Sunday, September 20, 2009
Footsteps in the Dark
Hello, everyone! This is my first post on the Georgette Heyer Challenge blog, and I'm so happy to be here :-) I adore Heyer. I once wrote a post on Historical Tapestry gushing about her, and I continuously gush about her on my blog, too. And comment on other people's blogs when they read her. So I was so thrilled to find this blog and to review on it as well! I'll just post the Heyers I've reviewed on my blog on here, first, and then maybe my favorites... and if I read new-to-me ones, I'll get those up as well. Thanks a lot, Felicia, for setting this up. It is an excellent idea.
Favorite Line: "A remark more calculated to provoke a peaceful man to homicide I've never yet heard."
It's funny sometimes, how books packed with so much excitement and memorable characters can just sit placidly on your shelf, waiting to be read. Footsteps in the Dark is a thriller mystery of the first order, complete with secret passageways, priest holes, skeletons and a cowled monk. Of all Heyer's historicals, it reminds me most of The Reluctant Widow (one of my favorites!) with its full cast of characters, most of whom are related to each other. The book is full of hilarious one-liners and wonderful character interplay, Heyer's trademark. I find in books like this that I get so wrapped up in the chemistry between characters that the plot becomes secondary. It's unfortunate that character interaction is so hard to review, really, since it is such an integral part of books. In Footsteps in the Dark, the characters (Charles in particular, playing against Peter) all deal splendidly together, and the book is a great romp because of it.
I don't know if the plot itself is very tight, mystery-wise. I am never the sort of reader who tries to figure out the whodunnit before getting to the end of the novel, so I don't keep an eye peeled for clues and red herrings the way that many readers do. I think, in a rural setting, though, there are only so many people who can be the "bad guy," so it isn't too difficult to determine who it will be. This didn't bother me in the least, though, because Heyer's writing is just so hilarious in this book. She has such a knack for witty banter. Though, a slight annoyance in this story was that her clear derision for the police once more shines through. She seems to have had major issues with law enforcement- she doesn't seem to have found them very effectual in her dealings, I guess! But overall, a fun and entertaining read.