More Heyer

As you can imagine, I was busily scribbling away at my dratted diss in the past few days, and yesterday I finally managed to finish one of The Really Big Chapters. (Yay!) So next week I can finally start tackling traditional dragons, in other words, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Or rather, at the end of the dragon. *g*

But as you can also imagine, I didn’t only work. If I had, I would probably sprout utter gibberish (with dragons) by now. As it is, there are already enough dragons in my blog posts and facebook updates now! And so, in order to do you, my gentle readers, A Very Great Favour, I continued my Georgette Heyer glom-fest. (Oh, the things I do for you!)

By now, I’ve read a few of her mysteries in a row, and I’m much taken with them. Most of them are very witty, feature some wonderfully eccentric characters, and have a romantic subplot, too. In addition, the covers of the Arrow editions are absolutely stunning (and I guess you already know how much I love pretty covers, shallow creature that I am). Here’s a selection:

I bought Penhallow only because of the cover. (See? I’ve told you, I’m shallow. *g*)

Footsteps in the Dark is often described as the book in which Heyer most obviously mixes comedy with mystery. To be honest, I liked the elements of comedy in A Blunt Instrument much better.

This is my favourite cover. (Consquently, this book is now on top of the Heyer pile of one my sitting-room tablescapes.) I spent several days trying to figure out whom the woman reminded me of. (Yes, I know, bad style. Split thingy-thing. Wossname. Who cares? ‘Tis my blog, not the diss.) And finally – brainwave! She looks a bit like Zoe Telford, doesn’t she?

I finished A Blunt Instrument today, and it’s my favourite Heyer mystery so far. The characters are great; there is not one, but two love stories; and the mystery itself is quite nice, too. I positively adored Neville Fletcher – in many ways he’s a typical Heyer hero, cool as a cucumber, flippant, and blessed with a rapier-sharp wit. Take the introduction of the character, shortly after the body has been found:
A lock of dark hair fell over his brow; he wore a pleated shirt, and a deplorable tie, and looked, to PC Glass, like a poet. […] His fluttering glance went roudn the room and discovered the body of Ernest Fletcher. His hand left the door-knob; he walked forward to the desk, and turned rather pale. “I should shame my manhood if I were sick, shouldn’t I? I wonder what one does now?” His gaze asked inspiration of Glass, of Simmons, and encountered only blank stares. It found the tray Simmons [the butler] had brought into the room. “Yes, that’s what one does,” he said, and went to the tray, and poured himself out a stiff, short drink of whisky-and-soda.
“The master’s nephew – Mr Neville Fletcher,” said Simmons, answering the question in Glass’s eye.
“You’re staying in this house, sir?”
“Yes, but I don’t like murders. So inartistic, don’t you think? Besides, they don’t happen.”
“This has happened, sir,” said Glass, a little puzzled.
“Yes, that’s what upsets me. Murders only occur in other people’s families. Not even in one’s own circle. Ever noticed that? No, I suppose not. Nothing in one’s experience – one had thought it so wide! – has taught one hwo to cope with such a bizarre situation.”
As I’ve said, it’s a complete puzzle to me why I didn’t discover Heyer years ago.
What about you? Have you read any nice books lately? (Preferable books without dragons!)

4 thoughts on “More Heyer

  1. azteclady

    I’m reading Dorothy L. Sayers myself–love Lord Peter Wimsey, but the one character I would keep if I could is…

    Bunter. 😀

    Thank you for the update!

  2. Laura Vivanco

    there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Or rather, at the end of the dragon.

    Which end of the dragon? I think I’d prefer it if you were dealing with a dragon with a tail-light. The lights at the front end tend to be rather hot, even fiery, and are very dangerous.

    The woman on the cover of The Unfinished Clue maybe also looks a bit like Jean Harlow.

  3. Anonymous

    If you have not yet discovered the deliciousness that is Randall in Behold, Here’s Poison ah, you are in for a treat!

    No Wind of Blame is also a big fav of mine. Very funny. –willaful

  4. Birte Lilienthal (LL)

    Absolutely wonderful covers! I complemented my Heyer Regencies with the Arrow editions (so beautiful), but I might need to get the mysteries, too. 🙂 Any recommendations where to start?

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