The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer

Like the gentleman of the title, this book is quiet – despite the fact that someone is trying to kill the hero time and again. The villain doesn’t succeed, but the story of his repeated attempts, and the hero’s thwarting them occupies most of the book, with some red herrings thrown in to keep the readers intrigued and the tension elevated.

Unfortunately for the romance fans, there is very little romance here. The novel ends with a declaration of love, but how this love germinated and grew is anyone’s guess. The love story between the hero and the heroine isn’t reflected in the pages. Maybe this novel belongs to the Heyer’s collection of mystery novels, not her Regencies? If so, my expectations were at fault, when I shelved it with romances. I never did like this author’s mysteries.  

Another defect of this book is that it lacks a POV character. The author is omniscient; she documents the activities of any characters she wants, including their dialogs, but with very few exceptions, she keeps out of the characters’ heads. There are only a couple inner monologues in this book, and all the emotional impressions (very limited) come from speech and physical actions of the heroes.  Definitely not my favorite type of story.

Nonetheless, the novel reads well. The selection of characters is original and their pairing unexpected, as in many Heyer’s novels, and the story structure solid. I never wanted to abandon it, even though I guessed the culprit well before the hero did.