Read for the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge.
The more Heyer I read, the more I realize I like her older books better. They’re light and fun, like all her books, but less likely to run to the absurd. This book is one of her earlier books, and it runs toward the absurd frequently.
Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine (that’s Sir Peregrine, but he’s only eighteen, so the honorific seems a bit premature) are journeying to London against the express wishes of their guardian, Lord Worth. It seems that their father held the elder Lord Worth in great esteem, but didn’t realize that the elder Lord Worth predeceased him. So Perry and Judith (and Judith being an heiress of 80,000 pounds!), find themselves the wards of an eligible bachelor. You can see where this is going.
Judith is so rich, she catches the attention of all the interesting people in town, including Beau Brummell, the Prince Regent, and a number of the prince’s younger brothers. There are plenty of parties, and riding engagements, and trips to Brighton. Oh, and someone wants Perry dead because Judith is his sole heir.
The book’s not terrible, but it veers to the silly too often, and since I’ve more recently read some of her more mature work, I found myself missing that. (It didn’t help that edition I have has a particularly terrible cover.)