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The Talisman Ring

af Georgette Heyer

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1,421439,698 (4.08)204
When spirited Eustacie stumbles into a band of smugglers, she is delighted to be having an adventure at last. Their leader, young heir Ludovic Lavenham, is in hiding, falsely accused of murder. Pursued by the law, Eustacie and Ludovic find refuge at an unassuming country inn. There, the resourceful Miss Sarah Thane and the clear-thinking Sir Tristram Shield gamely endeavor to prevent Ludovic's arrest and Eustacie's ruin as the four conspire to recover the missing talisman ring that will clear Ludovic's name.… (mere)
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Engelsk (41)  Tysk (2)  Alle sprog (43)
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A fast-paced and enjoyable read if you can stand Ludovic, Eustacie and Sarah. Ludovic is so reckless while the two ladies fantasize about adventures and are dreamy, to the extent of being rather silly at times, with Sarah less so. However, it's a good thing that Heyer allowed the two ladies some sense and courage, otherwise it would be quite a tedious read. ( )
  siok | Mar 28, 2021 |
When my computer completely bricked on New Year's Eve in the midst of my frantic efforts to finish business while collaborators were already into their celebrations and I got past my agitated state and resigned myself to not meeting the deadline, I proceeded to make an amazing dinner, start a good book, and take a nice long bath.

The dinner was scallops in sherry-cream sauce with oyster mushrooms over polenta. Amazing and melted in the mouth.

The book was [The Talisman Ring], somehow a Heyer I have missed all these years. I enjoyed it, of course. This reissue had an intro written by [[Mary Balogh]], which also referenced [The Corinthian] that I then promptly reread from my collection. The former was published in 1936, the latter in 1940. I found an amusing unintentional continuity of the butler named Porson between them.

[The Talisman Ring] features two potential romantic couples, an unsolved murder mystery from years ago, and an inheritance in the balance. The legendary Lord Sylvester Lavenham lies dying as the opening scene. His pitifully small family are gathered at Lavenham Court: Beau Lavenham, great-nephew and ornament of society living on the estate at the Dower House, but held in contempt and mistrust by the old man; orphaned teenage granddaughter Eustacie de Vauban, recently retrieved from France as the Revolution is heating up yet longing for adventure; Sir Tristram Shield, the 32-year-old other great-nephew, last of his name and cynical misogynist after youthful heartbreak, stuck with being executor of the estate.

Sylvester arranges a marriage of convenience between Eustacie and Sir Tristram, who meet at the old lord's bedside. They both agree to this marriage for lack of better options, then romantical Eustacie decides Sir Tristram is way too stuffy and boring and worst of all autocratic and decides she needs to run away. Beau Lavenham is not a viable romantic alternative because Eustacie dislikes him with the folkloric wisdom of children and dogs. So where's the other potential couple? And what's the sticking point with the inheritance?

Enter Ludovic Lavenham, the other grandchild and direct heir to the title. Accused of murder years ago and fled out of the country, current whereabouts unknown. A crack shot yet claimed to have shot at and missed an owl the night of the murder. The utterly reliable Sir Tristram heard the apparently fatal shot just 10 minutes after parting ways with Ludovic, who was incredibly drunk and angry and desperate to retrieve the titular heirloom from the person who ended up dead. The talisman ring is a priceless family treasure and has been missing ever since the murder. Find it and find the real killer.

So where's the other female lead? Well, a naive runaway, a cargo of smuggled brandy, excise men in search of free traders, a missing heir who turns up unexpectedly, and shots fired in the night all collide and lead all the players to the Red Lion, where 28-year-old Sarah Thane and her brother, a respected magistrate with a cold who knows an exceptional brandy when he tastes it, have decided on impulse to stay at the inn.

For awhile there, I wasn't sure how it was going to sort out because Heyer has definitely gone the route of confirmed bachelor--rake, even--falls for artless ingenue: see [Venetia], [Arabella], [April Lady], [The Convenient Marriage], [Sprig Muslin], and the afore-mentioned [The Corinthian]. And Eustacie is young, pretty, and full of French charm. But it's clear that Eustacie and Sir Tristram are not a good match.

Heyer has also has heroines that are older, calm, capable, and unfazed by romantic heroes (or any other men) who are jerks: Mary Challoner in [Devil's Cub], Drusilla Morville in [The Quiet Gentleman], Anthea Darracott in [The Unknown Ajax], and Sarah Thane here.

Murder, mystery, and the efforts to keep Ludovic safe and hidden despite his reckless inclinations lead to endless hijinks in and around the inn. Lots of humorous scenes and dialogue and letting the various characters shine. Even the safe and sober Sir Tristram gets into the fun despite himself. And all ends well with the ne'er do well caught and our couples free to resume their lives in unexpected (by them) but happy pairings. ( )
  justchris | Jan 3, 2021 |
I don't have a shelf for Romance, but I'm thinking perhaps I ought to make one. I'm such a bad boy for ignoring such a huge genre.

Yes. That's right. I just read Romance. I'm challenging myself.

But, to be honest and fair, this is really more of an offshoot of the old Regency Romances and full of the whole comedy of errors that we all know and love. Too good to be true? Rich grandfathers, viciously maligned cousins, onerous duties, mystery, theft, and yes, of course, Marriage.

Marriage is what brings us here today. :)

No, no I certainly cannot, she says, I must have more in my life. I must have ADVENTURE!

Oh goodness. Goodness, goodness, goodness... she has adventure, all right, and in true heavy-handed domino fashion, the most outrageous of fortunes follow her around, and to today's sensibilities, I'm almost over-willing to say that she's TSTL, but no! This is Romance, and it slowly dawns on me that Georgette Heyer is Playing With Us.

I admit, I should have seen it earlier. That this is a comedy and it's light-hearted and most especially, it's very, very aware of itself, the conventions of all Regency Romance, and all the popular fiction of the day. The 30's obviously needed a some humor, and this definitely fit the bill, never going over the top and always holding true to the sense of mystery, miscommunication, happy outcomes, and, of course, Romance.

If all Romance is like this or Pride and Prejudice, then I'm almost certain that I'm grossly misjudged the entire genre, and it looks like I'm going to have to ask for more goodies like this. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
There is a reason why Georgette Heyer is one of my favourite authors. a most delightful entertaining read.
  MaryBrigidTurner | Apr 22, 2020 |
This is almost claustrophobic in its tightness, with a very limited cast of characters and locations. It also, at times, verges on the ridiculous in its plot and the strategems that are used to try and obscure a certain person's identity and to unmask a second. But despite all that it is quite hilarious fun. To some extent, the back story is redundant, heir to a baronetcy is suspected of murder, hustled out of the country and now turns out to be a smuggler. Arrives back on his own patch as he inherrits only he can't due to aforesaid black mark against his chararcter. Cast of cousins and hangers on try and unmask the person who did the deed and framed the unlucky heir. And that's about as substantial as the plot gets. But, you know what, it made me chortle and a book that does that is no bad thing. ( )
  Helenliz | Aug 10, 2019 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Georgette Heyerprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Balogh, MaryForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Ehm, EmiOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kass, AllanOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Nash, PhyllidaFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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When spirited Eustacie stumbles into a band of smugglers, she is delighted to be having an adventure at last. Their leader, young heir Ludovic Lavenham, is in hiding, falsely accused of murder. Pursued by the law, Eustacie and Ludovic find refuge at an unassuming country inn. There, the resourceful Miss Sarah Thane and the clear-thinking Sir Tristram Shield gamely endeavor to prevent Ludovic's arrest and Eustacie's ruin as the four conspire to recover the missing talisman ring that will clear Ludovic's name.

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