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Footsteps in the Dark

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  5,339 ratings  ·  577 reviews
Locals claim the Priory 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 inherite ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 4th 2007 by Arrow (first published 1932)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  5,339 ratings  ·  577 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 f
...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 re
...more
Mir
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
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 "jolly hocke ...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
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
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
CLM
Aug 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 20th-century, uk, 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.
Squeak2017
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
So far I have enjoyed all of Georgette Heyer’s murder mystery novels, but this one has proved the exception. The murder feels as though it was shoehorned in as an afterthought over two thirds of the way through the narrative (perhaps a despairing editor’s suggestion?) and the mystery is risible. It scarcely rises above the level of a poor man’s adult Famous Five with Aunt Lilian as Timmy the dog. The siblings and minor characters are all well drawn and likeable but the exposition goes on far 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
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 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!
Abhigna Antani
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A cross between a very Christie-esque setting and Blyton-ish adventure, this book will certainly keep you hooked. A quick read with fast moving story that will not bore you at any instant. However, events were very predictable (especially for seasoned mystery afficionados) and so was the big reveal. But, it certainly kept me entertained throughout with the quaint British setting, secret passages, small town charm and the spooky elements. Recommended for light reading coupled with some amount of ...more
Apoorva Ranade
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure-lust
This book felt very Christie married to Enid Blyton.
The story is set in a small town, where on moving to an abandoned house, the family starts hearing noises and seeing apparitions. Investigations follow with more ghostly appearances. Small doses of humour(Constable Flinders) with a pretty interesting mystery.
Elinor
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nobody can write Regency romances as well as Georgette Heyer, but this isn't one of them. Here she has ventured into the mystery genre, with mixed results. The characters are interesting and so is the plot, but it lacks the witty dialogue of her usual fare. There is a romance in this novel, but it seems forced and not up to her usual standard. There are many, many better mystery novels out there.
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
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
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 is a well
...more
Marian
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The book is set in an old English Abbey complete with skeleton and probable ghost.
tom bomp
May 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
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
Theresa
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
When Margaret Fortescue and her siblings Peter and Charles inherit an old decaying priory, they are warned repeatedly about the reputation it carries. Sightings of a ghost wandering the grounds, robed in a monk's habit, plus suspicious noises in the night adds to the mystery. Will Margaret and her brothers be able to discover the truth behind the rumors?

Heyer's humor is especially good in this mystery..

"'Now I come to think of it,' Mrs. Bosanquet informed the bedpost, 'my dear mother used alway
...more
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3,665 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. Rougier later became a barrister and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance nov
...more

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