Georgette Heyer, , read by Hugh Dickson. . Audio Editions, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-57270-202-8

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FictionBEHOLD, HERE'S POISONGeorgette Heyer, read by Hugh Dickson. Audio Editions, unabridged, six cassettes, 9 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 1-57270-202-8

Although her contemporaries Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh got more attention, Heyer (1902–1974) also was an important pioneer in the mystery field. When she wasn't writing her more famous historical romances, Heyer turned out several sharp and satirical mysteries such as this one, which in many ways is as bracingly modern as the film Gosford Park in its treatment of life above and below stairs in a posh country house. The excellent British television actor Dickson, probably best known to American audiences for his performance in A&E's The Scarlet Pimpernel, perfectly catches both the edge and depth of Heyer's writing, as he creates dozens of characters who differ subtly in age, sex and—most importantly—class, in this story of a poisoning and its aftermath. Dickson's solid, no-nonsense reading of Inspector Hannasyde, Heyer's quietly impressive sleuth, might make listeners long for a video version somewhere down the road. (Oct.)