A weekend of traveling gave me the opportunity to finish The Unfinished Clue by Georgette Heyer. A classic British whodunit set in the 1930s, the arrogant Sir Arthur Billington-Smith and his weak, timid wife Fay host a weekend house party, attended by an eclectic group including Fay’s sister Dinah; a social-climbing couple; Sir Billington-Smith’s dim-witted son and his self-centered starlet fiancé; and a guest with the last name of Guest who just happens to be in love with Fay.

Everyone has a motive to murder Sir Arthur. Ms. Heyer sets the stage such that any one of the houseguests could have been the guilty party. An inspector from Scotland Yard comes to investigate the murder by working through the clues, most notably the unfinished clue found on Sir Arthur’s desk, written in his own hand.

While entertaining, this isn’t a nail-biter, suspenseful mystery. According to Wikipedia, Ms. Heyer’s husband often provided basic outlines for the plots of her thrillers. She developed the story from there and this one proved that nothing uncovers the deepest buried secrets like a murder. The English aristocracy is not exempt from familial dysfunction, either.

I read the book over several weeks. The many characters were identified by their first names in some places and their formal name in others and I struggled to remember who was who. With so many characters, Ms. Heyer did not develop any of them deeply. To be honest, I didn’t like most of the crowd – which worked out nicely as I wouldn’t have minded if any of them had been the murderer. The book is selling today for only $1.99 and has been at that price since Ms. Heyer’s birthday in mid-August. The book is well worth that price just to resolve the unfinished clue.
Click here to purchase Unfinished Clue