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Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer
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Footsteps in the Dark (original 1932; edition 2007)

by Georgette Heyer

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5631917,691 (3.53)61
Member:srearley
Title:Footsteps in the Dark
Authors:Georgette Heyer
Info:Arrow (2007), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:2011

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Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer (1932)

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Very slow to start - the characters were not the idiots I've been struggling with in other Heyer mysteries (Celia was foolish, but not the madcap foolishness of the drama queen in They Found Him Dead or the privileged foolishness of the whole lot in Death in the Stocks), but I still had a hard time connecting or being interested in any of them. But I slogged through, and eventually Peter and Margaret and Strange began to display humanlike characteristics. Just in time for Strange to turn into an utter idiot for obvious reasons, of course. Amazingly stupid cryptic utterances. Then the climax, in the leadup to which both Margaret and Peter behaved like horror movie characters, but interesting and well-done. I had figured out who the Monk was likely to be, but only likely. And the obvious happy-ever-after at the end. Not wonderful, but not bad - better than many of the other Heyer mysteries. This one I might even reread. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Mar 28, 2014 |
The women were called "girls," even if they were married to "men." The "girls" gushed and shrieked and were gullible, stupidly romantic, and easily led. Anybody who was not an upperclass male main character was foolish, superstitious, venal, or outright criminal. I was bored, bored, bored, and a little disappointed, because the reviews seemed to promise something a little sparkly and frivolous. I couldn't get past the notion that I was reading a Scooby Doo episode set in 1932. It gets one extra star for one creepy scene featuring a character who probably shouldn't go alone through the house with just a candle to light her way, but...she really needs something to read. ( )
  Turrean | Feb 15, 2014 |
This is a very light mystery. A good "pallate cleanser" book. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 28, 2013 |
Peter, Celia, and Margaret have inherited a country estate, complete with an old priory and chapel. The house has been uninhabited for years, but the group, along with Celia's husband Charles; their aunt Mrs. Bosanquet; and their loyal retainers, move in to have an adventure.

They get more adventure than they expected. The locals believe the house is haunted by a spectral figure they call "The Monk." The extended family laughs it all off, until they start seeing the Monk themselves.

This was pretty forgettable and the parts that weren't forgettable were irritating.

Let's start with the irritating.

This family moves out to the country and then has a grand old time laughing at all the country people around them. The "upper crust" of the little society gets off relatively unscathed, but everyone else is an ignorant dumbass. Being from the country myself, this stereotype got old for me a long, long time ago.

Moving on to the forgettable...

There was not one character that was well-developed. In fact, I never could remember which man was the husband and which was the brother. It mostly didn't matter since they all just acted like besties anyway and there was never any husband-and-wife chemistry between Celia and Charles. Both of of the guys were flippant little smartasses who thought they were much more intelligent than they actually were. I did have Margaret and Celia straight, but that's only because Margaret was the one who was developing a love interest. Mrs. Bosanquet did amuse me though. She was very good at putting Peter and Charles in their places.

The romance was of the type that suddenly appears out of nowhere, and I generally dislike that kind of thing.

I never really cared what was going on with the Monk. I had an idea about one little aspect of the mystery, and I did figure out who the Monk was, but I think I realized it about the time I was supposed to.

I'll still give Heyer's Regency romances a try, but I'll be skipping out on the rest of her mysteries. There are too many good cozy mysteries out there to waste time on more overdone, forgettable triteness. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
This was the first of Heyer's mysteries and it shows. Heyer apparently did not want it to be re-published so it can be presumed that she wasn't that keen on it, or at least that she recognised its weaknesses. And weaknesses it has. There's little character development (not that too much character development is to be expected in such a novel), the crime is a bit unconvincing and the resolution a bit pat. However, it exhibits some of the classic Heyer strengths: strong dialogue (albeit not quite as witty as in later mysteries), a nice sense of place and time and a predictable but nevertheless sweet romance.

The four star rating I have given this novel has been determined somewhat idiosyncratically. Two stars are for the mystery itself. An extra one is due to the writing and the fourth because it is Heyer's first mystery and is therefore of some historical and literary significance to her fans. The net result is a novel I liked very much. A must for anyone who is interested in Heyer in particular and 1930s mystery novels in general. Possibly a miss for most other readers. ( )
  KimMR | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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'And I suppose this is the approach-course,' said Charles Malcolm.
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Book description
The Priory may be ramshackle in appearance, but Peter, Margaret and Celia, who inherited it from their uncle, love it for its rambling charm. But there's more to this house than is at first apparent: for years hardly a single person has set foot in the place, and even their uncle chose to live in a different house, far away from this particular property.
Local wisdom says that the house is haunted. And when things start going bump in the night, it certainly seems as if something ghostly is walking the Priory's halls. Then a murder is committed. Does the key to solving the crime lie in the realm of the supernatural? Or is the explanation much more down to earth?
Blurb from Arrow books paperback edition (2006)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099493691, Paperback)

The ramshackle old house, with its rambling charm is beloved of Peter, Margaret and Celia, who have inherited it from their uncle. But local wisdom says The Priory is haunted. Then a murder is committed. Does the key to the crime lie in the realm of the supernatural? Or is the explanation much more down to earth?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Bright and effervescent. -The Time s Literary Supplement What begins as an adventure soon becomes a nightmare... Locals claim it is haunted and refuse to put a single toe past the front door, but to siblings Peter, Celia, and Margaret, the Priory is nothing more than a rundown estate inherited from their late uncle-and the perfect setting for a much-needed holiday. But when a murder victim is discovered in the drafty Priory halls, the once unconcerned trio begins to fear that the ghostly rumors are true and they are not alone after all! With a killer on the loose, will they find themselves the next victims of a supernatural predator, or will they uncover a far more corporeal culprit? What Readers Are Saying: One of the best stories Mrs. Heyer ever concocted, and of course written in her own inimitable style, with plenty of wit and dry humor. Spine-tingling enjoyment. Georgette Heyer wrote over fifty books, including Regency romances, mysteries, and historical fiction. Her barrister husband, Ronald Rougier, provided many of the plots for her detective novels, which are classic English country house mysteries reminiscent of Agatha Christie. Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy, inventive plots, and sparkling characterization.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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