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Publisher's 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

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    170
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    81
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    17

Performance

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    52
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    23
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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

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 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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!

27 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adelite
  • Bellaire, TX USA
  • 02-26-15

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Masterful performance

Ulli Birvé was absolutely fabulous. I have had trouble getting into audible books because with one exception I have hated the reading. This has not been the case here. She was better than the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs
  • 10-31-15

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Th?r?se
  • Th?r?se
  • 02-27-15

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MR
  • MR
  • 01-25-15

Disappointing

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Carôle
  • Carôle
  • 01-01-15

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michelle C
  • Michelle C
  • 08-09-17

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MRS R.
  • MRS R.
  • 07-26-17

Jolly good fun

Very enjoyable story and very well read. I really had no idea who it was until the end!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for martina saldanha
  • martina saldanha
  • 04-20-17

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dot The I's
  • Dot The I's
  • 05-01-15

Great fun, loved it, but good to remember context!

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

Yes, I found it a well written and engaging story, and if not uniquely original I enjoyed some of the characters very much.

Also whilst it's all subjective and each to their own, I enjoy the narration by Ulli Birvé....her narration fits in my mind with the time in which the stories were written and set (late 1930's - 50's) and I think should be taken in context with this and the fact that Heyer's murder mysteries were very much regarded at the time as 'upper-class family murders'! I will admit though that very occasionally...and not apparent in this recording...she can slip and a slight Aussie twang can sometimes be heard, but then she is Australian and nobody is 100% perfect!

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

I enjoyed the daughters character very much!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bill
  • Bill
  • 03-28-18

Excellent Heyerdahl murder mystery

Well plotted period murder mystery. Narration generally good but one or two annoying mispronounciations, particularly demurred pronounced to rhyme with endured rather than interred

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Demelza Baker
  • Demelza Baker
  • 01-31-18

Deeply disappointed

Just deeply disappointed. I have only just discovered Georgette Hayer and really enjoyed Frederic’s. But in this the characters uninspiring and annoying. No murder till a good few hours into the story by which time you no longer care. Male voices all the same and ladies sound insipid. Wish I hadn’t bought.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary Neylan
  • 08-08-16

Women

The mystery held your attention until the end.

Loved the wit of the investigating officer.

Disliked the type casting of mostly silly women and dominating men, but perhaps that just reflected the era.

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
Profile Image for Cary
  • Cary
  • 08-05-17

Ok

I really struggled to finish this. In fact I sped up the reading to finish. I could never forget the reader. The way she paused and broke up sentences was very distracting, and therefore I could never be fully immersed in the book. I much prefered the reader of the last Georgette Heyer book I listened to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jane
  • Jane
  • 03-30-17

Intriguing mystery

Great voice acting brings this story set in early 20th century to life. A group of quite diverse characters all have reasons to murder Wally Carter and Inspector Hemingway is faced with difficulties and a marked lack of cooperation from most of them. I listened to this into the small hours because I couldn't turn it off.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Margaret
  • Margaret
  • 08-09-15

Great Book and Reading

Love the G.Heyer Thrillers and The reader has done a very good Job…. Ist book of her reading I didn't go for but others very good …practice makes perfect … Tops at doing Hemmingway the CID Policeman