Thursday, May 23, 2019

Footsteps in the Dark

Footsteps in the Dark. Georgette Heyer. 1932/2019. Sourcebooks. 432 pages. [Source: Review copy]

 First sentence: "And I suppose this is the approach-course," said Charles Malcolm. "Full of natural hazards." His wife, Celia, replied with dignity: "That is the tennis-court.' Charles made a derisive noise. "All it needs," she said, eyeing him, "is a little leveling." "All it needs," said Charles rudely, "is a hay-cutter and a steam-roller. And this is the place you wouldn't sell!"

Premise/plot: Is the house haunted or not--that is the question driving Georgette Heyer's Footsteps in the Dark. Local legend has it that the place is haunted by THE MONK. But is it? Or is there a human element to the mischievous happenings?

This mystery stars four main characters. Charles and Celia Malcolm are the married couple. Celia has a brother, Peter, and a sister, Margaret Fortescue. (There's also an aunt.) They work together to try to solve the mystery. Secret passages, tunnels, doors. Weird/spooky howls. And always, always mysterious footsteps in the dark. The men definitely think there's someone in the community with ulterior motives--someone who wants them to sell the property. But who?

My thoughts: Footsteps in the Dark is not Georgette Heyer's finest mystery novel. It's a bit scattered. It can be hilarious--in a dry, witty way--at times. But for the most part, it isn't quite a page-turner. At least not until the very, very end. The last third of the novel ZOOMS. I ultimately found it worth it--but for those with little patience, I'd recommend her other mystery novels.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Alyssa Nelson said...

At least it picks up at the end! Great review!

Jean said...

I liked this one and thought it one of her better mystery novels (some are pretty bad). But I'm always partial to fake hauntings, having grown up on the Three Investigators. :)