Read Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer Online


Adventure becomes nightmareLocals claim it is haunted and refuse to put a single toe past the front door, but to siblings Peter, Celia, and Margaret, the Priory is nothing more than a rundown estate inherited from their late uncle—and the perfect setting for a much-needed holiday. But when a murder victim is discovered in the drafty Priory halls, the once unconcerned trioAdventure becomes nightmareLocals claim it is haunted and refuse to put a single toe past the front door, but to siblings Peter, Celia, and Margaret, the Priory is nothing more than a rundown estate inherited from their late uncle—and the perfect setting for a much-needed holiday. But when a murder victim is discovered in the drafty Priory halls, the once unconcerned trio begins to fear that the ghostly rumors are true and they are not alone after all! With a killer on the loose, will they find themselves the next victims of a supernatural predator, or will they uncover a far more corporeal culprit?...

Title : Footsteps in the Dark
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780099493693
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Footsteps in the Dark Reviews

  • mark monday
    2018-11-11 05:17

    for those fans of cozy mysteries, particularly the ones featuring goofy aristocrats stuck in an eerie mansion with murder in the background and light banter constantly in the foreground, please ignore the 2 stars. this is a 4 star book for a group of la-di-da, fiddle-dee-dee upper class English types, their aunt, and couple of their servants take over a Bad House with a Bad History for their summer vacation. haunting and terrorizing them is the dreaded, maybe-a-ghost Monk, who apparently has a lot of death on his hands. eventually murder occurs. what is behind all of these sinister shenanigans? and who is this mysterious Mr. Strange - a potential lover or a dreadful villain lying in wait?I have no doubt that Heyer knows how to write and it is hard for me to put a finger on what left me cold. perhaps it was due to the dialogue being light but not bubbly or sparkling - and I wanted champagne not tap water! perhaps it was due to the characters being basically quite unremarkable and uninteresting and even rather interchangeable. perhaps it was due to being able to figure out the identity of the dread villain fairly early on. maybe I should just blame the tepid romance. I dunno. but this one did leave me with a feeling of EH? EH! and that means 2 stars.

  • Hannah
    2018-12-04 21:23

    It is books like this that cause me to remember why I love mysteries so much. I had so much fun reading this. It was a little like reading a grown up version of a Nancy Drew, only with some Agatha Christie-like elements.Think:meetsand you have an idea of what I'm talking about.Footsteps in the Dark is, I believe, Heyer's first attempt to pen a murder mystery, and though some would argue that it lacks the polish of her later mysteries, I think it's the best of the eight I've read so far. I appreciate that the sleuths aren't professionals (Heyer later used the recurring Scotland Yard detectives Hannasyde and Hemingway for her novels). Instead, a good majority of the "detecting" is done by a foursome consisting of 3 siblings (Peter, Margaret and Celia) and Celia's spouse, Charles. They, along with their unintentionally funny aunt Mrs. Bosanquet, have been left an ancient Priory house and intend to refurbish it into a country retreat. Not long after settling in, the locals regale them with the spooky truth: the Priory is haunted by "The Monk", a ghostly, faceless figure seen roaming the estate. No one thinks they should stay there, but the siblings are determined to reveal the identity of "The Monk" and determine whether he is corporeal or not. After a series of gothic incidences including eerie moaning, hidden passages, crypts, a skeleton-inhabited priest hole, spectral visitors, a murder victim and a wide array of local suspects, Peter, Margaret, Celia and Charles finally uncover the truth about the mysterious goings-on at the priory.It's a cheeky, funny and page turning ride. The characters are interesting without being overly obnoxious (as sometimes happens in Heyer's mysteries). The banter and comraiderie are witty and very in keeping with sibling and spousal relationships. While it is campy in places, the story is written with a firm tongue-in-cheek by Heyer. I would have enjoyed seeing Aunt Bosanquet in another Heyer book - she was that good. It also featured a very subtle love story which played out nicely (but with just enough bumps along the way to keep it interesting). A definite re-read one of these days, and an instant favorite on my shelf.

