Title: The Grand Sophy
Author: Georgette Heyer
Genre: Fiction – Regency
Publication Date: 1950
Sophia Stanton-Lacy has arrived at her Aunt Ombersley’s home just in time. Her cousins are in a tangle: Charles is engaged to a hoity-toity snot, Cecilia is in love with a poet, and Hubert is acting strangely, even for him.
Sophy sets out immediately to fix the mess. But will her unorthodox, unfeminine, and occasionally downright dangerous methods help her cousins, or bring the entire family to ruins?
In a word: Fabulous
The third time’s the charm. I loved The Masqueraders, was disappointed by Behold, Here’s Poison, and have returned to my original love of Georgette Heyer with The Grand Sophy. When it comes down to it, I think her Regency novels are better than her mysteries.
Heyer’s research, details, and characters are impeccable — so much so that I am always surprised that her novels, although set in the 19th century, were written in the 20th.
Sophy is arguably one of Heyer’s best-known and best-loved characters. She and her cousin Charles have a serious case of Beatrice and Benedick Syndrome, and I love watching them spar. She concocts all sorts of crazy schemes to get her family out of the messes in which they find themselves, and manages to have some zany fun in the process.
If you’re in the mood for a great Regency novel starring a brash, witty heroine who isn’t afraid to get involved in thievery, bribery, and matchmaking, check out The Grand Sophy. It’s definitely made my list of top books of 2011.
“ ‘I believe a monkey’s bite is poisonous.’
‘In that case I hope he may bite Theodore.’ ” (p. 124)
“ ‘…I shall be much obliged to you, cousin, if you will refrain from telling my sisters that she has a face like a horse!’
‘But, Charles, no blame attaches to Miss Wraxton! She cannot help it, and that, I assure you, I have always pointed out to your sisters!’
‘I consider Miss Wraxton’s countenance particularly well-bred!’
‘Yes, indeed, but you have quite misunderstood the matter! I meant a particularly well-bred horse!’ ” (pp. 167-8)