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The Toll-Gate Paperback – 6 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (6 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099476363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099476368
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of over fifty books, Georgette Heyer is the best-known and best-loved of all historical novelists, making the Regency period her own. Her first novel, The Black Moth, published in 1921, was written at the age of fifteen to amuse her convalescent brother; her last was My Lord John. Famous for her historical novels, she also wrote twelve highly acclaimed mystery novels. Georgette Heyer died in 1974 at the age of seventy-one.

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Review

"Wonderful characters, elegant, witty writing, perfect period detail, and rapturously romantic. Georgette Heyer achieves what the rest of us only aspire to" (Katie Fforde)

"My favourite historical novelist - stylish, romantic, sharp, and witty. Her sense of period is superb, her heroines are enterprising, and her heroes dashing. I owe her many happy hours" (Margaret Drabble)

"A writer of great wit and style - I've read her books to ragged shreds" (Kate Fenton Daily Telegraph)

"Sparkling" (Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

A delightful and dashingly romantic historical novel from the queen of the Regency romance.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "amandalawrence6" on 16 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is classic Georgette Heyer, gentle and terribly well mannered with a typically spirited heroine. John is a worthy suiter and the eventual outcome is pretty obvious from the start. However the many twists in the plot and the immaculate attention to period speech and costume are as wonderful as ever. I've read over forty of her fifty or more published works and this would creep in at about number 10. Try it, then try The Grand Sophy, in my opinion the incomparable Heyer at her finest.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Trigg on 25 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Whilst lost in the Derbyshire Peak District, and purely by chance, John Staple comes upon a toll-gate at the dead of night. Strangely there is only a young boy there to operate it. His curiosity pricked, John decides to stay and find out what is going on. Here begins one of Heyer's adventure stories, with mystery, villains, and plenty of derring-do. It is a romance of course, and Nell Stornaway, coping bravely in the face of adversity and very trying house-guests, is attractive as all of Heyer's heroines are. As ever, the charming and funny minor characters are half of the joy of the story. A pleasure to read, and good enough to come back to again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Crux Roesia on 9 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Captain John Staple is on his way to visit a friend at his hunting lodge when a chance meeting with a scared boy left in charge of a toll-gate on a wild night changes all his plans.
In less than twenty-four hours, he not only realises that he's stumbled onto a dangerous mystery, but he's also fallen head over heels in love at last. And so the huge, fearless 'Crazy Jack' becomes a surrogate gatekeeper/father figure until he can solve the mystery surrounding these Derbyshire hills and that plaguing the life of the local squire and his beautiful grand-daughter Nell, whom John is determined to marry.
His sojourn will take him below ground and into the jaws of death as well as find him crossing swords with such characters as a moralistic highwayman, loyal-to-death servants, murderous men and also those of Bow Street, and all the while, he will be trying to win the hand of the Amazonian Nell for his own.

A fast-paced, eventful adventure romance, with the traditional Heyer-style 'happy ever after'. All the characters are engaging in this story, even the urchin Ben, and the Toll-Gate features a truly larger-than-life hero. Captain John is certainly the man you want in any crisis!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JMV on 15 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is not a typical Georgette Heyer regency romance. This story is all about the hero Captain John Staple playing detective and trying to solve a mystery/crime. I don't feel the heroine features enough or that I ever really got to know her very well. The story was interesting enough for me to finish the book, but it's not one of my favourite Georgette Heyer's. If you're looking for romance, there are many other delightful Georgette Heyer books that fit the bill!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Bedford on 7 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When Crazy Jack Staple, lately of Wellington's returns to civilian life after the defeat of Napoleon, he finds that there's not much to satisfy the adrenaline junkie he's become, and no woman who really interests him. Then, while escaping from his boring cousin's boring houseparty he rides into Derbyshire to visit a friend and puts up for the night at a lonely toll gate cottage when he finds the gate-keeper has left his ten year old son, Ben, alone and petrified.

Jack not only finds a mystery, but he finds romance in the shape of Nell, granddaughter of the ailing squire, competent and capable, and somewhat too tall for polite society and the 'ton.' It's love at first sight for Jack, but since he's masquerading as the gatekeeper's cousin, Nell takes a bit of convincing, however her retainers (faithful groom and nurse/companion) have no qualms about Jack and quickly decide that he's Nell's likely saviour as she'll soon be ousted from her home when her grandfather dies (as he has left it to her the obvious male heir, her unsympathetic cousin).

At its heart this is as much mystery as romance. The keeper, Ben's father, only stepped out for an hour, but now he's missing. Nell's odious cousin and his even more odious friend have installed themselves in the manor which the cousin hopes soon to inherit, but they don't seem to have a very good reason for doing so. There's a good-hearted highwayman and a Bow Street Runner sniffing around.

Jack latches on to the mystery, determined to solve it and so the romance almost takes a back seat until romance and mystery collide. There's much more derring-do than in Heyer's usual Regency Romances and it fairly bounds along to a pistols and fisticuffs conclusion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lindymck on 13 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
more a mystery story than a romance but still great stuff. keeps you intrested as i couldnt put it down and read it in an afternoon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Toodles Book Club on 29 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
Review taken from my Blog Post (#65) in January 2011:

Always a delight to dip back into the world of Georgette Heyer. I cut my reading teeth on her fabulous work, and so was delighted to be handed an old copy by my Aunt the other day.

I seriously consider her novels "classic reading".

This one is delightful, and packed to the rafters with cant language .................. so entertaining, definitely worth a read.

Captain 'Crazy Jack' John Staple late of the Dragoon Gaurds, and seasoned campaigner in the Peninsula has returned home from Waterloo. Living in peacetime is rather dull for this giant of a man, and he gets himself into one or two adventures, so his friends are well used to him by now.

This time he finds himself lost on a terrible night, ending up at an unmanned toll-house in the Pennines. There is a small and terrified boy who needs his help, so he decides to stay for a lark and man the toll until the boy's father returns.

He also finds a woman along the way that steals his heart, which has never been given away before.

A 4 star read with loads of humour.
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