  • Anne
    2018-11-15 04:19

    A solid 4.5 stars!My very first Heyer mystery! This is cause for celebration! Also my first cozy-mystery in ages, and it's now got me hooked on the genre! More celebration!I really, really enjoyed myself with Footsteps in the Dark. It was spooky, exciting, suspenseful, and just plain good fun! The mystery was rather easy to solve (it didn't take me long to figure out the villain's identity, and who was actually on the good side), but it still kept me on edge and turning the pages in excited anticipation to see how it would all unravel. I'm pretty sure that the eerie-creepy-mansion-full-of-ghosts-and-secret-passages plot has been done many a time, but since I'm a newbie to the genre, it was all new and intriguing to me. Plus, it's a Georgette Heyer novel, so you're guaranteed a few laughs and witty repartee along the way, just to make things ever more engaging!I would have given it a solid 5 if it hadn't been for a few slow parts that I wish read through faster, the romance that felt a little too out of the blue, and the fact that the characters were no way near as well developed as I know Georgette Heyer can develop. They were a fun set and I loved Charles and the aunt Bosanquet in particular, but overall her cast was miles away from the wonderful characters of her Regency novels. But still, it was a really great book, and contrary to popular opinion, I would recommend it to cozy-mystery newbies, because chances are if you haven't really anything else to compare it to, you'll find it wonderful. It's well-written and well done, and although not held as Heyer's best mystery, I'd say start with this one and save the bests for last!(Wow this is a short review, I have no idea how to review a mystery without spoiling anything!!)Buddy-read with Tweety! :D

  • Madeline
    2018-11-26 01:09

    Vintage Scooby-Doo episodes, while fun to watch when you're bored and there's nothing else on TV, presented a lot of annoyances to me when I was younger. First there was that period where the episodes featured nonsensical guest stars (oh man, did anyone else see that episode where the gang solves a mystery with Batman and Robin?), and then there's the fact that these kids always seemed to have the exact wrong response when faced with a monster or ghost or whatever - an average-sized mummy or ghost or whatever jumps out at them, and they all run screaming. For god's sake, there are four of you and a large dog, just tackle the son of a bitch. Also there's the fact that whenever the mystery concerned a haunting or a weird monster, the reason behind it was almost always that someone wanted to scare people off for one of three reasons: the land/property/whatever is really valuable but can be bought for cheap if the culprit convinces everyone that the place is haunted, the place is the headquarters for some criminal operation, or there's some kind of treasure that the culprit wants to hunt for without having to deal with meddling kids in his business. (I swear I'm going somewhere with all of this, just stay with me)And the kids were, honestly, pretty fucking annoying. They had the stupidest quips, their plans for catching the culprit only ever worked because they failed spectacularly, and every single episode Fred would be like, "Let's split up, gang!" and then they waste the next fifteen minutes trying to find each other in the haunted amusement park after they got separated. My point is, if you enjoy mystery stories about hauntings and amateur detective antics but find Scooby-Doo and Co. annoying as hell, I recommend picking up Georgette Heyer's Footsteps in the Dark as soon as possible. It's like Heyer's preemptive strike against Scooby-Doo and his associated nonsense - the mystery centers around a haunted house with a menacing, very physical ghost known as the Monk, our detectives are quippy (but actually clever) young people who blunder their way around the mystery but manage to be sensible about things (while still getting separated at one point, but still), and the reason behind the haunting is one of the three I listed above. Out of respect for spoilers I won't say which one, but will say that Heyer very cleverly has her characters discuss all those reasons as the possible explanation for the haunting, so we as the readers immediately dismiss them and start trying to come up with another explanation. It's very smart, and fooled me completely. It must be said that I guessed the culprit about halfway through the book, as well as a couple big twists that get revealed at the end, but this didn't even bother me. The haunted house that Heyer has created is genuinely creepy, and the Monk (as well as the other goings-on in the house) is especially scary. Also the four main characters, as I mentioned, are cute and quippy and generally delightful, trading witty banter and clever allusions with an ease that would impress Lord Peter Wimsey. There's even a romance element to the mystery, and it was surprisingly well-done and not at all cloying, although it ends on such a ridiculous note that I can't fully support it. All in all, a fun and creepy haunted house story that shows those meddling kids how it's really done. I will definitely be looking up more Heyer mysteries in the future.

  • Miriam
    2018-11-14 00:11

    Pleasant if not hugely innovative mystery of the "hapless folk move into house with mysterious goings-on" set-up. In this case, sisters Celia and Margaret and their brother Peter inherit a large old home where they used to visit their aunt as children. They stay there on vacation, along with Celia's husband Charles and a widowed aunt (of the sensible rather than skittish variety). Villagers tell them ghost stories but they suspect human causes for the strange noises interrupting their holiday. Especially since everyone and his brother keeps wandering round their property at night. When the cliche country constable fails to discover anything they decide to investigate on their own...Well, make that the men investigate. Celia is kind of a twit, and doesn't seem to have much in common with her independent and spunky siblings. Margaret could have been a really strong character except Heyer decided to make her fall in love and go all silly. This was one of the weakest points of the plot, that a sensible, happy adult woman would be so head over heels concerning a man she not only hardly knew but had every reason to be suspicious of. I just didn't believe she would have so much trust in Michael at this point, and really Heyer could have written it in such a way that she got to know him better and thus had some grounds for her devotion. Even an afternoon walk with intense conversation would have worked; a quick exchange of glances over a flat tire didn't do it for me.For once I guessed the villain. Probably because there weren't that many characters! It wasn't that complex as mysteries go, but it was an amusing little read -- especially so soon after The Reluctant Widow, which is practically the same story only with an historical setting and slightly more romance.

