The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is not Georgette Heyer's best.
That said, there's a lot to enjoy here anyway, especially the exquisitely foppish Francis, who turns out to be much more than the overdrawn dandy he first appears - but NOT, let us be clear, the hero of the piece! (Any fellow Bujold fans out there think he might be a pattern plate for Byerly Vorrutyer?)
The actual hero, Carlyon, and his heroine, Elinor, aren't very exciting, but they're both lovely anyway, and exactly the sort of people you'd be happy to know in real life. And Carlyon and his two brothers compose one of the best-drawn and affectionate FAMILIES Heyer's ever brought to life.
What doesn't work? Sadly, it's the plot. More mystery than romance, the hidden-papers plot drags and drags and draaaaaags. I came for the romance, and there just wasn't that much.
Still, for Heyer fans, there's still a lot to love: clever dialogue to laugh at, a pleasant household to warm the heart, and a bit of cloak-and-dagger work to chill the blood.
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