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Search tags: georgette-heyer
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text 2018-03-04 00:41
Buried Treasure
Copsi Castle - Norah Lofts
Penhallow - Georgette Heyer

My house is a mess.  My studio (sometimes called "the little house," because that's what it is) is a disaster.  The workshop is worse than both of the others combined.

 

I have five weeks until the spring Studio Tour, which is the last show event of the season.  Scheduling conflicts forced me to cancel participation in two other shows, which wasn't good for my bottom line.  This spring Tour is a new event for our artists group, and I'm very excited about it.

 

Today was the first opportunity I've had to really plunge into work for it, however.  We've either had weather too cold to work in either the shop or the studio, or I've had other events going on.  And to tell the truth, I just haven't had the energy.  Part of that may have been due to the vitamin D deficiency diagnosed last month; after a month's worth of supplements, maybe that's been turned around, too.  At any rate, I was up by 6:00 this morning, threw in a load of laundry and dashed to the grocery store for a few essentials while the washer was running.  I was home before the final rinse.

 

And then it was out to the studio to start cleaning some of the mess.  I actually made some progress, and when it got warm enough outside, I even ventured over to the workshop.

 

I have to confess I almost turned around and walked back out, but I gathered up some determination and headed for the storage racks where the 80+ plastic shoeboxes of rocks are stored.

 

 

Over the years, some of those plastic boxes have rotted from the sun and started to disintegrate, making a horrible mess.  That had to be today's first chore, and it involved sorting out the rocks in those boxes.  As almost always happens when I dig into boxes of rocks that I've had for a long time, I discover things I didn't know I had, either because I just plain forgot about them or because I didn't know what they were in the first place. 

 

One of those sun-rotted boxes had a whole bunch of Oregon beach agates, some already polished and some not.  I sorted out a batch for the tumbler and got them started; they should be finished just in time for the Studio Tour.

 

Feeling proud of myself for having actually accomplished something, I began rearranging some other things in the workshop.  Most of the boxes of (uninventoried) books are at least labeled by genre, but there are other boxes containing . . . . heaven only knows what.  One of them happened to be in the way of the area I was cleaning, so I opened it to see if the contents were even worth messing around with.

 

I laughed out loud.

 

A whole box of gothic romances.  At least 50, maybe 75, maybe more.  I grabbed the Norah Lofts and Georgette Heyer from the top layer, but there's a whole lot more.  Willo Davis Roberts.  Dorothy Eden.  Now I can't even remember who all else.

 

I've already added my edition of Penhallow to the database.  I'll add Copsi Castle in a few minutes.  If only I didn't have to take time out to cook supper!

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review 2017-12-25 16:32
A Christmas Party / Envious Casca
A Christmas Party: A Seasonal Murder Mystery - Georgette Heyer

My physical copy of this Georgette Heyer book is titled "A Christmas Party" and as Themis pointed out to me, the original title "Envious Casca" has a specific point to it. Themis was so kind and gave me a hint about the title and I looked it up after finishing the book and she is right: the original is much more fitting for the story than the new one (which is pretty bland and boring, I think).

 

The murder mystery might not be the strong suit of Envious Casca since I thought it to be a bit predictablebut I loved the dysfunctional family / friends relationships of the Christmas company at Lexham manor. The toxic atmosphere between these people and their lashing out at each other without holding back was highly entertaining.

 

Overall a really fun read and I´m glad that I managed it to read it this Christmas.

 

Book themes for Las Posadas: Read a book dealing with visits by family or friends, or set in Mexico, –OR– with a poinsettia on the cover. –OR– a story where the main character is stranded without a place to stay, or find themselves in a 'no room at the Inn’ situation.

 

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review 2017-12-23 17:34
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 13 - Christmas: Unseasonable Squabblers
Envious Casca - Georgette Heyer,Ulli Birvé
Envious Casca - Georgette Heyer

This was a season- (and 16 Festive Tasks-) induced reread; Envious Casca actually is, however, my favorite among all the Georgette Heyer mysteries I've read so far.  Recently republished under the title A Christmas Party (shame on anybody hearing a cash register tinkling faintly in the background), it's the seasonal entry in Heyer's series of country house mysteries -- investigated first by Inspector Hannasyde and later by his erstwhile sergeant-turned-Inspector Hemingway --, and thus fits nicely into the mold of the wave of Christmas house party mysteries that enjoyed a near-undying popularity in the first half of the 20th century, and which have recently seen a major renaissance.

