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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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review 2017-11-01 01:54
Tangled webs
These Old Shades - Georgette Heyer

I think I'm too much a product of my time. Having a hero who was 40yrs and a heroine who was 19, combined with the hero constantly calling her infant and for 80% of the story portraying her as very young, innocent, and wide-eyed, I couldn't and didn't want to buy into their romance. 

 

If you liked Val from Hoyt's Maiden Lane series, you're going to love our hero Justin, definitely an inspiration for him. I was a big fan of Justin and his wit, he's constantly miles and moves ahead of everyone else. Leonie was kept so young, guileless, and precocious without much emotional maturity growth, I have to be that person and say I wasn't a big fan of the heroine. 

 

The father figure falling for the young girl who hero worships him but written very well with tangled weave drama. 

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review 2017-10-19 08:23
Blunt Instrument
A Blunt Instrument - Georgette Heyer

Here's the thing about most Golden Age mysteries:  the puzzle is all.  No matter how witty or clever or brilliant the writing is, it's almost never about the characters themselves, but about the murder mystery puzzle.  Which is, of course, why I read mysteries; I love the puzzle and I love trying to solve it.  But unfortunately, if the reader does solve the murder/puzzle, there's not a lot of characterisation to fall back on; solve the puzzle and the remaining story can be tedious.

 

I solved this one on page 88-89.  I don't think I did anything particularly clever, just that a certain passage hit me a certain way and it all became clear to me.  The only thing I ended up getting wrong was the relation of the murderer to one of the characters and then only because I imagined the murderer to be the wrong age.

 

I didn't dnf, or skip to the end to see if I was correct solely because, when Heyer is 'on' with her writing she is on, and this is one of her better writing efforts, even if the plotting went astray (and I've found out her mysteries were all plotted by her husband).  The story behind the mystery plot is a farce and Heyer thoroughly caricatures everyone except Hannasyde.  The dialog was electric and even though I was thoroughly impatient with Neville at the start, I thought him wildly entertaining by the end.  I wanted to keep reading just to see what he'd say and do next. 

 

So, 2 stars for the plotting because... page 89.  There was never any doubt on my part that I was wrong.  But an extra star because the characters are Heyer at her wittiest and most hilarious.

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review 2017-10-14 15:35
I was right!!
A Blunt Instrument - Georgette Heyer

During the last third of the book I had a sudden conviction of who was the murderer, and I was right.I feel rather chuffed about that, pleased with myself over it.

 

And I will spend the next few days thinking, writing and speaking in early 20th Century English. Some authors do that to one.

 

Ernest Fletcher (and yes, the Murder She Wrote theme music was a regular feature of my reading of this) is found bludgeoned to death. Most of the people around him describe him as well-liked but this is on the surface only.  When he's found dead and there doesn't appear to be a very long window of opportunity Superintendent Hannasyde has to investigate, helped and hindered by his bible thumping Constable Glass and the indolent nephew of the deceased Neville.  As the layers begin to be scraped off the stories a lot of suspects begin to mount up and things get more and more complicated. Then a second body turns up...

 

I enjoyed it, inter-war fiction is some of my favourite reads and this was a good example, yes the characters behave in strange-to-a-modern-reader manners but I just let the story flow and enjoy.  While I did work out the murderer it was still interesting to see what would happen with the main characters.  I found it enjoyable.

 

This could fall into Terrifying women and Murder most foul and I've used those.

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