Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Toblethorpe Manor by Carola Dunn
My first foray into the list, Toblethorpe Manor, did not disappoint. Richard Carstairs, the rather aloof owner of a substantial property in Yorkshire, finds a young woman lying injured on the moors, evidently thrown from her horse, and concussed. Quelling his momentary qualms, he takes her home to his family, where they discover that she remembers nothing of her past. Lady Annabel, Richard's mother, takes to the young woman, however, while his sister Lucy sees Clara Fell, as they call her, as a romantic heroine, probably escaping from nameless Gothic horrors or oppressors. From there the story unfolds in familiar Georgette Heyer style, coach journeys, London season and all.
One of the qualities which Dunn shares with Heyer is the ability to create genuinely likeable people - even the relatively minor characters such as the agent Mr Dennison and his comfortable wife are warm and attractive. The pleasure afforded by the Daisy Dalrymple series is to be found here also, and I'm delighted to have acquired a new source of comfort reading for those days when it's necessary. If they fall a little short of the deliciousness of Heyer, they still offer the chance of a couple of hours of escape. If you're not being ill then a cup of your favourite tea and a packet of chocolate biscuits should prove an excellent addition.