Cousin Kate [NOOK Book]

Overview

A dashing novel of intrigue and Regency romance by one of our best-known and most beloved historical novelists.





Kate Malvern, rescued from penury by her aunt Minerva, hardly knows what to expect at Staplewood - the grand household is so very different from a life spent following the drum in the Peninsular! But surely, other households ...

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Cousin Kate

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Overview

A dashing novel of intrigue and Regency romance by one of our best-known and most beloved historical novelists.





Kate Malvern, rescued from penury by her aunt Minerva, hardly knows what to expect at Staplewood - the grand household is so very different from a life spent following the drum in the Peninsular! But surely, other households are more homelike? Kate's uncle lives in one wing, handsome, moody cousin Torquil in another; thought the guests are few, even family dinners are formal. And, when Kate begins to suspect the shocking reason for Minerva's generousity, she has no-one to confide in but cousin Philip - who appears to have taken her in instant dislike...





Cousin Kate shows all the ingredients that made Georgette Heyer a romantic novelist, beloved to a huge worldwide readership.



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Editorial Reviews

Cousin Kate
Full of suspense, humor, romance and myster... a dark gothic novel with a little bit of roman thrown in for fun.
— Christine Plaisted
Bookfoolery and Babble
Very good; excellent characterization and a decent plot. As usual, Heyer is faultlessly entertaining
— Nancy Horner
A Work in Progress
As Gothic novels go Cousin Kate has all the right elements. A menacing country house set on sweeping grounds, strange knocks in the night, locked doors, family secrets, and whispers of madness.
— Danielle Torress
Rhi Reading
Exciting and interesting from harrowing start to dramatic finish, Georgette Heyer's Cousin Kate was a delightfully dark and sinfully satisfying read.
— Rhianna Walker
Jane Austen's World
[T]the dialogue among the characters is completely delightful... Georgette Heyer builds a wonderful and complete world for her reader to sink into — like a bubble bath or a welcoming chair to relax you at the end of a busy day, but more fun. Much more fun.
— Lady Anne
Maymay's Memos
Filled with strange illnesses, intrigue, and a few murders thrown in along the way, this book is sure to please.
— Shawn Remfry
Reading Extravaganza
Cousin Kate was simply another great performance by this wonderful writer and it only makes me elated to know that there are plenty more of her books to read.
— Lilianna Swistek
From the Publisher
"[T]the dialogue among the characters is completely delightful... Georgette Heyer builds a wonderful and complete world for her reader to sink into — like a bubble bath or a welcoming chair to relax you at the end of a busy day, but more fun. Much more fun." - Jane Austen's World

"Exciting and interesting from harrowing start to dramatic finish, Georgette Heyer's Cousin Kate was a delightfully dark and sinfully satisfying read. " - Rhi Reading

" Filled with strange illnesses, intrigue, and a few murders thrown in along the way, this book is sure to please." - Maymay's Memos

"Cousin Kate was simply another great performance by this wonderful writer and it only makes me elated to know that there are plenty more of her books to read." - Reading Extravaganza

"As Gothic novels go Cousin Kate has all the right elements. A menacing country house set on sweeping grounds, strange knocks in the night, locked doors, family secrets, and whispers of madness. " - A Work in Progress

"Very good; excellent characterization and a decent plot. As usual, Heyer is faultlessly entertaining" - Bookfoolery and Babble

"Full of suspense, humor, romance and myster... a dark gothic novel with a little bit of roman thrown in for fun. " - Cousin Kate

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402227042
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 43,695
  • File size: 863 KB

Meet the Author

The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or private life. It is known that she was born in Wimbledon in August 1902, and her first novel, The Black Moth, was published in 1921.

Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Heyer's large volume of works included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known also as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and they had one son together, Richard.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One

At no time during the twenty-four hours was the Bull and Mouth Inn a place of quiet or repose, and by ten o'clock in the morning, when the stage-coach from Wisbech, turning top-heavily out of Aldersgate, lumbered into its yard, it seemed, to one weary and downcast passenger at least, to be crowded with vehicles of every description, from a yellow-bodied post-chaise to a wagon, with its shafts cocked up and the various packages and bundles it carried strewn over the yard. All was bustle and confusion; and for a few minutes Miss Malvern, climbing down from the coach, was bewildered by it, and stood looking round her rather helplessly. Until the guard dumped at her feet the small corded trunk which contained her worldly possessions and advised her to look sharp to it, no one paid the least attention to her, except an ostler leading out two horses, and adjuring her to get out of the way, and one of the inevitable street-vendors who haunted busy inn-yards, begging her to buy some gingerbread. The guard, assailed by demands from several anxious travellers to have their bags and bandboxes restored to them immediately, had little time to spare, but Miss Malvern's flower-like countenance, and her air of youthful innocence, impelled him to ask her if anyone was meeting her. When she shook her head, he clicked his tongue disapprovingly, and expressed a hope that she might at least know where she was a-going to.

A gleam of amusement lightened the shadows in Miss Malvern's large gray eyes; she replied, with a tiny chuckle: 'Oh, yes! I do know that!'
'What you want, missy, is a hack!' said the guard.
'No, I don't: I want a porter!' said Miss Malvern, speaking with unexpected decision.

The guard seemed to be inclined to argue this point, but as a stout lady was tugging at his coat-tails, shrilly demanding to know what he had done with a basket of fish consigned to
his care, he was obliged to abandon Miss Malvern to her fate, merely shouting in stentorian accents for a porter to carry the young lady's trunk.

This summons was responded to by a burly individual in a frieze coat, who undertook, for the sum of sixpence, to carry Miss Malvern's trunk to the warehouse of Josiah Nidd & Son, Carriers. Since this establishment was situated a bare quarter of a mile from the Bull and Mouth, Miss Malvern had a shrewd suspicion that she was being grossly overcharged; but although an adventurous youth spent in following the drum had accustomed her to haggling with Portuguese farmers and Spanish muleteers, she did not feel inclined to embark on argument in a crowded London inn-yard, so she agreed the price, and desired the porter to lead her to the warehouse.

The premises acquired some years earlier by Mr Nidd and his son had originally been an inn, of neither the size nor the quality of the Bull and Mouth, but, like it, provided with a galleried yard, and a number of stables and coach-houses. Occupying a large part of the yard was an enormous wagon mounted on nine-inch cylindrical wheels, and covered by a spreading tilt. Three brawny lads were engaged in loading this vehicle with a collection of goods ranging from pack-cases to farm-implements, their activities being directed, and shrilly criticized, by an aged gentleman, who was seated on the balcony on one side of the yard. Beneath this balcony a glass door had once invited entrance to the coffee-room, but this had been replaced by a green-painted wooden door, flanked by tubs filled with geraniums, and furnished with a bright brass knocker, indicating that the erstwhile hostelry had become a private residence. Picking her way between the piles of packages, and directing the porter to follow her, Miss Malvern went to it, lifting its latch without ceremony, and stepping into a narrow passage, from which a door gave access into the old coffeeroom, and a flight of uneven stairs rose to the upper floors. The trunk set down, and the porter dismissed, Miss Malvern heaved a sigh of relief, as of one who had accomplished an enterprise fraught with peril, and called: 'Sarah?'

No immediate response being forthcoming, she called again, more loudly, and moved to the foot of the stairs. But even as she set her foot on the bottom step, a door at the end of the passage burst open, and a lady in a flowered print dress, with an old-fashioned tucker round her ample bosom, and a starched muslin cap tied in a bow beneath her chin, stood as though stunned on the threshold, and gasped: 'Miss Kate! It's never you! Oh, my dearie, my precious lambkin!'

She started forward, holding out her plump arms, and Miss Malvern, laughing and crying, tumbled into them, hugging her, and uttering disjointedly: 'Oh, Sarah, oh, Sarah! To be with you again! I've been thinking of nothing else, all the way! Oh, Sarah, I'm so tired, and dispirited, and there was nowhere else for me to go, but indeed I don't mean to impose on you, or on poor Mr Nidd! Only until I can find another situation!'

