Lady Serena Carlow has just lost her father, to whom she was a companion as well as a daughter, her mother having died when she was a child. To her astonishment and annoyance her fortune is left in the hands of Lord Rotherham, whom she previously jilted and with whom she enjoys a stormy relationship. Meanwhile her cousin inherits her large family home. So, at the age of 25, the feisty, but kind-hearted, Lady Serena moves to the Dower House with her step-mother, Fanny, who is younger and gentler than she.
The two very different ladies get on well enough, but life is dull for them, so after a few months they move to Bath and here the Tangle of the title begins. New characters appear and what follows is an interesting interweaving of different personalities. Lord Rotherham forms part of this, and although he and Serena rarely meet without arguing there is a depth and understanding to their relationship which I found moving.
In some ways the characters dance around each other as they do in Cotillion, (which is my favourite GH novel). The flavour is different though. Cotillion is a nice cake; its sweetness to be enjoyed. Bath Tangle is a curry: pungent, aromatic, sometimes sharp, sometimes sweet but always satisfying. Yes, Serena and Rotherham are feisty, and I don't like quarrelling, but there is much more to the story than that: the way they understand each other, Serena's grief for her father, the ladies' loss of their home and Fanny having been married to a much older man. Georgette Heyer deals with these issues with sensitivity and maturity. Then there are the other characters: an endearing elderly lady with an innocent grand-daughter, a gentlemanly army officer, a sensitive boy and a socially-ambitious woman. It makes a good mix.