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Cousin Kate Paperback – May 5 2009
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[T]the dialogue among the characters is completely delightful... Georgette Heyer builds a wonderful and complete world for her reader to sink into like a bubble bath or a welcoming chair to relax you at the end of a busy day, but more fun. Much more fun. (Lady Anne Jane Austen's World 2009-05-12)
Exciting and interesting from harrowing start to dramatic finish, Georgette Heyer's Cousin Kate was a delightfully dark and sinfully satisfying read. (Rhianna Walker Rhi Reading 2009-05-26)
Filled with strange illnesses, intrigue, and a few murders thrown in along the way, this book is sure to please. (Shawn Remfry Maymay's Memos 2009-05-27)
Cousin Kate was simply another great performance by this wonderful writer and it only makes me elated to know that there are plenty more of her books to read. (Lilianna Swistek Reading Extravaganza 2009-05-29)
As Gothic novels go Cousin Kate has all the right elements. A menacing country house set on sweeping grounds, strange knocks in the night, locked doors, family secrets, and whispers of madness. (Danielle Torress A Work in Progress 2009-06-26)
Very good; excellent characterization and a decent plot. As usual, Heyer is faultlessly entertaining (Nancy Horner Bookfoolery and Babble 2009-07-07)
Full of suspense, humor, romance and myster... a dark gothic novel with a little bit of roman thrown in for fun. (Christine Plaisted Cousin Kate 2009-08-24)
About the Author
Georgette Heyer's novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades. English Heritage has awarded Georgette Heyer one of their prestigious Blue Plaques, designating her Wimbledon home as the residence of an important figure in British history. She was born in Wimbledon in August 1902. She wrote her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of seventeen to amuse her convalescent brother; it was published in 1921 and became an instant success.
Heyerpublished 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. A very private woman, she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or personal life. Her work included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. She was married to George RonaldRougier, a barrister, and they had one son, Richard.
Top customer reviews
Kate Malvern is the orphaned daughter of a goodhearted, gambling-prone father and a beautiful but poor mother. Her father's death leaves her alone and impoverished in the world, and she comes to stay with her old nurse, Sarah, while looking for a new job. An aunt comes along and kindly and affectionately invites her to stay in her husband's family estate. Kate agrees, reluctantly-- because none of her relatives have never acknowledged her existence before. Staplewood, the estate, is beautiful and cold, and there she meets her cousin Torquil (a young man with the face of an angel), her sickly uncle Sir Timothy, and Sir Timothy's nephew Phillip. At first, everything seems too good to be true, and slowly, Kate unravels the deep secret that haunts the family.
Kate is a very charming and appealing heroine. She is mature yet innocent, is very witty and charming without being obnoxious, and is spirited without being willful or heedless. The hero, kind-hearted Phillip, is neither a dandy nor a cynical Corinthian, which is quite refreshing. Although still a Cinderella story of sorts, the romance between them is much more satisfying and believable than those in most other Heyer works.
Overall, a very interesting and different book from Georgette Heyer, and one of her best.
Kate Malvern, 24, orphaned and penniless, has been fired from her job as a governess through no fault of her own. She is surprised by an invitation to stay with her father's half sister, (whom she has never met), at the sumptuous estate Staplewood. There she meets the elderly lord of the manor, her aunt's husband Sir Timothy, their strange and ailing son, Torquil, and a cast of characters right out of the Addam's Family scrapbook. Why has this distant relation made Kate an honored guest and gifted her with beautiful clothing, jewelry and almost cloying kindness? Kate thinks she has the answers....but...?
I would say that to discover the secrets behind this strange tale you will have to read the book. However, as a major Georgette Heyer fan, I don't mind reading her most mediocre novels...and there aren't many. You, on the other hand, may want to save yourself the time. There isn't very much to surprise, enlighten or horrify here. This one is not a keeper.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I really liked the heroine. She was like able, honorable, independent and plucky.
There were some endearing minor characters from the "lower orders"--Kate's now married former nurse Mrs. Sarah Nidd and father in law Mr Nidd.
There were some amusing foibles of the superstitious Staplewood estate household servants, a vaporous housekeeper with the dubious gift of prophesy who feuds with another upper servant and a temperamental French chef.
The hero was a nice enough fellow, but he was boring.
I didn't like the insta-love/quick proposal. I would have liked to see more development of Kate and Philip's feelings--a romance was lacking. Suddenly out of nowhere, they were betrothed.
Again, to reiterate, newbies should stay away from this, it's not an example of what the author does best
There was enough of the sensible heroine with an appreciative hero that I was willing to overlook the other elements that didn't work so well for me. Altogether a satisfying read but one I won't be reaching for any time soon.