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A Heyer Classic That Deserves More Attention
on 17 July 2007
I love reading - and reading Georgette Heyer has always been one of my biggest pleasures ever since my Mum lent me one of hers when I was in bed with 'flu!
This story, however, was one that had passed me by until recently, which is a real shame as it is such a lovely one. The setting is pastoral Georgian England with the hero, Gervase, as a respected soldier reluctantly returning to take charge of his inherited estates. The story revolves around a cast of - as usual - intriguing characters who live in and around Gervase's Stanyon estate. All but Theo (Gervase's impoverished cousin who acts as bailiff) and guest Drusilla (the unassuming, practical daughter of revolutionary writer parents, off discussing how to rid the country of its nobility in the Lake District) cannot stand the fact that Gervase survived the wars, which leads to the well-written mystery part of the tale when his life comes under threat.
Spoilt half-brother Martin (prime suspect) and his mother (the matriarch who thwarts Gervase at every turn) provide brilliant villainous parts in this, a story of suspicion, attempted murder, subtle revenge and slowly growing love in an English village. A definite must-read. Then when you've read it once, read it again and see if you can pick up on any of the subtle clues...!