  • Sophia
    2018-12-04 22:05

    I've been on a Georgette Heyer kick recently both rereading a few of her Regency Romances and also trying her murder mysteries for the first time. I enjoy how she brings her light, engaging tone, snappy dialogue, mayhem and romps, and quirky characters into her murder mysteries like she did her historical romance. I'm not sure exactly the time frame, but I think this one was 20's era.The setting was English country house/village and centered around a family inheriting an old estate that was once an abbey that is thought to be haunted. Things happen and either it really is haunted or someone is working very hard to get them to leave. Suspicious characters roam the grounds, weird sounds are within, sightings of a creepy Monk and a icky skeleton, the ravings of a mad artist, and the warnings of a very sane innkeeper top it off. But the Fortescue clan remain and try their luck at solving the mystery.I love this type of set up for a mystery- creepy house, weird happenings, and lots of characters and possibilities. There is a murder, but it happens around the midway point and was one of the odd occurrences. I enjoyed the family dynamics with the three Fortescue siblings- Celia, Peter, and Margaret, with Celia's husband Charles Malcolm and the Fortescue aunt, Lillian. They are good, sensible people though with a sense of humor who love the old abbey house and grounds and it was fun seeing them all play at amateur sleuths and suspecting half the neighborhood. There is a side of romance though its mild and only barely there much of the time. It's not a strongly developed story as to setting and characters, but still a fun mystery romp for all that.

  • Tweety
    2018-12-04 00:20

    3 1/2 Stars I must say this was better than my last Heyer mystery! The last, No Wind of Blame, was dull and yawnifying. (Yes, I just coined that). But this one was a great improvement. The characters were more interesting and a bit more happens. Nonetheless, it's still a bit slow and there were moments where I just wanted things to happen FASTER. Peter, Margaret, Ceila and her husband Chas have inherited an old run down priory. They are enchanted with the idea that it has a history with a resident ghost, as all the villagers claim. The ghost is named, 'The Monk' and several people claim to have seen him walking the priory's grounds at night. The four of them think nothing of it till one odd incident after another adds up, a falling picture, a priest's hole, bones, footsteps, groaning in the night and finally, someone creeping about their grounds at night. But, is it 'The Monk' or is there flesh and blood behind all of the spooks? And if so, who is it? The mad artist? The small salesman? The dark man Margaret trusts completely called Strange? Or is it someone completely unexpected? What is the game? Why does someone want they to leave the priory? I'll be frank, the plot sounds deliciously creepy and spine-tinglingly good. Throughout there's moments of creepiness and suspense, however it's not till the last fifth that I was really gripping the pages and getting excited and feeling throughly glad that I wasn't all by myself at home. And, if it had all been like that this would be five stars easy. The rest didn't quite do that for me though and so I'm going with what most of the book felt like, a three and a half. This book has what all priory's should, pivoting walls, secret passageways and tunnels underground. Love that! I admit other books have held the suspense for a plot like this better (Enid Blyton's The Island of Adventure, anyone? I know it's a kids book, but still), and I think that with a bit more of the 'happenings' spread out it would have been better. Instead of every few chapters someone yet again sees something shadowy. Maybe more discovery of the mystery earlier on would have been better for me? Anyway, I wouldn't say pick this up for your first Heyer, and maybe not for your first Heyer mystery. But if you like her works, pick it up and enjoy. And you might just love it. :) Oh, as a side not, I really liked Margaret and her side story. She was my favorite character. PG There's mention of 'ghosts' and ghost stories which aren't told and a seance which was more of a farce and didn't get anywhere. A few swears and nothing more. Buddy Read with Anne, glad we could read it together! Buddy Reads help me read books that I might put off and not get round to for ages. :)

  • Anna
    2018-12-03 01:13

    And now to the lighter side of a murder mystery ... Some Bright Young Things inherit the Priory which has been sitting empty since their relative has died. After they move in, they hear from the villagers (and their butler) that the house is haunted by The Monk. It does not help that the house has spooky cellars and creaking stairs but no electricity or phone. Of course, none of them believe in ghosts - but the fun begins as they start to hear strange noises and see weird things in the dark and their aunt decides they must have a seance. Then, the very strange Michael Strange keeps popping up at unexpected times!It reminded me of a Tommy and Tuppence story with a great secondary tier of characters including the bumbling village constable, the drunken French artist, the slimy carpet cleaner salesman and the trespassing moth collector.

