The Black Moth. Georgette Heyer. 1921/2009. Sourcebooks. 355 pages.
Prologue: Clad in his customary black and silver, with raven hair unpowdered and elaborately dressed, diamonds on his fingers and in his cravet, Hugh Tracy Clare Belmanoir, Duke of Andover, sat at the escritoire in the library of his town house, writing.
Chapter one: Chadber was the name of the host, florid of countenance, portly of person, and of manner pompous and urbane.
Loved this one. I had my doubts--I'm not sure why--but I ended up just loving it. Why did I have doubts? Well, for some reason I thought that since this was Georgette Heyer's first novel it would perhaps be clumsy or awkward. Not quite as good as the others that I've come to love. Is it her best work? Probably not. But it's good. It's fun. It's fun in a dashing kind of way.
The characters. So many to love, so many to love to hate. Jack Carstares, Earl of Wyndam, our proper hero. Richard, his younger brother with a secret. Lavinia, Richard's wife, the woman I ended up loving to hate! Tracy, Lavinia's "devil" of a brother who thinks kidnapping is the way to get your heart's desire. Diane, the lovely woman adored by two men--one a highwayman, one a kidnapper. Miles, a good friend who has always believed in his friend no matter what. And so many more!
The writing. So much to love. It's detailed, but not in a heavy way. More in a witty kind of way. Take this description of Lavinia, "She was ever thus -- not two minutes the same." For those readers who mind the details, you'll find much to appreciate! I found it richly detailed and the world depicted by Heyer was just fascinating.
This book is loosely connected with These Old Shades.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews