Best-selling Regency author, Kate Pearce, and her mystery-writing alter ego, Catherine Lloyd, have something in common with Georgette Heyer, whose creation of the Regency romance we are celebrating this year. Like Kate/Catherine, Heyer wrote mysteries as well as romance novels. She even wrote some Regencies which incorporated a mystery. In today’s article, Kate shares her views on The Nonesuch, one of Heyer’s Regencies which begin in London, but then sweeps us off to a remote country village, peopled with a host of fascinating characters. It must be noted that the only mystery in The Nonesuch is what Sir Waldo is going to do with the property he inherited, but this novel is one of Heyer’s best-loved Regencies.
Everyone is welcome to share their views on the Regency romance genre, or this novel in particular, in comments to this post.
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I’ve been reading Georgette Heyer since I was twelve, and the older I get the more I appreciate her older heroes and heroines, and the complexities of her later books. In my opinion, The Nonesuch has all the ingredients that make a Heyer novel so immensely satisfying both as a reader and a writer.
Our hero, Sir Waldo Hawkridge is in his mid thirties, immune to the lures cast out to him from the ladies of the ton, and an acknowledged sporting legend amongst his peers. He also has a deep social conscience sadly lacking in most men of his class. Our heroine, Ancilla Trent is decidedly on the shelf, and acting as a companion to a beautiful spoiled heiress. Their attraction to each other grows slowly and believably through a shared sense of the ridiculous, and an equal determination to steer their errant charges away from any romantic entanglements.
This book has so much going on in it. The quiet but funny primary love story between Waldo and Ancilla, the antics of the spoiled beauty cutting a swathe through the local male population including Waldo’s cousins, and the even slower build of the secondary love story, which leaves the Beauty with her perfect nose severely out of joint.
Sir Waldo is a man who knows what he wants, and what he values, and just as in Pride and Prejudice he has to convince his heroine to overlook her prejudices against the Corinthian set and see him for the admirable man he really is. So, if you want a deeply satisfying love story that will make you laugh, and a plot worthy of a Regency farce, please consider picking up The Nonesuch. You won’t be disappointed.
Kate Pearce is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling romance author who also writes cozy Regency mysteries as her alter ego Catherine Lloyd.