Faro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the best Georgette Heyer Regencies that I've read. I shied away from it for some time because of the setting in a gaming hell, but it was surprisingly non-sordid. It boasts a hero named Max Ravenscar (if that isn't a soap opera worthy name, I don't know what is) and some funny exchanges between the genteel proprietor of said gambling house, Lady Bellingham, and her niece, including this one:
"Now do listen, Deb! Seven hundred pounds for the bays and a new barouche! Well, I can't think where the money is to come from. It seems a monstrous price."
"We might let the bays go, and hire a pair of job horses," suggested Miss Grantham dubiously.
"I can't and I won't live in Squalor!" declared her aunt tearfully.
Ravenscar attempts to buy off the unsuitable Miss Grantham, mistakenly thinking that she is engaged to his nephew. Deborah Grantham is mightily offended by his arrogance and Heyer hijinks ensue. When Heyer is in top form, her books are the best antidote to gloomy weather, whether it is meteorological or psychological.
I also learned what an E.O. table was: a precursor to the roulette wheel. The E and O stood for Even and Odd. Faro was a card game that originated in France where it was called Pharoah.
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