Friday, August 02, 2013
The Quiet Gentleman (1951)
This year I am attempting to read all of Georgette Heyer's historical romances in chronological order. The Quiet Gentleman is one of the few I had not read before. (Though it seems very familiar to me.) Gervase Frant is the Seventh Earl of St. Erth. He is his father's heir, despite not always being on the best of terms with him. He has a half-brother, Martin, who was more of the favorite. A year after his father's death, Gervase has returned to England from the war. His family--his step-mother, his half-brother, his half-sister, his cousin--were all hopeful that he would have died in battle by now. Why couldn't he have died? It's just not fair. From the very first night back in his old home, Gervase receives friendly warnings from his cousin, Theo, warnings about how his very life is in danger.
The entire book chronicles the failed attempts on his life. Someone wants him dead, but they are doing a clumsy job of it. There are a few other things that happen in the book, readers meet various young men and women who are courting one another, a ball is held, I believe, but mainly The Quiet Gentleman attempts to be a mystery.
I see The Quiet Gentleman as one of Georgette Heyer's weaker novels. Heyer has successfully made her romances mysteries before. And she's told stories mainly from a male point of view before. It didn't work for me because I guessed the would-be-murderer from the very first. It took Gervase about three-hundred pages to reach the same conclusion. However, I really enjoyed Druscilla, the heroine. Perhaps if she'd been the narrator, I would have liked it more?
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews