My Heyer odyssey continues, I've read 4 since Monday and wish I'd bought a 5th away with me this weekend. It's about 4 years since I started blogging, it's something which I think has basically been good for my reading habits - I certainly read more and with more discipline which means I tackle books I probably wouldn't have bothered with before and make myself finish things (I had a terrible habit of getting half way through a book and then abandoning it because I was distracted by another book). Another thing that's changed is that I don't often re read books, I guess this is one of those downsides of growing up - earning a living means I can buy a quantity of books but doesn't give me nearly as much time to read them. Back in my teens I owned a few hundred books (a fairly even mix of Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Dorothy Sayers, and Terry Pratchett) which I read over and over, favourite books were very familiar friends.
Generally speaking I'm too caught up in the excitement of discovering books which are new to me to spare much thought to what I might be missing by not re reading more but this week with Heyer is making me consider it more. 'Regency Buck' is a Heyer which I liked well enough back in the day and have certainly read a few times, but not one which was a particular favourite. Reading it then I would have considered it mostly as a romance because that's how I'm inclined to remember all of Heyer's historical novels. Reading it over the last couple of days I'm more inclined to think of it as more of a thriller albeit on with quite a lot of romance in it. Sadly I remembered the twist, although that gave me plenty of opportunity to appreciate how Heyer misdirects the reader, something I'm sure she enjoyed doing. I think we know from the start that we are being misdirected but it's still done neatly. For a romance she also spends a lot of time describing boxing matches, racing, and cock fighting (the last in quite off putting detail). I also noticed, again, how much trouble she takes over developing the character of her heroine, yes she's rich, attractive and spirited, but Heyer also gives her the temper tantrums and general bloody mindedness that are likely to characterise a girl just out of her teens - it's a nice touch.
I'm lending 'Regency Buck' to D, he says he might read it if he gets the time (he sounded like he wanted to find the time) I hope he does - it'll be interesting to see what he thinks of it, I suspect he'll enjoy it if he does read it.