Lynn Gardner: Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer


5.13.2019

Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer


There is always a thought of marriage between a single female and a personable gentleman, if not in his mind, quite certainly in hers.

Recently orphaned Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine travel to London to introduce themselves to their guardian, the Fifth Earl of Worth, and discover, to their dismay, that the Earl is the same horrible dandy who accosted Judith on the road! The Earl really doesn't want anything to do with his wards, but allows them to remain in London so long as they promise to not make cakes of themselves. To improve the odds, he arranges for them to be properly housed and chaperoned -- a deed when drives Judith a little mad. Happily, their long lost relative, Cousin Bernard, is a sympathetic party to their tale of woe and injustice and becomes quite a good family friend.

Then poor Perry suffers a serious of suspicious accidents ... Judith is left to wonder if these accidents are murder attempts. But who would want to kill her brother? Worth? Would he really kill her brother and force her to marry him to get his hands on the Taverner fortune?

Of course not! (Although he does arrange a kidnapping).

When I started reading Regency Buck, I had a hard time liking Worth and almost resented that he was our hero -- he was so cool and supercilious (and there was the dishonor he had done Judith). However, as the story progressed and more of his inner character was revealed, I came to quite like him and wished him great luck with headstrong Judith.

Quite the opposite happened with Cousin Bernard -- I liked him immediately (although I was suspicious of his amiability) and wanted him to do good by Judith. Alas, it was not to be and Heyer slowly revealed Bernard as a subtle, conniving, black hearted ne’er-do-well. In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed hating him. (In my head, I kept visualizing him as Pride & Prejudice's Wickham as played by Adrian Lukis -- always smiling, but so slippery).

Overall, this romantic mystery was quite enjoyable. Heyer's use of humor, sarcasm, and wit made Regency Buck a ripping good read and her development of secondary characters and side plots was, as usual, excellent.

Random factoids learnt from Regency Buck:
  1. Orgeat is a fancy name for barley water
  2. "Clorinda" is the name of a warrior-maiden from Jerusalem Delivered (La Gerusalemme liberata), epic poem by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso

Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer (Sourcebooks, 2008)

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