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Footsteps in the Dark

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  4,728 ratings  ·  484 reviews
Locals claim The Prior is haunted and refuse to put a single toe past the front door. Left empty for years, and even their deceased uncle chose to live in a different house, far away from this particular property. But the ramshackle old house, with its rambling charm is the perfect setting for a much-needed holiday for siblings Peter, Celia and Margaret, who have inherited ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 4th 2007 by Arrow (first published 1932)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,728 ratings  ·  484 reviews


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mark monday
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
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 you.

so 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
...more
Hannah
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: The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew, #2) by Carolyn Keene meets The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie and 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
...more
Anne
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 ant
...more
Madeline
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 gho ...more
Sophia
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
...more
Tweety
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 resi
...more
Miriam
Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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. E ...more
Kim
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
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 ...more
Anna
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Anna by: goodreads
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
...more
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Diehard Georgette Heyer fans only
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 "jol ...more
Brenda H
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Dorcas
Nov 20, 2013 marked it as did-not-finish
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
...more
CLM
Aug 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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.
lebe.liebe.lese [Tina]
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 Id
...more
Hana
Jul 10, 2014 rated it liked it
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 frie
...more
Leslie
Dec 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
On this reread (my 4th?), I have decided that this is really 3 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!
...more
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery aficianados without something better to while away the time
Recommended to Ivonne by: Mark Monday
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 figur
...more
Tami
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 spee
...more
John
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
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 themselve
...more
Maine Colonial
Mar 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, mystery
I was having one of those reading funks, where I couldn’t seem to find anything I was enthusiastic about reading. Actually, it was a listening funk, since it was only affecting my audiobooks. When that happens, I either re-listen to something (like a Dorothy L. Sayers) or I find some lightweight book, ideally a Golden Age mystery. In this case, I picked this Georgette Heyer mystery, since I’ve enjoyed them before and I like the reader, Ulli Birvé.

Unfortunately, this was not up to snuff. For most
...more
Janet
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Priory may be ramshackle in appearance, but siblings Peter, Margaret and Celia, are totally charmed by their newly-inherited country house. The Priory has been left empty for years, hardly a single person has set foot inside and, down in the village, the locals whisper of a ghostly figure that roams the halls – The Monk.
I simply adore Georgette Heyer’s romances & was intrigued that she’d written some mysteries/crime stories.
This is set in the 1930’s & is so evocative of the era. It i
...more
tom bomp
May 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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 int ...more
QNPoohBear
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 he ...more
Bill
Footsteps in the Dark is a fun, entertaining mystery from 1932 by English author, Georgette Heyer. I've read a few other mysteries by Heyer and have enjoyed them all so far.
This story starts off as a ghost story but as the story moves along it becomes more and more an interesting mystery. The Fortescue children, Peter, Margaret and Celia have inherited the Priory at Framley. Along with Celia's husband, Charles Malcolm and their aunt Lilian Bosanquet, they move into the old place. It's without e
...more
Amy
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,
...more
Judy Lesley
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have read this story several times and I still enjoy it each time. Definitely not a modern story but amusing if you like the country house/small village type of story with all the characters this type of book is peppered with. Here two sisters and a brother have been left an old house, The Priory, and they are spending some time there before deciding what to do with it. The news that the house is reputed to be haunted doesn't scare off these plucky characters, at least not until the hauntings ...more
Lori
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dillwynia Peter
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it
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 al
...more
Kelli
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Laura
Feb 27, 2009 rated it liked it
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 ...more
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3,184 followers
Georgette Heyer was a prolific historical romance and detective fiction novelist. Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth.

In 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.

Hey
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“Charles' driving, skilful though it might be, kept his passengers in a constant state of breathlessness.” 7 likes
“They dined early, and as soon as the meal was over Margaret went up to change into the frock she had worn on the previous evening. With a praiseworthy attention to detail she made her hair look tousled, and wiped all the powder off her face. As Charles remarked, in a newly engaged girl this deed almost amounted to heroism.” 4 likes
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