Why Shoot a Butler?

311134Christina here.  Why Shoot a Butler? is the title of one of Georgette Heyer’s country house mysteries/crime stories. It kind of makes it sound as though a butler isn’t even worth shooting, which is a bit odd! Or maybe that’s just the slant my mind put on it and it wasn’t what the author meant? It did make me think though …

I have just reread all Heyer’s mystery/crime books, and although most of them are ostensibly set during the 1930s (only the last one is after the war), the settings seemed to me almost identical to those of her Regency novels. They all take place either in stately homes or among people of the upper class. The characters are similar to her Regency ones as well – strong alpha males, sensible girls who triumph over the pretty but vapid ones, matrons with decided views on things, etc. And then there are the servants, particularly the butlers, whom I couldn’t help but notice even if the other characters don’t pay them much attention.

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