Friday, May 14, 2010

Mira Stables

My local library doesn't admit to carrying any Mira Stables books. None. I ended up buying a couple of used ones on Amazon, and another couple of used ones from my local creepy used book store. The creepy book store is cheaper than Amazon, but it's a last resort type of place. Books are stacked all over the place - I'm pretty sure the place is a major fire hazard. That's part of the reason I never stay long...that and the fact that it tends to be quite unorganized and dirty. Not racy dirty, just dirty.

High Garth - Betty Magdalen suggested this one, and I heartily agree, it's a winner. Hard working heroine, harder working hero, plucky little half-brother, spelunking, Yorkshire and rich relatives. I liked that Ann never wanted to take her stepfather's name (Papa Fortune), partly because she would then be know as "Miss Fortune" - how awesome is that?

The Golden Barrier - Hard working hero, Dermot is trying to make a go of his family's estate...he is a cousin or nephew, anyway, he didn't inherit a title but he does have the house and grounds. Both of which have been sadly neglected. Girl from the neighborhood is the daughter of a wealthy Cit. The "golden barrier" is the fact that she is rich and he is not. Fortunately the barrier is overcome in the end. I love the part where Katherine sneaks over to his house every day and mends the tapestry - just for something to do.

Summer at Dorne - this one was much more "dramatic" than the other three books. Chantal's cousin is trying to force her into marrying him. He spreads rumors that she is insane, he has people that could help her (like her lawyer) killed, and he withholds food from her. When Chantal runs away, she hits her head and falls into a pool. Upon awakening, she finds that she's NAKED under a blanket. Hello, that would be our hero who has stripped her. He doesn't like her though - she's a girl and he doesn't like girls (a girl was responsible for his beloved older brother being crippled and confined to a wheelchair). Except that he does start to like, then love her. The cousin eventually finds her (in Scotland), has her abducted and then plans to spend a week raping her so as to force her into marriage. Yes, I just typed the "R" word. He doesn't succeed, in fact, he comes to a sticky end through his own rashness. It sounds exciting...but I just couldn't like the main characters enough. He's a tortured artist, she's been a bit "fast" in London...I dunno, they just didn't work for me.

The Swynden Necklace - most of the action takes place in and around Bath. Honor is bequeathed a fabulous diamond necklace, and a townhouse in Bath (but not much else). Her aunt wants her to go to Bath and have some fun. Her mom wants her to sell the necklace so that little bro. Percy can have a proper education. Auntie wins out (after all, they can sell the necklace later). Happily ever after is achieved with the help of Auntie (who proves herself quite a conspirator), Honor marries the man she loves (in spite of her mother)...and the man turns out to be not who she thought he was!


  1. Betty Barbara here-
    The only Mira Stables I can remember reading is Swyndon Necklace--but all of the others sound oh-so-familiar! I bought a whole lotta faux Heyer at the drug store in the late 70's, early 80's and I am afraid that most of the plots/characters have faded into the mists!

  2. In some ways Mira Stables is "Heyer Lite"... but I did find her style and her heroines/heroes and plot devices sufficiently different to warrant reading.

  3. I do like G. Heyer and M. Stables and their ilk -- however, I *still* need more good non-Betty (Post-Betty?) substitutes set in more modern times (post-WWII?) - as sometimes the whole Period thing is just not my cup of tea. I'm trying to just re-read my Bettys slowly, but whoa is me...We need a Betty for Today!!!

  4. Then allow me to get in another plug for senseless Essie Summers boosterism. She's a great post-WWII author.

  5. Thank you Betty Keira! She'll definitely be on my Post-Betty List! :-)

  6. My only caveat is that, like Betty, she takes reading a few before getting. Also, in a few weeks I'll be doing my own highlight post of her.