HELEN is the only book by Georgette Heyer that I have read that is not among her historical, Regency or detective novels. Her detective stories have all the complications of the stories by Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers and, like the historical novels, display a wonderful grasp of the conversational idiom of the epoch.
HELEN is about a young girl being brought-up in the care of her father. Her mother died at her birth and although a female relative would like to give a home to the girl, he decided to keep her to himself, saying, "She's mine. I haven't anything else."
Helen is an energetic, athletic girl devoted to riding and golf. I know nothing of the life of Georgette Heyer and it seems impertinent to research it since she once said, when asked for an interview, "My private life concerns no one but myself and my family." I suspect, however, that many scenes and incidents in the book are biographical. In any event, the brittle chit-chat of the nineteen-twenties is marvellously evocative.
My copy of the book appears to be entirely new apart from the crumpling of one corner, and, judging by the stiffness of the spine it had probably never been opened, much less, read. It was first published in 1928, seven years after The Black Moth and two years after These Old Shades where Devil Andover, of The Black Moth re-appears.