  • Kim
    2018-11-16 04:13

    This was the first of Heyer's mysteries and it shows. Heyer apparently did not want it to be re-published so it can be presumed that she wasn't that keen on it, or at least that she recognised its weaknesses. And weaknesses it has. There's little character development (not that too much character development is to be expected in such a novel), the crime is a bit unconvincing and the resolution a bit pat. However, it exhibits some of the classic Heyer strengths: strong dialogue (albeit not quite as witty as in later mysteries), a nice sense of place and time and a predictable but nevertheless sweet romance.The four star rating I have given this novel has been determined somewhat idiosyncratically. Two stars are for the mystery itself. An extra one is due to the writing and the fourth because it is Heyer's first mystery and is therefore of some historical and literary significance to her fans. The net result is a novel I liked very much. A must for anyone who is interested in Heyer in particular and 1930s mystery novels in general. Possibly a miss for most other readers.

  • Carol Clouds ꧁꧂
    2018-12-05 00:09

    Georgette Heyer suppressed some of her early books, presumably because she wasn't happy with them. These include Simon the Coldheart ( deadly dull) The Great Roxhythe (unintentionally very funny!) & her "contemporaries" (Helen was so terrible I feel no desire to seek out the other three!) I believe GH also suppressed this one for a time, so I approached this read with some trepidation. But I need not have worried. This book certainly isn't a masterpiece & some of the writing is very "jolly hockey sticks" but it is still an enjoyable romp, albeit with a lot of filler & a few plot holes, most notably (view spoiler)[ a stranger makes an offer on the house to the family's solicitor, but the solicitor makes no attempt to contact the family. Would that really have been the case in 1930s England?(hide spoiler)] & the romance was very poorly done.Worth a read, but I read most Heyers multiple times. I'm unlikely to bother reading this one again.

  • Dorcas
    2018-11-19 21:13

    I am sorry to say I am giving up on this. I gave it a good go (185 pages) but I'm just not feeling it, basically, well, its torture. I know! Don't hate me! It may just be the mood I'm in (I am a firm believer in "last book dictates present mood" but it may just not be my style of writing. Cest la vie.A side note: The print size is rather HUGE in these GH mysteries. A strange complaint probably but I find it very awkward reading larger type, it makes my eyes bug. I think if the font was smaller I would have made myself finish it. (My eyes like to "sweep in a paragraph" and large print makes me read line by line. That sounds weird, I know).Anyway! Have no fear! I will try another GH (just not at the moment) because its probably fluke that I didn't like this one. So! Another day!

  • Brenda H
    2018-12-11 05:28

    Footsteps in the Dark was a fun mystery by Georgette Heyer. Three siblings inherit an estate in the English countryside and they decide to spend their vacation there. The heirs, along with their spinster aunt and the husband of one of the women, arrive at the country house only to find out that it’s haunted. Of course, this is all taken to be a local legend…until things begin to go bump in the night, shadowy figures prowl the grounds in the evenings and there’s a murder.It was an enjoyable read and moved at a good pace. Most of the clues were available to the reader but the connections were left to the reader to figure out. I plan to continue reading these Country House Mysteries as I find them quite entertaining and a good mystery.Rating 4 Stars

  • lebe.liebe.lese [Tina]
    2018-11-11 05:03

    Nee. Nicht mein Buch...Das Cover hat mich sehr angesprochen und auch die Inhaltsangabe verspricht Grusel. Doch leider hatte ich meine Probleme mit dem Schreibstil, den Charakteren und auch der fehlenden Spannung. Ein Gruselfaktor kam nur auf, wenn ich dieses Buch im dunkeln und in völliger Stille gelesen habe. Doch unter 'Gruselfaktor' ist da zu verstehen, dass mich meine Gedanken, und nicht das Buch gruselten. Leider konnte mich das Buch nicht überzeugen und so vergebe ich hier 2 Sterne. Die Idee hinter der Story ist nämlich gar nicht so ungruselig. An der Umsetzung hat es leider gehapert..

