Title: Footsteps in the Dark
Author: Georgette Heyer
Original Copyright: 1932
Copyright: 2010 (Sourcebooks); 347 pgs.
Siblings Celia, Peter and Margaret inherited the Priory from their late uncle. It’s old, a bit rundown and said to be haunted, but the trio decide to keep it. They along with Celia’s husband Charles, their Aunt Lilian, and a pair of servants, move into it for a summer holiday. No sooner do they get settled, then the strange, eerie noises begin. Celia’s all for going back to London, but Charles and Peter aren’t convinced. Sure enough, they soon discover the source of the noise and are certain that whatever is going on, it’s being done by a living, breathing person.
What puzzles the family is, why now? The property stood vacant for years. Why is someone trying to gain access to the house — and trying to frighten them off — unless there was something buried or hidden inside or among the ruins? And who is the Monk? There is no end of possible suspects. There’s the door-to-door vacuum salesman, the handsome gentleman down on a fishing holiday, and the entomologist who’s supposedly chasing after a rare moth at all hours of the night. Or could it someone else, someone who’s activities don’t seem suspicious at first.
Comments:This is my second Heyer mystery. I really enjoyed the story. I didn’t guess the identity of the culprit, though I had my suspicions well before the end. As to “what” was the big deal about the property, I figured it was one of two things. I won’t mention what those were, because it’s a spoiler. The book had it’s creepy moments, and its fun moments. And just like the first one I read, I could picture this as an old black and white movie.
What didn’t work for me was the romance. Or I should say, how it was handled. The characters don’t get to spend a lot of page-time together, so it was hard to see how they could be in love. Attracted to each other, yes, but I feel the story didn’t allow for the relationship to be developed to the point where they’re engaged by the end.
Looking forward to reading more of her mysteries.
(cross-posted at Goodreads.com)
Start: 15 February 2012
Finished: 17 February 2012