Georgette Heyer Reviews- Death in the Stocks, These Old Shades, Devil’s Cub

29 Jul

Death in the Stocks- A man is found dead, locked in the stocks on a village green. It turns out he was a jerk and just about everyone he knew had motive to kill him. Georgette Heyer’s mysteries aren’t as intricately plotted as Agatha Christie’s, nor are her characters as well-drawn as Dorothy L. Sayers’s, but I still find them enjoyable. They have the same comedic, charming quality as her Regencies. This one was no exception- very light-hearted and funny, despite being about a murder. The victim’s younger half-siblings and their whacky antics in this were hilarious. It’s not something to turn to if you’re looking for deep and meaningful material, but it’s still a fun book. My Rating: 8/10

These Old Shades- This is one of her earliest works, set in the Georgian era. It’s a reworking of a lot of the characters from The Black Moth, which she wrote as a teen. The title refers to the characters being “shades” from that book.The hero in this book, Justin Alistair, the Duke of Avon, is a reworking of the villain from The Black Moth, a “bad” man past forty. The heroine, Leonie, is a nineteen year old girl who has lived as a boy since she was twelve. I was pleasantly surprised by this book because, frankly, my expectations were very low. The age difference was a bit squicky but I still found it amusing and fun. My Rating: 7/10

Devil’s Cub-This is actually a sequel of sorts to These Old Shades, dealing with Leonie and Justin’s son, Dominic, the Marquis of Vidal, a man even wilder than his father had been. Vidal is sent to France to avoid scandal after killing a man in a duel. He is determined to take Sophia Challoner, a girl he’s infatuated with, along to be his mistress. Mary Challoner, determined to save her sister from ruin, goes in Sophia’s place to try to trick Vidal, but he makes her go. I actually liked this book in the beginning, but it quickly went downhill for me. Vidal’s taking Mary because any slut would do for him and then repenting once she shot him and he realized she was actually respectable actually didn’t bother me that much because it’s not meant to be taken seriously. But I never bought into the romance. The characters didn’t even interact enough for me to buy their falling in love. And seriously, how terrible were Leonie and Justin as parents if their son ends up even worse than Justin was??? My Rating: 6/10

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