  • Hana
    2018-11-29 02:04

    More than a little silly, but a fun and mildly diverting read. Like Hannah, I kept harking back to my childhood favorite Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase I loved all the 1930 period details, the hidden passages and Gothic goings on, but the plot was clunky and the four main characters never really came alive for me. Nancy Drew would never have been as foolish as the Celia and Margaret!I'm definitely planning to read more of Georgette Heyer's mysteries--this was her first and my expert GR friends say the later ones are better. Group read with Georgette Heyer Fans for August.

  • CLM
    2018-12-02 00:03

    I allowed an early prejudice against Heyer's mysteries to prevent me from reading most of them at all, yet I found this very pleasant and entertaining. While the characters were not as well developed as those in her historical novels (and, indeed, seemed a bit cliched), the book compares favorably with some Ngaio Marsh and Patricia Wentworth titles.

  • Ivonne Rovira
    2018-12-08 23:02

    You've read this book before — and more deftly executed. A married couple and the wife's brother and sister go on vacation (holiday in Britspeak) in a run-down pile out in the country with a reputation for being haunted. By Chapter 2, the husband, Charles Malcolm, and his intrepid brother-in-law, Peter Fortescue, have realized that the ghost is a ruse by an all-too-real adversary. When the police prove less than useless, the brothers-in-law begin sleuthing on their own.Admittedly, I didn't figure out who the villain was until the end; however, most readers will be able to eliminate the prime suspect with one-third of the novel to go. As this novel was first published in 1932, I'll give Georgette Heyer some credit for coming up with the idea earlier rather than later. In other words, the books that you've read that more expertly handle this same plot probably took a page from Footsteps in the Dark; for that reason, I'll add an extra star.Heyer's no Dame Agatha Christie, but some of her mysteries rise to four-star levels. The novel's not as abysmal as Behold, Here's Poison, but it certainly isn't in the same league as Heyer's much better The Unfinished Clue.

  • Tami (synchro from BL)
    2018-11-24 00:26

    What a great crime novel! I am a long-standing Georgette Heyer fan. I love her books. Her stories were always so incredibly well drawn, her characters unforgettable. She is one of the very few authors with many, many books in one genre who didn't have "types" in the sense of recurring schemes or personalities. And this classic and clean crime novel is no exception.  The dialogues and the cheerful sense of humor made it very entertaining.The characters were drawn through their actions, their speeches and their little mannerisms. 

  • John
    2018-11-26 01:09

    A breezy quartet -- Celia Malcolm and her husband Charles, plus Celia's siblings Peter and Margaret Fortescue -- inherit a gloomy old pile some distance out of London, and decide to inhabit it with their elderly maiden aunt despite the lack of mod cons . . . and despite the ghost that the locals tell them haunts the place.Cue creaks and groans, apparitions in the night. Things get mysteriouser and mysteriouser, and it's evident that some of those locals aren't exactly what they present themselves to the world to be. But our heroes persist, and eventually they prove that there's a rational explanation for all those uncanny happenings, a rational explanation that hinges on an international criminal plot!Oo-er.I found the first half of the book tiresome, with the bright young things exchanging witless, heavy-handed, often snobbish banter in all directions and a buffoonish local PC Plod for everyone to guffaw at, oh jeez. Although it still had definite pacing problems (there's an interminable chapter in which two characters try one possibility, and then another, and then another, and then . . . in their hunt for an explanation as to why two others have disappeared) and although it became far too bloody obvious far too bloody early on just who was the baddy and who the main mystery figure really was, the second half picked up quite a lot -- either that or I finally got more into the mood for the book.I don't think I've ever managed to plow through -- or even so much as crack open -- one of Heyer's historical novels, all of which seem to be called Regency Buck, but I do recall reading, and being disappointed by, one of her detective novels decades ago . . . and, who knows, perhaps it was this one. Until I came here to write these notes I was more or less decided that this'd be an end to my experiments with Heyer's detections, but then I noticed a remark in GR-friend Bev Hankins's review of Footsteps in the Dark:"Footsteps in the Dark is a very welcome return to Georgette Heyer's usual breezy, comic mystery style--far removed from the dark and brooding Penhallow which I just recently finished."So I may -- pace Bev! -- give Penhallow a try sometime soon.

