Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review: Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer

Title:  Footsteps in the Dark
Author:  Georgette Heyer
Genre:  Mystery
Pages:  347

Rating:  A-

Synopsis (from  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?

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First, let me start off by saying "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"  Now that that's out of the way, I can start on the review.

Why Shoot a Butler? was my first Georgette Heyer mystery, and Footsteps in the Dark is my second, but I enjoyed this one so much more.  The characters, the dialogue, the setting, the mystery itself -- they all work together to make an awesome story.

In this book, there are four main characters, rather than one or two.  The siblings - Peter, Celia, and Margaret - and Celia's husband Charles are at the center of this adventure.  Interestingly enough, even though it's only the siblings who get mentioned in the book description, Charles is really the strongest and most predominant character in the book.  Each one has a unique personality that gets to shine; even the secondary characters get plenty of development.  The dialogue is typical of a Heyer novel - witty, sarcastic, and fun.  Especially when Charles was part of the conversation.  (Obviously Charles was the best character in this book.)

The setting for the mystery was perfect too.  An old estate with hidden passages and creaking stairs and overgrown woods.  It just radiated secrecy and intrigue.  And the mystery itself was exciting and spooky.  It was one part mystery and one part ghost story.  I loved it.  My only problem was that once again, I figured out ahead of time who the villain was.  Fortunately, I hadn't also figured out the how or why, but it was a little disappointing to not be surprised at the end.  Of course, someone else reading the book might not figure it out at all.  

Overall, the book was great.  Romance, humor, mystery, sarcasm - what else could you possibly need?  A-

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