January 3, 2009

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

Having just read Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer and enjoying it enormously I decided to go straight into another read by the author. The Reluctant Widow in comparison has more of a mystery/suspense plot than romance, with the romance only unfolding in the last few pages of the story. It was a good novel though, with great characters and Heyer's ever-present humorous happenings. I was able to reason out some of the plot however which detracted a bit from the enjoyment, so I do not put the The Reluctant Widow on par with Devil's Cub.
I used to read gothic romances by Catherine Coulter and Louisa May Alcott (she wrote Gothics under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard and I would recommend the book A Whisper in the Dark for those with interest) and that's what this story sort of reminds me of (excluding the humor of course), only set in the Regency period; the same underlying menace and intriguing male characters who were either foppish dandies or cool observers and female characters a bit too high strung and overwrought. Heyer puts a lot of effort into describing exactly how the clothes, buildings, conversation would have been for the period, as well as each character's voice matching their station in life and ancestry (e.g. we are told that the retainer Barrows talks in a less refined Sussex dialect). An admirable effort.
I have to admit after reading two Regency books in a row I am dizzy with period language...not sure if I will read These Old Shades next...I look forward to the story but need a change of pace.
My Rating: 4.0

1 comment:

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