Thursday, November 26, 2015

A SPLENDID JAPE by D.C. Williams

Publisher: MLR Press
Date published: October 2015
ISBN: MLR-1-02015-047
MM, Regency Historical
Reviewed by Helen
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 4

Algernon Grimsdale’s life is complicated by his mother who is ill, and his younger sister, who he hopes to find a husband for before his mother becomes too ill to enjoy the wedding. As for himself, his own tastes are illegal in Regency England.

This is only a short story, so there isn’t a lot of space to allow a big build up of plot and characterization, but D.C. Williams copes well within these confines. I really like the way the two main characters are demonstrated as drawing together with some teasing and body language as well as just their need for sex, especially since the sex is much more hinted at than described (which might also be because of the tight word count).

There are a surprising number of characters in such a short book, and all are sketched in well, as is the historical background, although the background is more one of how the people are confined by the rules and expectations of the day. I particularly enjoyed Algie’s worries about the kind of men who wouldn’t be suitable for his sister to marry. It was neat, time appropriate and yet so different from today.
The ending is great and an excellent hook for the next book, which I’ll be watching out for.

The book itself was well edited and very clean except for one enormous blooper. Right at the front of the book, on the blurb, an editorial comment is printed in the text. It really ought to be removed asap.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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