We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Why Shoot a Butler? | [Georgette Heyer]

Why Shoot a Butler?

On a dark night, along a lonely country road, barrister Frank Amberley stops to help a young lady in distress and discovers a sports car with a corpse behind the wheel. The girl protests her innocence, and Amberley believes her – at least until he gets drawn into the mystery and the clues incriminating Shirley Brown begin to add up. In an English country-house murder mystery with a twist, it's the butler who's the victim, every clue complicates the puzzle, and the bumbling police are well-meaning but completely baffled.
Regular Price:$34.36
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

On a dark night, along a lonely country road, barrister Frank Amberley stops to help a young lady in distress and discovers a sports car with a corpse behind the wheel. The girl protests her innocence, and Amberley believes her - at least until he gets drawn into the mystery and the clues incriminating Shirley Brown begin to add up.

In an English country-house murder mystery with a twist, it's the butler who's the victim, every clue complicates the puzzle, and the bumbling police are well-meaning but completely baffled. Fortunately, in ferreting out a desperate killer, amateur sleuth Amberley is as brilliant as he is arrogant, but this time he's not sure he wants to know the truth.

©1933 Georgette Rougier (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Georgette Heyer is second to none." (The Sunday Times)

"Heyer is an author to read, this means you!" (The New York Herald Tribune)

"Sharp, clear, and witty." (The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (49 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.1 (46 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
3.8 (46 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Sharon 09-09-14
    Sharon 09-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    119
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Baaaaad narration is ruining this book!"

    If you are a Georgette Heyer fan, skip these new ones until they are released with a different narrator. Ulli Birve is sleepwalking her way through - I am one hour in, and unless the plot can overcome her narration in the next hour, this one is going back.
    What is going on? Doesn't anybody at Audible listen to these productions before they are released? Not only is her voice a deadpan monotone, context and punctuation are blithely ignored as she stutters her way through the sentences. Example: "Fountain looked annoyed, and shook his head." The narration: "Fountain. Looked Annoyed. And shook his head."
    It's extremely distracting, and definitely not what Georgette Heyer's books deserve!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Price CLANCY, MT, US 10-16-14
    Becky Price CLANCY, MT, US 10-16-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Speed of a Glacier"

    Typical of Georgette Heyer, the story was great. The performance was an ordeal. The reader read the story at the speed a glacier migrates. This very slow speed resulted in weird pauses throught out the book and very S L O W, irritating progress. The slow delivery ruined Georgette Heyer's witty style. I finally put my I-pod on faster play mode to listen to this book. Once in a while, the performer would speed up to a more normal, natural speed. This meant that in faster play mode I missed some words and sentences. If there is another audio version of this book, get that one, not this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TX lilbit Austin, TX 10-14-14
    TX lilbit Austin, TX 10-14-14 Member Since 2009

    AusTX Lilbit

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor narrator spoils dialogue"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm not sure because the narrator's wooden flat dragging delivery spoiled the book for me, but I think there's supposed to be a good amount of witty repartee and funny characterizations in this book. Wish someone like Nadia May had been the narrator. I didn't finish it.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Georgette Heyer? Why or why not?

    With a different narrator, I would be willing to try another book from this author.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    It was as if she believed the listener had very poor comprehension or wasn't a native English speaker. Really, flat, slow dull reading.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Almira PHOENIX, AZ, United States 10-02-14
    Almira PHOENIX, AZ, United States 10-02-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I typically love Georgette Heyer, but....."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    the narrator.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Georgette Heyer's books are known for their plentiful characters and authentic voices of the time and the witty dialogue. So a really strong narrator is needed who can clearly voice different characters. Also, this plot was rather more convoluted than other mysteries by Heyer, so that made it trickier. I hated the narrator. She sounded bovine and mournful the entire time.


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

    Kate Reading, Ellen Archer, Clifford Norgate, Stephen Thorne, Hugh Fraser


    Could you see Why Shoot a Butler? being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Heyer, try her later mysteries like "Behold, Here's Poison" and "The Unfinished Clue"

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 09-25-14
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 09-25-14 Member Since 2007

    Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton.  In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!! 

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1366
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1326
    223
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    140
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "NOT THE STANDARD HEYER FARE"

    I've listened to 28 of the Georgette Heyer books written in the Georgian and Regency periods. Before reading my first Heyer work, I was not a fan of the Regency romance genre. However, I was hooked after listening to "Frederica" and promptly purchased more than 2 dozen more her audiobooks. But this book isn't nearly as good as Heyer's first work, "The Moth", written while in her teens. This story dragged out for hours with nothing of consequence going on. The characters are uninspiring and flat. The dialogue is boring. Halfway through the book, I still hadn't figured out what the whole thing was about. Maybe if I hadn't started with such great Heyer stories like "Behold", "Here's Poison", "Devil's Cub", "The Nonesuch", "Royal Escape", and "These Old Shades", I'd be more inclined to give "Why Shoot A Butler?" a higher rating. Something is missing here, i.e., the spark and genius that made the other Heyer books so enjoyable.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nanellen Sammamish, WA USA 09-16-14
    Nanellen Sammamish, WA USA 09-16-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of Heyer's Best Mysteries"
    Where does Why Shoot a Butler? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed Why Shoot A Butler so much I believe I have to rank it near the top of my list. Ulli Birve is perfect for the period and style.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Why Shoot a Butler??

    I loved the chase to the sea. Being a fan of Georgette Heyer for many years and having read her historical fiction of the Regency period, there seemed to be an intentional reminder of the races to the rescue in the past. She even makes a reference that to Frank Amberley's urging the Bentley forward like springing the horses.


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

    This was my first experience listening to Ulli Birve. I will want to check out other books she's read, especially if they are by Georgette Heyer.


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

    I was surprised that Frank Amberley's aunt became such a wonderful addition in the audio book. There were several lines that made me laugh with delight. Of course, I had read the book and knew that he valued her uncanny ability to zero in on the critical points while maintaining a perfect lady's demeanor. But Ullie Birve brought that quality to sparkling clarity.

    And the Sergeant also had lines that made me laugh. He gave voice to a lot my own reactions to Frank Amberley's often annoying lack of transparency. Amberley kept his thoughts to himself and I was drawn into the story wondering as one of the characters "what was he thinking? And why would he do that?" The Sergeant's responses were wonderfully human.


    Any additional comments?

    This story and the reader are a pleasure to listen to. Georgette Heyer had the ability to paint the scene and create atmosphere with her words. If you enjoy movies and novels from the 30's and 40's, you will enjoy this story. There are undercurrents going on that require the reader to pay attention. No red herrings here. Just sinister and dangerous going-ons, murder, a damsel in distress who isn't sure who can be trusted and a hero whose calm arrogance is quite off-putting, especially at the beginning. I loved this mystery more than any Agatha Christie story I've read. More complex and more satisfying in the end.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
Sort by:
  • Hannah
    Hanworth, United Kingdom
    10/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A murder mystery murdered by the narrator"
    What would have made Why Shoot a Butler? better?

    I may be biased in that I love Georgette Heyer's murder mysteries more than her period novels. However this woman read the novel as if she had never encountered English before. I have never *ever* come across reading out loud as bad as this - and I help out in primary schools listening to under 10s reading books. Please, do not leave her in a recording studio without her carers ever again.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Why Shoot a Butler??

    I gave up after an hour. I tried. I love the book so stuck with it as far as I could. I even resorted to a glass of wine after the first half hour but that didn't help either.


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

    My cat would make a better job of it.


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

    The book is brilliant. The audio-book makes diabolical seem positively heavenly.


    Any additional comments?

    I want my ears cleaned.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.