  • tom bomp
    2018-11-12 03:06

    For a book set in a big old country house with tons of rooms, a big cellar and with attached church ruins it's surprisingly weak on setting - I'd have appreciated some more description of the village and the house and just anything but there's very little at all. The characterisation is also really weak, the main family of characters is totally interchangeable and the others are stereotypes, which at least makes them distinct. The French artist character is borderline offensive - I feel he's intended to be partially humorous but it really doesn't work. Also the main characters are all rich toffs and often talk in annoying ways which makes me engaged even less. Also some ridiculousness - the female leads who were so desperate to move in and couldn't be swayed almost immediately want to move out when the possibility of a ghost is raised. (view spoiler)[This person who keeps hanging around my house in suspicious ways and who I've talked to like twice I should surely protect when I find he's been hanging around again and at the same time as there was an attempted break-in (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[We're trying to be careful because there's a ghost/someone pretending to be a ghost/someone trying to break in because they might be trying to steal something? Lemme just invite a vacuum salesman in and have him roam the halls unattended (hide spoiler)]Will almost certainly finish because Georgette Heyer is someone I feel I should at least give a fair hearing to and it's a pretty easy read but blurgh. Maybe it improves.Ah ok so after finishing it I'm no more satisfied. There's a romance subplot and it's AWFUL - there's 0 romance just "oh you two are in love now". And this from a writer of romance novels! It feels like a plot device too because it's used to plant some red herrings. And the very ending felt like a Scooby-Doo style unmasking - it was so silly I laughed. There are very few clues throughout the novel and so instead we get a summary right near the end from the person who's *actually* been solving the mystery. Which is pretty disappointing because I immediately thought I'd rather be reading the book from his perspective. In general re the whole mystery - it's full of holes and with not enough clues, red herrings or info on any of the possible suspects to really make it interesting. (view spoiler)[There was no reason for the criminal gang to *care* about people living in the house!!! It was only due to their ridiculous bringing attention to themselves that the main characters cared about them. Of course they'd have got found out *anyway* because of the actual police investigator on their trail. But it makes the main characters feel even more pointless and marginal. The gang could just have blocked up the secret entrances in the house and been done with it. (hide spoiler)]Weirdly probably the best part of the book was the "ghost story" aspect - it only comes through a bit but I found the sections where people see the Monk genuinely a bit spooky. Although maybe only because I'm really easily scared. In general just really really poor - yes, there's some satisfaction at the end, but the characters, setting, mystery, plotting, romance, descriptions etc... it just all really really falls short. Not unreadable but I'd never recommend it over the mountains of other cozy mystery type books out there.

  • QNPoohBear
    2018-11-25 05:18

    Siblings Peter, Margaret and Celia, and Celia's husband, Charles have inherited an old priory in the English countryside. Celia tells Charles it's like getting a country house for nothing, but Charles, a lawyer, is skeptical : the house is huge and rambling and lacks electricity. Then there are the rumors of a mysterious and dangerous ghost known as "the Monk" who haunts the Priory. Their aunt, Mrs. Bosanquet, is convinced The Monk is an actual ghost,Charles and Peter are skeptical. When they hear footsteps in the dark, they're determined to get the bottom of it. They suspect a stranger, Michael Strange, whom they've seen wandering their grounds, or perhaps an eccentric neighbor who claims to study moths. Despite repeated warnings, Charles won't leave until he solves the mystery.I had a hard time getting to the story at first. The characters are really bland and boring. I didn't care much about any of them. Mrs. B provides some chuckles but other than that, they're all pretty flat. Then, as they kept getting closer to solving the mystery and yet not coming any closer, I got sucked in. I couldn't put the book down until the mystery was solved.It seemed a little fake that the characters were so shocked by the big reveal. They were also surprised by the true identity of someone else that wasn't much of a surprise. I figured out the identity of the Monk pretty easily.(view spoiler)[It's always:a) the person you least expectb) the person who knows everythingc)The Col. wouldn't say where he was stationed in India and that's usually a huge clue that someone is lying. (hide spoiler)]The romance was dreadful. It seems to begin and end out of nowhere and is mostly off-page. I found the story rather too gothic for my tastes. The characters are not as well drawn as her Regency characters and the story just wasn't her typical witty style.

