A haunting read: Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer (1932)

Another great read from Heyer, a not terribly serious read set in the now familiar locale of a country house. This time it is a gloomy and dilapidated Tudor priory, reputedly haunted to the extent that very few people have set foot in it for years. The protagonists are a jolly bunch – Peter, Margaret and Celia – who have inherited the house from an uncle and who, along with Celia’s husband determine to solve the mystery of the evil monk who stalks its corridors. As well as the investigation of real or faked supernatural goings-on, there is a murder, and the dénouement provides a satisfactory and happy conclusion to the investigation.

While reading this I was reminded of another of Heyer’s novels – one of her Regency romances, The Talisman Ring. This too is set in an isolated country house and has similar supernatural happenings. Like that, this was well written with excellent if somewhat stock characterisation. It is very much of its time – there are lots of allusions to the servant problem, and some of the dialogue is less than pc, but it has the benefit of being funny in places. Don’t pick this up if you are looking for something dark and challenging, but if you want a genuinely entertaining, light read, then this should prove just the ticket.

See also,
Envious Casca


3 responses to “A haunting read: Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer (1932)

  1. When I was younger I read all those Georgette Heyer murder mysteries and adored them. Reading your posts is making me want to pick one up again, but the timing has to be right. They are real comfort reading, and you have to need wrapping up in soft narrative blanket to really appreciate them.

  2. You’re right, they are comfort reading, and that’s why I’m enjoying them so much just now – reading that I don’t have to think too much about, but which tells a good tale without any deeper meaning.

  3. I love Georgette Heyer too – the books are such an enjoyable and easy read, you can read them more than once and still enjoy them just as much

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