Having heard so much praise for Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances, I’ve been curious to give her writing a try but I found myself lacking in actual enthusiasm to start until I discovered that she had written “modern” mysteries. Her first such novel, and my first Heyer, Footsteps in the Dark is a stand alone country house mystery originally published in 1932.
Now, granted, I haven’t read many country house mysteries, but I found this to be a particularly delightful example. The 1930’s contemporary setting, the cast of characters including three siblings that inherited a former priory reputed to be haunted, and the combination of predictability and surprise were quite on point and had me wishing there was a vintage movie or BBC version to watch after.
I adored this cozy mystery with it’s mix of classes, aristocratic siblings, the touch of romance, and the boorish husband. So the Regencies can wait, and I’ll be happily ensconced with feet up, a cup of tea, and a Georgette Heyer mystery as often as possible this winter.
Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer | Sourcebooks Landmark, January 2019 | ebook, 432 pages
This review refers to a digital galley read through NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
From the publisher:
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?
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.