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Happy Birthday, Georgette Heyer

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Georgette Heyer, the heir to Jane Austen and the forebear of numerous grateful romance writers, was born August 16, 1902. Prepare for her birthday by selecting one of her fine works to read (or listen to):

1. Of Heyer's romances, Venetia, is the perfect innocent-ingenue-meets-dissipated-rake story, especially since Venetia is not as naive as many ingenues and may be perfectly happy even with a non-reformed rake.

2. Of Heyer's mysteries, A Blunt Instrument employs a clever murder and still more clever dialog. Envious Casca is considered one of Heyer's murder mystery classics.

3. A combination of mystery and romance can be found in The Quiet Gentleman; the reading by Cornelius Garrett is extremely well-done.

4. Of Heyer's short stories, "The Duel" in Pistols for Two is another classic ingenue-bad boy romance (see above). If you don't care for that type of romance, there are 10 other stories to enjoy! One of Heyer's strengths is her ability to capture all types of romances and romance heroes/heroines.

5. Regarding books about Heyer, Jennifer Kloester's Georgette Heyer's Regency World is highly recommend, especially for Jane Austen fans who want to learn more about the time period (also recommended: What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool). Kloester recently came out with a biography of Georgette Heyer, which relies on and supplements Jane Aiken Hodge's earlier biography The Private Life of Georgette Heyer.

For that last summer vacation, take along a Georgette Heyer. Whether you carry a romance or a mystery with a hint of romance to the beach, you won't be disappointed.

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