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The Toll-Gate by Georgette Heyer
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The Toll-Gate (1954)

by Georgette Heyer

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
John "Crazy Jack" Staple is rich, well-bred and, since the end of the Napoleonic wars, bored. A chance meeting at a toll-gate with the beautiful granddaughter of the local squire leads Jack to stay in a small village. While he woos Nell, he notices a number of unlikely coincidences...and eventually figures out a deadly local plot. Although I liked both Nell and Jack, and thought them well-matched, Nell basically disappears after the first third of the novel. The rest of it is Jack's adventures with the local criminals, which are particularly annoying due to the heavy dose of "theives' cant" they provide. Heyer's novels would have been greatly improved if at least half the Regency slang was removed. This is a better Heyer romance than many, but not the best. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
One of Heyer's earlier historical novels - rather too much action for my tastes, and a huge number of dull and irrelevant people in the first chapter.

Nonetheless, the main character, Captain Jack Staple, is an excellent creation: large, adventurous, loyal and impulsive. He befriends a scared child looking after a toll-gate and lands himself in considerable danger in a very exciting climax.
( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
An enjoyable reread of a favourite author, very well narrated ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
This is slightly different from Georgette Heyer`s typical book, with less romance and more adventure and humor. The slang and idioms used were quite challenging and amusing. All in all, an entertaining read. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
This is not necessarily what you think of when you pick up a Regency Romance. It starts conventionally enough, with an engagement party at the estate of the Earl of Saltash. But from there is rapidly becomes apparent that it's not the Earl that's the focus of the story, it's his dashing, devil-may-care cousin John Staples. He starts out to visit a friend, and ends up staying in a Toll-gate house. Ben's father (the gate keeper) has vanshed and the boy is terrified. John - always out for adventure, or at least something out of the ordinary, is intrigued and hangs around for a while to get to the bottom of it. All sorts of characters turn up, the Squire's grandaughter, her maid, the groom, the landlord, the local highwayman, the works really. It's a real ensemble piece. There is a mystery to be got to the bottom of, as well as a romance to resolve. And it all does so in a most satisfactory way. Maybe a little bit too pat on the mystery, but the plot is involved enough for this not to be in the least bit predictable. The only gripe was the use of slang - a lot of which left me somewhat lost. I think I got the gist, but it didn't always make a great deal of sense at the first pass. ( )
  Helenliz | Jul 12, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georgette Heyerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hill, DanielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The sixth Earl of Saltash glanced round the immense dining-table, and was conscious of a glow of satisfaction.
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Book description
”How can I know that you are to be trusted? I never set eyes on you until yesterday!”

Captain John Staple had enjoyed active service too much ever to settle for a life of humdrum respectability. The post of gate-keeper to a toll-house in the Pennines appeared to offer certain unexpected and agreeable diversions.

This exciting witty novel tells how the handsome dragoon becomes involved with an engaging highwayman, a taciturn Bow Street runner and a stolen hoard of gold coins whilst protecting the squire’s attractive niece from black villainy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099476363, Paperback)

Captain John Staple’s exploits in the Peninsula had earned him the sobriquet Crazy Jack among his fellow Dragoons. Now home from Waterloo, life is rather dull. But when he finds himself lost and benighted at an unmanned toll-house in the Pennines, his soldiering exploits pale away besides an adventure — and romance — of a lifetime.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Captain Staple's exploits in the Peninsula had earned him the sobriquet Crazy Jack amongst his fellows in the Dragoon Guards. Now home from Waterloo, life in peacetime is rather dull for the adventure-loving Captain.

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