But the late 18th century is a dangerous time. Sir Robert Foster, a prominent but unpopular citizen, is murdered close to Georgiana's home, apparently killed by the Crimson Cavalier, a colourful and infamous highwayman. Georgiana has her own reasons to be certain the Cavalier is not to blame, and to Edward's chagrin, she sets out to track down the real culprit.
©2007 Mary Andrea Clarke; (P)2008 Soundings
This is a great regency novel and is a fun listen. The reader is excellent and really bring the characters to life. Although, unlike most Regency novels, this does not end with the heroine riding away in a curricle with the hero -- there are hints that this might happen. This is a regency novel with a twist as the wealthy heroine masquerades as a highwayman at night just for the excitement. Highly recommended to all lovers of Regency period novels.
The narrator of this book is great but the story is pretty predictable. The mystery isn't very interesting and none of the twists and turns of the story or the characters are much of a surprise. Still, because of the narrator, it's quite enjoyable if you aren't expecting too much.
As I listened to this book, at times wishing for the ability to skim some sections, it occurred to me that this story would benefit from a Young Adult label. While many young adults might find it as unexciting as I did, it is an undemanding sort of book which would please some parents looking for a book that has little violence or sexual content.
The first thing that tells the reader that he or she is not in any type of accurate historical mystery is the highwayman's nom de guerre of The Crimson Cavalier. The sad fact is that most highwaymen, if they did have nicknames, did not have romantic ones. They had nicknames like Galloping Dick or Blueskin. Second, except for a tedious amount of thieves' cant spoken in certain scenes, the cadence of speech does not readily suggest the Regency period. Finally, the motivation of the characters is weak at best.
As for the narration-- Ann Cater has a pleasant voice and makes the character voices sound different enough to distinguish them although there's not much of a period feel to her accents.
One problem with audio versions of written books is that it is unforgiving of writerly tics that an author may employ. In this case there seems to be long conversations with the servants where the servant's side of the conversation is usually made up of "Yes, miss" said repeatedly.
If you are looking for a pleasantly narrated, undemanding sort of story with little explicit grue and no explicit sex then this is the book for you.
This is a fun and engaging novel from Mary Andrea Clarke. Set in Pre-Regency London, The Crimson Cavalier combines gallantry, humour, and skulduggery in an eminently readable debut. Once I got into it I couldn't put it down. Let's hope that the Crimson Cavalier will ride again!
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