Several teardrops stood on Mrs Nidd's cheeks, but she said in a scolding voice: 'Now, that's no way to talk, Miss Kate, and well you know it! And where else should you go, I should like to know? Now, you come into the kitchen, like a good girl, while I pop the kettle on, and cut some bread-and-butter!'

Miss Malvern dried her eyes, and sighed: 'Oh, dear, would you have believed I could be so ticklish? It was such a horrid journey - six of us inside! - and no time to swallow more than a sip of coffee when we stopped for breakfast.'

Mrs Nidd, leading her into the kitchen, and thrusting her into a chair, demanded: 'Are you telling me you came on the common stage, Miss Kate?'

'Yes, of course I did. Well, you couldn't expect them to have sent me by post, could you? And if you're thinking of the Mail, I am excessively glad they didn't send me by that either, because it reached London just after four o'clock in the morning! What should I have done?'

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I will definitely try another Heyer

    I've been seeing Heyer novels brought up on several blogs as her books are being re-released again. I wasn't sure which one to start with but Aarti of Booklust gave me a few recommendations. I wanted to read Cousin Kate as it is a gothic novel, which I love, though Heyer is more known for Regency romances.

    Kate Malvern is twenty-four, an orphan, and has just been fired from her position as a governess. She moves in with her former nurse, Sarah and her family. Kate is determinded to find a new position but Sarah thinks that someone in Kate's family should take her in. She writes to Kate's aunt, whom Kate has never met. Minerva Broome shows up to invite Kate back to her estate, Staplewood, which Kate accepts.

    At first Kate is thrilled, her aunt is generous and kind, her uncle, though ill is warm and welcoming. Torquil is her cousin, aged nineteen and though he has his moods and delicate constitution, Kate is fond of him.

    But then some strange things happen. Kate hears screaming one night but can't investigate as she is locked in her room. Torquil becomes more difficult to handle and uncle's nephew, Philip insinuates that Kate should leave Staplewood. Kate is unsure what to do or where she would go as she has not heard from Sarah since she moved to Staplewood.

    my review: I enjoyed this novel quite a bit; Kate is fearless and spunky, Torquil is creepy, and her aunt is mysterious. A perfect setting for a gothic novel. Of course I love this time period and British novels, so that helped. But I did have some trouble with the language. I thought I was almost fluent in British but I encountered many a word or phrase I was unfamiliar with; farrafiddles, skimble-skamble, jarvey,and nab the rust were a few of my favorites.

    It did not detract from the story however. The beginning felt a little slow but it picked up and then went quite fast at the end.
    I'm not sure I am a Heyer convert but I think I will read one of the books that was more strongly recommended by Aarti, The Talisman's Ring. Also, I'm not a fan of my library's copies as these are books from decades ago, but it seems that many of the Heyer books are now available as ebooks, so I will try that.

    my rating 3.5/5
    http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    yes

    I really love this author. gives you a vision of what the era was like. this especially had laughing times and what is going to happen next?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2004

    Not one of Georgette Heyer's best

    This book is a lot more dark and depressing than most of Ms. Heyer's romance novels. Let's face it: strangulation isn't exactly pleasant. Also, the characters weren't as well developed. Kate starts out as my kind of girl: witty, shrewd, and full of laughter. In the end, she turns out to be a bit of a milksop, not at all the fearless, devil-may-care girl we began the book with. Don't read this as your first Georgette Heyer book--it will give you a bad impression of her writing. Try starting with The Masqueraders or The Talisman Ring or something a little more lighthearted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2003

    Funny, original and serious

    The novel is good, but as far as Heyer is involved, there isn't much ton society drama that we all love. Cousin Kate is 25, beautiful and extremely intelligent. She's not from good ton, like most Heyer characters, but she's not bad either, and hence, is left to be the poor relation in the novel, which gets her into difficulty when she becomes aware what her aunt (who's scheming & selfish)has planned for her. It's a mystery that becomes rather emotional and intense at the end. Good read.

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