant speaking voice, she ruined this book in every possible way. No animation at all and draggy pace. This is especially unbearable when she voices the male characters, for whom she switches to Very. Carefully. Spaced. Monotone. This a serious crime in Heyer novels, which are so dependent on shadings of tone, irony, comedy, and a fine sense of the ridiculous. The reading killed these, so that the only thing left was the not-very-entertaining plot. You don't read Heyer for plot. I was so looking forward to revisiting the rest of the mysteries, but absolutely can't.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not with this cast/production. No way.

Any additional comments?

Try again with a different reader? And for Heyer fans who have not read her mysteries, get the books! They're lovely escape reading.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul and Courtney
  • 22-02-15

Horrible Naration: Why Use Australian Accents?

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The story was OK, but a little corny in the end. The Ulli Birve was just awful. I really can't believe that she can find work. She can do about three different accents, and two of them sound Australian. Just awful reading. The ending was a little silly.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It seemed exceedingly implausible.

What didn’t you like about Ulli Birvé’s performance?

Absolutely NOTHING. It was awful.

Did No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1 inspire you to do anything?

Hate Ulli Birve's work, and read the next book.

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-01-15

great story, so so narrator

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

i know this book so well, having read it dozens of times, as i have all of Heyer's mysteries, and i like listening to the stories very much, but the narrator mispoke some words, she changed 'county' to 'country' at least a couple of times, which kind of changes the tone of those passages, and i dislike some of the accents used. but overall i like having the audible versions of these books because they are among my most favorite mysteries and i listen to them often. very convenient when i cant read the actual book.these mysteries are very well written and enjoyable.

What did you like best about this story?

everything

What aspect of Ulli Birvé’s performance would you have changed?

she is good but needs to make sure she reads the actual words as written

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bodiccea
  • 07-02-16

The Wheels Fell Off

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the beginning of the book - it is a cozy, with minimal blood, all very civilized and fairly light on the brain. However, the last quarter or so of the book became increasingly annoying. The method and solution of the murder is ridiculously complicated and unlikely to the point of absurdity. I simply could not wait for the book to end.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • The Louligan
  • 18-01-15

ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS!

I love Georgette Heyer, owning every Regency and Georgian book she's written. I'd never read a romance novel before until I stumbled on her "Frederica" about 5 years ago on Audible. I was hooked! But this "thriller" is juvenile, confusing, uninteresting, with boring unlikeable characters. The main one, Inspector Hemingway, is a joke. He couldn't get an indictment against a ham sandwich! Heyer surrounds Hemingway with a cadre of dull sargeants and constables who are as inept as he his. Oh, they finally solve the crime but only after the listener is subjected to 7 hours of "Keystone Kops". Hemingway doesn't even appear until 4 hours in. By that time, I was hoping that ALL of the other characters would just die along with the first victim! They are so flat and dull.

I couldn't figure out why this book was so bad after listening to/reading more than 20 books by this prolific author. The story sounded like someone else had ghostwritten it, with none of Heyer's usual well-defined characters, smart witty dialogue, and intriguing plot. So off to Wikipedia I went. There, I discovered the problem. Heyer's HUSBAND had provided the main protagonists for the thriller, leaving her to put together a story that was not her personal "baby". As a result, the books are cliché, dull, and awful. Her thrillers were never as popular as her romance novels, selling way less and getting lukewarm reception. There's only one Inspector Hemingway book - THANK GOD! I tried one of her Inspector Hannasdyde thrillers a few months back, but returned it to Audible within the first 2 hours. I thought I'd give it another try, listening to this entire mess, only to be equally disappointed. I'm returning this book as soon as this review is published.

Narrator Ulli Birvé is competent, given the substandard material. Save your money! I chose to reread my Agatha Christe collection again - Hercule Poirot never gets old!

30 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Book Maven
  • 04-02-15

Not sure what was wrong...

I've always enjoyed reading Georgette Heyer's mysteries, and the narrator did use a lot of different voices but there was something wrong that made it drag. A few voices were loud & irritating or set my teeth on edge. Possibly I'm overly sensitive but I wish she had toned it down & added more variation & resonance to the reading. Especial as she is an actress. Well maybe she's new to narration? I'll hold off buying the rest of the series. For now. The storyline was okay but veered off in places. I was glad when it finally finished. A
feeling I've not had yet reading the paper books.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. L. A. Randles
  • 17-06-15

Most disappointing listen so far

What would have made No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1 better?

a different narrator perhaps. But the story itself was lacklustre. I didn't like any of the characters and quite honestly, I didn't care who had committed the murder! There were a few characters I would have cheerfully murdered myself!

Would you ever listen to anything by Georgette Heyer again?

Yes-I throroughly enjoy her Regency and Georgian series.

What didn’t you like about Ulli Birvé’s performance?

I know its difficult to do so many accents but it jarred to have Australian vowels cropping up.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kathryn Loring
  • Kathryn Loring
  • 11-03-15

Disappointing

The reader was so bad in the beginning, I almost stopped listening, but I had no other books on my device. The 'Inspector' didn't even show up until chapter 10 (out of 16) but once he was there it got better. Doubt I'll continue the series. Very old-school writing too.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adelite
  • 26-02-15

Cozy

Would you listen to No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1 again? Why?

The story and the reader were excellent. I believe the recording was suboptimal- sounded compressed sometimes speeded up without altering listener preference options. I am wiling to carry on with the series since the writing, wit, reading are most entertaining.

What other book might you compare No Wind of Blame: Inspector Hemingway, Book 1 to and why?

Same sort of writing as Josephine Tey.

What about Ulli Birvé’s performance did you like?

Excellent voice with identifyable characters but the recording did not do her justice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The character of ERmintrude is simultaneously annoying and endearing- that had to be difficult to achieve. The moment at the end of the book when she takes in the children of her arch enemy is sweet.

Any additional comments?

Better technical recording please.

2 people found this 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
Profile Image for N. Brown
  • N. Brown
  • 14-07-18

Great repartee!!

I Love Georgette Heyer! Her stories are so well written and the interaction of her characters is so crisp and down right funny, at times . I never knew about her mysteries until after I had gone through many of her romances.
But, I really like her mysteries more.
I first heard the audio books with two male narrators, so I wasn’t sure I’d like Ms. Birve. I’m glad to say she’s very good with her characterizations of the different people in the stories.
If you want something fun with great characters, try Georgette Heyer. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

1 person found this helpful