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Peter, Celia, and Margaret have inherited a country estate, complete with an old priory and chapel. The house has been uninhabited for years, but the group, along with Celia’s husband Charles; their aunt Mrs. Bosanquet; and their loyal retainers, move in to have an adventure.
They get more adventure than they expected. The locals believe the house is haunted by a spectral figure they call “The Monk.” The extended family laughs it all off, until they start seeing the Monk themselves.
This was pretty forgettable and the parts that weren’t forgettable were irritating.
Let’s start with the irritating.
This family moves out to the country and then has a grand old time laughing at all the country people around them. The “upper crust” of the little society gets off relatively unscathed, but everyone else is an ignorant dumbass. Being from the country myself, this stereotype got old for me a long, long time ago.
Moving on to the forgettable…
There was not one character that was well-developed. In fact, I never could remember which man was the husband and which was the brother. It mostly didn’t matter since they all just acted like besties anyway and there was never any husband-and-wife chemistry between Celia and Charles. Both of of the guys were flippant little smartasses who thought they were much more intelligent than they actually were. I did have Margaret and Celia straight, but that’s only because Margaret was the one who was developing a love interest. Mrs. Bosanquet did amuse me though. She was very good at putting Peter and Charles in their places.
The romance was of the type that suddenly appears out of nowhere, and I generally dislike that kind of thing.
I never really cared what was going on with the Monk. I had an idea about one little aspect of the mystery, and I did figure out who the Monk was, but I think I realized it about the time I was supposed to.
I’ll still give Heyer’s Regency romances a try, but I’ll be skipping out on the rest of her mysteries. There are too many good cozy mysteries out there to waste time on more overdone, forgettable triteness.
Read an excerpt.
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