The Quiet Gentleman

[openbook booknumber=”0099476371″]


Gervase Frant returns from fighting in the Napoleonic wars to inherit his seat as the Earl of Stanyon. His family is not at all happy to find that he is still alive as they all assumed he would die a horrible death and leave his half brother to inherit the estate. As his step mother says, in droll English fashion, serving at the front lines of a war is, to her mind, “most unhealthy” and it really was a pity that he didn’t die doing it. But, he is alive and his family now has to deal with a step brother heading the household and no one is happy about it. In fact someone is so unhappy that “accidents” begin to befall the new Earl and he soon realizes that not only does someone not want him at Stanyon, someone wants him dead.

I have seen before that Georgette Heyer writes mysteries as well as historical novels and regency romances. I never thought to branch in that direction though because her regency novels were so wonderful I couldn’t picture her being able to do anything better. She can! This novel was a delightful mix of mystery, historical and regency romance all twirled into one with lots of intrigue, suspense, mystery and yes just a touch of romance making this a wonderful read.

Depend upon it, you are just the sort of girl a man would be glad to have for his sister! You don’t even know how to swoon, and I daresay if you tried you would make wretched work of it, for all you have is common sense, and of what use is that, pray?”
-Drusilla Morville

Normally Georgette Heyer is not one to go into needless details and it took me a moment to realize that she was actually laying out possibilies, breaking down who had access to what and who could have been where at what time. A great puzzle to figure out early in the book. She kept throwing in twists and turns and while I thought I knew who was resoponsible towards the end I didn’t know for sure until the last twist was revealed. She kept me guessing right up until the end.

I also liked the heroine was named Drusilla and wasn’t necessarily considered a beauty. She was sensical, a little plump, short, and didn’t have anything really to recommend her aside from her ability not to fall down into fits the moment something tense happens requiring a swoon. A rarity in the regency, unheard of in romance novels, but Georgette Heyer makes it work to comedic effect and makes you love the character all the more.

With Heyer’s witty dialog, engaging and sparkling characters and her humorous portrayals of characters, repatare, and the situations that come out of them this was truly an engaging and wonderful read. It was a breath of fresh air after I was finally starting to get a little sick of regency romances. Not sick of them anymore! I think I might even be interested in giving her modern day mystery novels a whirl, if they are anything like The Quiet Gentleman I won’t be disappointed.

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