Why Shoot a Butler? -- Georgette Heyer
The mystery itself wasn't too difficult to figure out -- I was briefly diverted by some of the red herrings, but had the correct solution before it was revealed.
With Georgette Heyer's mysteries, it's not that the mysteries themselves are fantastic. It's the characters and the witty (often to the point of making me laugh out loud) dialogue that make these books special and worth not only reading, but re-reading.
Why Shoot a Butler? has:
A Murdered Butler (obviously), a Mysterious But Brave and Sharp-Tongued Woman with Secrets, a Drunken Young Man, a Sneaky and Shifty-Eyed Eavesdropping Valet, and a Rude, Arrogant and Bossy but Brilliant Barrister with a Penchant for Speed. Also Multiple Murders.
I'm not joking about the rude and arrogant bit. He's awful. But strangely attractive, in an Emersonian way. I never knew if I wanted to slap him or jump him. (Until the end. Then I just wanted to jump him.)
Amberley and a police sergeant:
"Now in this case there's only one this that looks a bit fishy."
"Do you wear glasses?" asked Mr. Amberley suddenly.
"Me, sir? No, I do not."
Amberley and the Love Interest:
"Do you know, I think I'm treating you with a remarkable amount of forbearance," he said. "Did anyone ever slap you really hard when you were a child?"
And unwilling smile crept into her eyes. "Often. Thank you so much for bringing my brother home. I'm most awfully grateful, and do wish I could ask you to stop, only unfortunately I'm rather busy just now. How's that?
"I prefer the original version. You might ask me into your sitting room."
"No doubt, but I'm not going to."
"Then I won't wait for the invitation," he said, and walked in.
Amberley and his uncle (and aunt, who is AWESOME, and who reminded me of Lord Peter's mother, which is never a bad thing):
Sir Humphrey jabbed his glasses onto his bony nose. "Why did you think so? Are you going to tell me that all this business has something to do with your--your meddlesome investigations for the police?"
"Everything," said Amberley. "Didn't you guess?"
"Damn it, Frank, next time you come and stay in my house--"
"But I'm enjoying to all so much," interposed his wife, emerging from her correspondence. "Shall we be murdered, Frank? I thought these things didn't happen. So very enlightening."
Rad. I have another Heyer mystery at home, but I'm going to have to track down and read THEM ALL.