This book has everything for a Heyer devotee: a sprightly handful of a heroine, an amused grey-eyed hero and a colorful and diverse group of supporting characters. Throw in a road trip, a murder over stolen jewels and a mystery and there's a little something for everyone. Miss Penelope Creed is as delightful a heroine as you will find. She meets the jaded Sir Richard "Beau" Wyndham while climbing out of a window. "Cursed with a huge fortune", she is running away from a proposed marriage to a cousin "with a face like a fish". The wealthy Sir Richard is in the same boat, having just decided to propose to a well-born but impovershed lady he has been expected to marry for years but whom he doesn't like. Sir Richard decides to escort Miss Creed on her journey to the country home of her childhood sweetheart---in a public coach, no less. You can imagine the travelers they meet! (A woman who smells of onions and a small boy with adenoids among them.) She dresses as a boy to avoid comment, a device used in other Heyer novels, but not with such amusing consequences. Penelope is actually accused of "trifling with the affections of an innocent female" and is almost called out. As it turns out, this "innocent female" is the new, and rather weepy and tiresome, innamorata of her childhood sweetheart. There seems to be nothing poor Miss Creed can do to win back his affections, so she plots their elopement. This is one of several sub-plots, including the theft of Sir Richard's almost-fiance's family jewels. (Of course, the thief was one of the people our heroine befriended on the coach journey.) This theft leads to the murder of Sir Richard's would-be brother-in-law, who is deep in debt and behind the theft. The scoundrel also attemps to blackmail Sir Richard when he discovers "Penn" ("after the great Quaker") Creed isn't really a boy. With both their families right on their heels, Penelope's friendship with the hired jewel thief, who at one point plants the jewels on her makes for a smartly paced read. Also one of her more complex in terms of plot. The final coming together of the several sub-plots is nice and tight and done as only Heyer could. Heyer's characters are always real people and we come to care for them and take an interest in what happens to them. The slang of the day, including a liberal helping of thieves' cant from a pickpocket in a catskin waistcoat, her usual fine attention to the minutia of fashion and the accurate use of titles is superb. Many other Regncy writers don't understand the correct use of titles or forms of address, one thing that makes Heyer's books superior in quality. Heyer is the first----and she is the best.