Book Reviews, Georgette Heyer Books, Historical Romance, Regency Era, Regency Romance

The Toll-Gate, by Georgette Heyer – A Review

The Toll-Gate,  by Georgette Heyer (2011)Guest review by Laura A. Wallace:

Georgette Heyer’s novel The Toll Gate is a little different from her typical Regencies.  It is more of a mystery than a romance and is told primarily from the point of view of the hero.

The hero, Captain John Staple, shares several characteristics with Hugo Darracott of The Unknown Ajax.  Like Hugo, John is a former army officer who sold out after Napoleon’s defeat—though, in John’s case, he sold out after Leipzig, and when Napoleon escaped from Elba and began the Hundred Days, he rejoined and thus (like Hugo) was present at Waterloo.  Like Hugo, John is a large man, six-foot-four, with a gentle manner, a sense of humor, and a great deal of intelligence that he sometimes hides behind an intentionally bovine manner.  And like Hugo, John prefers to travel cross-country on horseback rather than in a chaise with a servant and piles of baggage. Continue reading “The Toll-Gate, by Georgette Heyer – A Review”

Book Reviews, Georgette Heyer Books, Giveaways, Reading Challenges, Regency Era, Sweet Historical Romance

The Toll-Gate, by Georgette Heyer – A Review

Guest review by Laura Gerold of Laura’s Reviews

Originally published in 1954, The Toll-Gate is a regency novel by Georgette Heyer. Unlike the other books I’ve read by Heyer, The Toll-Gate is not so much a regency romance as a regency mystery with a bit of romance.  The novel is set in 1817 in the Peak District, which is an upland area in north-central England mainly in Derbyshire (which is also the setting for many scenes in Pride and Prejudice).

Captain Jack Staple is on his way to visit a friend when he discovers a toll-gate untended except for a small boy. He quickly discovers a mystery in the disappearance of the boy’s father and decides to pretend to be a mysterious cousin to the boy to investigate the case. Captain Jack has found life to be rather boring after his stint as a soldier in the Napoleonic Wars and is more than a little willing to be caught up in the odd mystery of the toll-gate.  Soon he finds himself dealing with a highwayman, treasure, a Bow-Street runner, and murders.

He also discovers Nell, the local squire’s granddaughter.  His family’s previous attempts to set him up with a nice girl have failed, but he finds love at first sight with Nell.  While he is dealing with the mystery of the toll-gate, he is also trying to rescue Nell from her cousin and his strange friend who appear to be up to no good. Nell is a feisty character and I really enjoyed reading the interactions between Jack and Nell.

I must admit that I did not like The Toll-Gate as much as I have loved all other Heyer novels that I have read.  This book was entertaining and a good mystery, but I was expecting a romance and my expectations were not met. Also, the book seemed to get caught up in jokes involving the vernacular of the lower classes. I could understand what they were talking about mostly but felt left out of the joke a lot of the time. Plus, I must admit to a personal dislike of books that use a lot of vernacular.  Heyer writes with great detail, as usual, it’s just in this case the detail dealt a lot with the way the different classes spoke at the time and I found it a little hard to get into and enjoy. Continue reading “The Toll-Gate, by Georgette Heyer – A Review”