  • Amy
    2018-11-28 01:20

    Bumping my 2.5 star rating up to 3 because it is Georgette Heyer. Footsteps in the Dark was slow and boring at the beginning but picked up as the book went on. 3 siblings (Peter, Margaret, and Celia) inherit an old country house from a distant relation and, along with Celia's husband Charles and an old aunt, decide to take an extended vacation. However, soon their stay is interrupted by strange occurrences and weird noises...local lore says the place is haunted. Determined not to be scared away, the siblings set out to solve the mystery, but someone, or thing, is definitely trying to get rid of them. This story has about the depth and difficulty of a Scooby Doo episode, or an old Nancy Drew book. It is pleasant but predictable. A passing knowledge of previous Heyer mysteries makes the plot even more calculable. I guessed the "character" of all the characters, including the main villain, very quickly and spent the rest of the book wishing it would speed up. What saves the book from being utterly slow are the characters, particularly the three leading men. Peter was a little slow at first but he shows himself to be a sweet, strong brother. Charles is hilarious and I can't imagine why he would marry someone so unfunny as Celia. Margaret was okay but I prefer her love interest. The best female was Mrs. Bosanquet, the aunt, who is very no-nonsense. All the characters resemble the usual Heyer-mold but since I usually read her Regency, I particularly enjoyed seeing them in a 'modern' setting. In the end, I would say a fun mystery but not my favorite.

  • Lori
    2018-11-20 04:11

    Georgette Heyer weaves a wonderfully fun mystery here. Abandoned for some time, and newly inherited by three siblings, Peter, Celia and Margaret, the "Priory" makes a perfectly spooky setting for this cozy mystery. The estate has a ghost, hidden passages, creaking floorboards and eerie sounds wafting up from the cellars. I enjoyed meeting the entire cast of memorable characters! Along with the siblings, Celia's husband, Charles and Mrs. Bosanquet, an aunt, move into the old place with their butler and his wife. The dialogue is witty and a sprinkling of dry humor throughout keeps things light-hearted and entertaining. Strange happenings keep everyone puzzled right up until the end. Actually, I was pretty sure I knew who the villain was but it was fun to sit back and enjoy the gasps at the reveal. In fact, the reveal left me wondering if this book inspired the "meddling kids" bit at the end of all the Scooby-Doo mysteries. You know, the bit where they unmask the villain at the end of every episode?? Anyway, I highly recommend this book and I will be reading more of Georgette Heyer's detective stories at some point!!!

  • Dillwynia Peter
    2018-11-16 02:19

    It is really important to remember this is a piece of juvenilia; in fact Heyer suppressed subsequent editions for some years. If you want to read a Heyer mystery, this is most certainly not the one to start with. It is also not for the more modern reader. Think Famous Five for adults. However, if you enjoy Buchan and early film noir, where blood isn't split, and wonderful Oxbridge accents everywhere, then this will be a fun book for you.I did guess the evil doer quite early on & so played along until Heyer decided to reveal their identity - almost to the very end in fact. I loved the "jolly hockey sticks" dialogue - lots of gosh! & blast! Lots of bridge & lots of whiskey and sofa from a syphon. Hidden passages and priest holes just add to the fun.Nowhere in the league of her Regency romances, there are moments of cleverness and her style is obvious in places. A great piece of fluff & something some of the new International Bestsellers could learn from

  • Kelli
    2018-11-12 01:22

    This story took a bit for me to get into, but I still marvel at Heyer's writing. She stretches out her descriptions, in an almost CS Lewis kind of way. She is a whiz at dialoging about nothing. She captures people's normal way of life and the things people say everyday so well. Overall, I think it's a very engrossing murder mystery plot. Heyer knows her corners to cut in stories. The middle and ending are written very well. Her 20's, 30's dialog is very good too. It is very cinematic and I could almost see it as some Hitchcock film. The romance was a fun little add in, but when it was first introduced, it seemed a bit forced. Mr. Titmarsh, Charles, and Aunt Lillian had the best lines in the story. I started to suspect who the Monk was, midway thru and I was super happy to be right. I think, even if you only love Heyer' regencies, this is a good read of hers.

  • Laura
    2018-11-22 22:12

    Not my favorite, but still witty. Three adult siblings inherit a rambling old house called The Priory, which has a reputation for being haunted. At first they're excited about fixing it up, but pretty soon strange (perhaps ghostly??) goings-on begin to make them nervous. When a murder occurs, they can't help but wonder if there really is a malevolent ghost after all! I didn’t find the mystery as engaging as others, but there's an aunt who occasionally comes out with comments that made me shriek with laughter. She's worth reading the book for.

  • Leslie
    2018-11-24 21:07

    On this reread (my 4th?), I have decided that this is really 3½ stars not 4 so I am downgrading it. I still like this romantic suspense type mystery but the romance angle in this one is pretty slapdash. So surprising for a Heyer book too!