 

I like this book considerably better than most of Heyer's other mysteries, as most of her other books are populated by a crowd of just-too-nice-to-be-believed nice chaps and bright young things (one of whom, or their equally over-the-top nice elders, typically turns out to be the murderer, with someone else hiding a dose of poison under their oh-so-nice facade as well) ... all of which had me exasperated after a while and deciding I was just about done with Heyer.  Not so here, however: the only over-the-top-nice person is an old fogey named Joseph Herriard, who is decidedly more of a parody than a straightforwardly-created character; everybody else, beginning with the victim-to-be, Joe's curmudgeonly brother Nathaniel, and all the way down to the young'uns wished upon Nat by Joe for what has to be one of the Top 10 ill-assorted Christmas parties in the history of mystery writing, seems to feed on regular doses of pure acid, which makes for rather spirited exchanges -- or, um, well, actually, anything from squabbles to all-out tongue-lashing fights -- pretty much the whole way through.  (And the servants aren't any better ... I suppose a Golden Age reader might have asked, "how can they expected to be with the kind of example set for them Upstairs?").  All of which, in the hands of a different writer, could easily be a recipe for disaster when it comes to synching that sort of characters with the proper Christmas spirit, but Heyer pulls it off beautifully, essentially by taking neither Christmas nor her characters excessively seriously, while however never talking down to them, either -- or to the reader.

 

The narration by Ulli Birvé (who narrates all of Heyer's books) is OK, but just a bit too contrived and unnatural at times for my liking -- besides, she gives Inspector Hemingway the audiobok narrator's standard "country copper" accent, which he decidedly doesn't have in my ears -- all of which is why I subtracted a half star for the audio version. Heyer's actual book is a 4 1/2 star read for me.

 

I revisited this for the "Christmas" square of the 16 Festive Tasks: Read a book whose protagonist is called Mary, Joseph (or Jesus, if that’s a commonly used name in your culture) or any variations of those names (e.g., Maria or Pepe).  (It's impossible to pin down one single protagonist in this book -- in cinematic awards terms, this one, like many country house mysteries, would be a sure-fire candidate for a "best ensemble" award -- but Joe Herriard is definitely one of the stand-out characters in an overall deliciously acrimonious cast.)

 

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review 2017-11-06 00:58
Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer
Footsteps in the Dark - Georgette Heyer

Three siblings (Margaret, Peter, and Celia) inherit a rambling old house in the country so they decide to stay there for a while to take advantage of it. So we have the siblings, their aunt Mrs Bosanquet, Celia's husband, Charles, and the Bowers (their help).  Of course, the old house has a history of ghost stories and a character called the Monk apparently haunts the place. Everyone in the house experiences weird happenings, and although they don't really believe the place is haunted, they start to wonder.

 

The mystery was only so-so and I figured out who the Monk was, but the banter between the characters really made this book for me. Charles in particular was ridiculous and awesome. The romance wasn't exactly forced but it seemed pretty rushed and random. Oh well. The banter was still really good.

 

I'm using this book for Square #3 St Martin's Day for the 16 Festive Tasks "Read a book set in a rural setting."

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text 2017-11-02 12:55
Reading progress update: I've read 22%.
Footsteps in the Dark - Georgette Heyer

I'm enjoying the exchanges between the characters here. Like when Charles says he's good at finding things and reminds his wife about the time he found her diamond broach and she replies that he didn't find it, she did, after he had ripped up some floor boards. It turned out he meant the other time she lost it when he found it by stepping on it when he was getting out of bed in the middle of the night. Very clever of him, eh?

 

I also wasn't originally planning on participating in the Festive Tasks this year because I didn't last year, but MbD and TA have tempted me. I'm thinking this book would work square 3 St Martin's Day "read a book set in a rural setting" (it took me so long to find that reference again) since it's about an apparently haunted house in the country. I suppose you'd say it's on the outskirts of a small village rather than in the village. That counts, right?

 

It was also a potential Halloween choice for me but I think I'll reserve that book choice for a witchier book.

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