Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Georgette Heyer

You know, I’ve read just one book by Georgette Heyer — THE CORINTHIAN. Which was totally charming. I know, I KNOW, there are ten thousand regency romances out there, but Heyer’s are just so charming, which I expect you all know already, right?

I’d heard that FALSE COLORS was good, so I picked it up from Audible. It’s got a mistaken-identity plot involving identical twins, one of whom has vanished (shortly after getting engaged), and the other of whom takes his place so that the engagement won’t founder.

Of course this is ridiculous, but the story is amazingly engaging. Somehow. Despite the huge number of pages devoted to people just standing around talking. How does Heyer do that, anyway?

Well, the charming dialogue, that’s one key; and then the characters are also engaging and charming. I do really love Kit (the twin who is the protagonist) and his flighty, irresponsible, charming mother; and the sensible Cressie (his twin’s fiancee).

So I asked Maureen E for suggestions for other Georgette Heyer books to try. This turned out to be a really good idea because I got this link to a whole lot of Heyer reviews! And Deb Coates weighed in, too. All very helpful and that should take care of my Audible needs for a while!

That leaves just one question. Should I go on with FALSE COLORS for twenty minutes twice a day while driving back and forth to work? Or set it aside until November 1st when I have a five-hour drive? Decisions, decisions . . .

In the meantime, though, Heyer fans can certainly enjoy checking out Maureen’s Heyer page. And, if you have a particular favorite, which one is it?

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7 Comments Georgette Heyer

  1. Elaine T

    I think the first Heyer I read was THE TALISMAN RING, which I still reread and enjoy. Other favorites are CIVIL CONTRACT and COTILLION. I haven’t reread FALSE COLORS in quite a few years, but remember enjoying it. I think it would be ok listened to in 20 minute chunks.

    Unlike many people I find THESE OLD SHADES irritating.

    I can’t remember the one with a particular scene of the male protagonist being polite to very ill mannered people, but it sort of set a standard for me as to good manners.

    Mari Ness over on Tor.com has been doing weekly posts about Heyer, (which is where I found out that many people absolutely love THESE OLD SHADES) and Jo Walton a while ago posted there about some Heyers as well, including a tidbit or two which illuminated some things, such as what exactly a cotillion is, in more depth than “ballroom dance.”

  2. Bayla

    My favorite Heyer book is Frederica. It’s a little different than most of the others, since the focus expands to Frederica’s family (so many great characters) rather than pinpointing on just the romantic pair. I would highly recommend it.

  3. Rachel

    Bayla — thanks for chiming in; I’ll have to add that one to my list.

    Elaine — you know, Ngaio Marsh’s detective, Roderick Alleyn, is the one I think of for being unstoppably gracious to rude people. A character like that does kind of present a different model for behavior than we usually see these days, doesn’t he?

  4. Elaine T

    Popping back in to suggest the one contemporary mystery of Heyer’s that I enjoy: DEATH IN THE STOCKS. Same sparkling, charming characters and dialog as the best of her Regencies.
    And dogs. :-)

  5. Susan Frances Edwards

    I used to have a couple of shelves of Georgette Heyers, until I moved into a small one-bedroom flat. But ‘The Talisman Ring’ is my all time favourite, because she’s spoofing herself, it’s clever and laugh-out-loud funny.

  6. Rachel

    Good to know, because I definitely need some more Heyer. Right now I have read (or listened to) only The Corinthian and False Colors, and have on audio Cotillion and The Devil’s Child. A world of Heyer still out there waiting!

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