Cover image for The riddle of the reluctant rake
The riddle of the reluctant rake
Veryan, Patricia.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
309 pages ; 22 cm
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Lieutenant-Colonel Hastings Adair, best friend of Captain Jack Vespa, the dashing hero of Veryan's last two novels, wakes up in the arms of an unwed lady of Quality, scandalizing all of London, and in attempting to right things, runs straight into a government conspiracy.

Author Notes

Patricia Veryan was born in 1923 and grew up in a suburb of London, England. She completed a one year secretarial course and had numerous jobs including working in the London offices of Columbia Pictures, for the U.S. Army Headquarters, and for the University of California. She moved to the United States after World War II. Her first romance novel, The Lord and the Gypsy, was published in 1978. Her other works include the Golden Chronicles series and the Sanguinet Saga. Her last novel, The Riddle of the Deplorable Dandy, was released in 2002. She retired from writing due to failing eyesight.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Hastings Chatteris Adair has been groomed to achieve greatness in the military. He rose quickly to the rank of lieutenant colonel, but then tragedy struck. One moment he was escorting a young lady of quality, Miss Alice Prior, home from a ball, and the next he awakened in a cell, accused of ruining Miss Prior and hiding her away. He is saved from being hung, but is dismissed from the military and stripped of his rank. Hastings is anxious to find out who framed him, and, more important, to find Alice and clear his name. But, to make matters even more complicated, his family doesn't believe in his innocence, so he is forced to conduct his quest without family support. With two close friends at his side, he sets across England in pursuit of the truth, and readers of this polished period mystery romance will relish Veryan's charming British characters and their innocent, "proper" beliefs and values that are so refreshing to the modern reader. Alexandra Shrake

Publisher's Weekly Review

Veteran romance novelist Veryan (The Riddle of the Lost Lover) completes her "Riddle" trilogy with another lively tale in which dashing, charming gentlemen and unconventional ladies triumph in spite of the unforgiving social mores of Regency Britain. Possibly her most mirthful and polished effort yet, this book chronicles the unfair accusation and cashiering of distinguished Lt.-Col. Hastings Adair (introduced in the earlier books) for a crime he did not commit: he's accused of robbing a London maiden of her virtue. Court-martialed, and with his family turned against him, Hasty has only his friends Toby Broderick, Jack Vespa and Paige Manderville to help him find the real perpetrator and thus clear his name before some overzealous citizen or ill-meaning conspirator does him in. Dodging society's literal and figurative brickbats, Hasty manages to enlist the help of his purported young victim's family in this effort, and once he's won the trust of the redoubtable, eccentric Lady Abigail Prior and the courageous beauty Cecily Hall, he begins to make some progress. Nearly losing his life in a duel with a suspect, Hasty discovers he must direct his attentions closer to home, searching out all the Prior family secrets in order to answer the riddle. Her characters nicely delineated, Veryan sets a sprightly pace for her engaging plot, serving up a sparkling romance and a mystery with a subtle denouement. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved