The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (June 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402238835
- ISBN-13: 978-1402238833
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Less than a hero's welcome...
Returning to his family seat from Waterloo, Gervase Frant, seventh Earl of St Erth, could have expected more enthusiasm for his homecoming. His quiet cousin, stepmother, and young half-brother seem openly disappointed that he survived the wars. And when he begins to fall for his half-brother's sweetheart, his chilly reception goes from unfriendly to positively murderous.
One of Heyer's most suspenseful Regency romances, The Quiet Gentleman combines an ingenious mystery plot with her signature witty style and effervescently engaging characters.
Review: The mystery kept me wondering as I enjoyed the characters.
Gervace Frant returns from war to the mismatched castle and estate of Stanyon where he hasn’t felt welcome for years. Now he is returning as the new Earl to take control of the estate. His younger half-brother, Martin, is the son who has been doted on and treated as if he would become the Lord of the manor. Someone is so unhappy about the new Earl that he begins to suffer accidents. At first they seem almost like careless pranks that might cause some small harm but when the Earl is shot it is clear that someone really does mean to remove him.
Martin is a hot head with a short temper. He doesn’t like his elder brother whom he barely remembers. His antagonism increases when Gervace begins to pay attention to the local beauty, Marianne, interfering with Martin’s courtship attempts. One of Gervace’s good friends from the service visits and he too shows interest in Marianne.
Other members of the household include Martin’s mother, the Dowager, who only sees perfection in Martin and views Gervace as a threat to her son’s happiness. At least Gervace finds one friend at home in his cousin, Theo, who has been his man of business watching over his affairs. There is also Miss Morville, a neighbor young lady who serves as a sensible, and seemingly unremarkable, temporary companion to the Dowager.
Marianne is the sweet beauty who attracts the men. The estimable Miss Morville, Drusilla, manages the household and handles all circumstances from planning a ball to taking charge when the Earl arrives with a gunshot wound. Drusilla clearly likes the Earl and is concerned for his welfare but she has no expectation that he would be interested in her.
There are red herrings that blur the search for the person attempting to murder Gervace. This kept me interested to see if I was guessing the villain and motive correctly. I did guess about midway into the story but the confirmation didn’t come until near the end.
The story focuses on the different society positions, the behavioral expectations and the jealousies existing among the characters. The romance is merely light flirtations. I enjoyed the subtle satire, sarcasms and gentle humor. The writing tone, detail and characterizations fit the time period to perfection. There is a certain propriety and elegance to be found in Heyer’s writing and characters. If you enjoy an old-fashioned romance, with no sexual content but plenty of character, you would like this story and this author.
~~~~I received this book from Sourcebooks for review. Don't forget that Sourcebooks is offering all Georgette Heyer ebooks at the sale price of $1.99 - this week only. Take advantage of the sale to pick up some wonderful reads!
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY:
1. Tell me which character you think you would like best. Female choices: the sweet beauty or the sensible companion; Male choices: the commanding Earl or the volatile younger son? This is required for entry.
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