  • within.pages Marice
    2018-11-09 21:19

    "Schritte im Dunkeln" von Georgette Heyer bekommt von mir 3 Sterne.Der Roman beginnt direkt im Piory, also dem Gebäude, in dem sich unsere Geschichte abspielt. Somit wird dem Leser auch direkt erklärt, wer die Figuren sind,warum sie da sind und was es mit dem Priory auf sich hat. Es bedarf als keiner langen Einleitung, die dem Leser alles vorkaut, sondern ein gut geschriebener Anfang reicht.Die tatsächliche Geschichte beginnt mit Interaktionen zwischen den Figuren und wir lernen sie dadurch alle gleich kennen. Man bekommt einen Überblick über den Cast und auch eine grobe Einsicht in ihre Charaktere. Allerdings bleiben die meisten Figuren im Laufe der Geschichte sehr flach. Einsicht bekommt man in Margaret und auch in Charles, aber den restlichen Figuren fehlt einfach an Persönlichkeit. Ähnliches geschieht auch mit eingeführten Nebenfiguren, die ab und an auftauchen ohne herauszustechen.Die Autorin baut in fast jedem Kapitel einen Spannungsbogen auf, beendet diese dann mit Cliffhangern und die Spannung wird dann im folgenden Kapitel sofort zerschlagen sowie alles Übernatürliche rationalisiert. Dazu muss ich auch anmerken, dass das Buch weniger eine Gruselgeschichte ist, als eher einem Krimi ähnelt. Allerdings entwickelt sich der Plot überhaupt erst nach zwei Dritteln. Davor passiert tatsächlich nichts, das die Handlung vorantreibt oder die Figuren zum Handeln veranlasst. Gegruselt habe ich mich nicht, die Auflösung des ganzen 'Trubels' fand ich ziemlich wahllos, deswegen vergebe ich nur drei Sterne.

  • Marguerite Kaye
    2018-12-01 04:04

    I was sadly disappointed in this one, and had it not been a Georgette Heyer I wouldn't have persisted.I have read quite a few of Heyer's mysteries, I absolutely adored them when I was younger, and though they've dated a bit they are still fun. This one isn't. There's no detective, the main protagonists are brother and brother-in-law, with a staunch sister and a screaming sister and a bland aunt in the background. There's a host of 'yokels' and a clodhopper policeman, a sprinkling of clichéd village people (not those ones, unfortunately, that would have been a laugh) a little bit of romance, lots of false leads and worst of all, an excruciating 'furriner' French man. The gentlemen detectives are toe-curling in their assumptions and their patronising attitudes, looking down their little toffee noses at all who are not them. Yes, it truly was as bad as that, sadly. I would love to think that Heyer had written it as a spoof but on checking I see that it was published in the very early 1930s which makes her just very young. So of course I forgive her, she's a goddess! But I think I'll avoid reading another one of those.

  • Carmen
    2018-11-18 21:19

    Witty, comical and entertaining, my first Heyer's mystery. I enjoyed it.

  • Bev
    2018-11-14 03:02

    Footsteps in the Dark is a very welcome return to Georgette Heyer's usual breezy, comic mystery style--far removed from the dark and brooding Penhallow which I just recently finished.In this one, Peter, Margaret and Celia inherit a rambling, run-down old house from their uncle. Despite its lack of modern conveniences, they think it has a certain charm. At least they do until the locals start telling them stories of The Monk who is supposed to haunt the ancient priory mansion. And then they start hearing uneartly groaning in the cellars and find skeletons in the most unlikely places. Is it a real ghost or is someone just trying to scare them away for nefarious reasons? There are also all sorts of suspicious characters lurking about...from the French painter Duvall to the late-night moth hunter to the strange man named Strange who haunts their garden at midnight. And what about the commercial salesman who doesn't seem to be able to sell a thing? There are plenty spooky happenings and plenty of suspects. There are priest's holes and secret passages. But what is at the bottom of it all?This is a fun little 1930s romp. Not quite a true country house mystery. In those, you have a set cast of characters all trapped in the house due to storm or snow or what-have-you. In Footsteps it seems that anybody and everybody can pop in and out of the house at will. There is plenty of witty by-play between the three heirs and Celia's husband, Charles. Lots of hearty English village types who make you want to say "What ho" and "I say." A bumbling country bobby who means well, but just can't quite manage to get a handle on a real criminal. And, of course, it wouldn't be complete without an attempt to contact the spirit world via the planchette board. Just good clean fun from the Golden Age of mysteries. Not the most intricate of detective novels--I spotted the culprit fairly early, but given Heyer's adept handling of the characters and atmosphere that didn't spoil it at all. Three and a half stars.This review was first posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks.