Spoiler alert!

Captain John Staple is one of the easiest of Heyer’s heroes to like. Maybe it’s his all-round goodness, but maybe it’s just because he’s so very large. We’re all powerless to resist apparently. Nell Stornoway certainly doesn’t manage it for long, and we don’t blame her.

There’s a whole host of fantastic characters in this story, from Sir Peter who still has a trick or two up his sleeve, and Chirk the highwayman who sticks to his own code, to Stogumber the Bow Street Runner with sharp eyes and a pragmatic approach to justice.

We get stuck into discussing the tragedy of Sir Peter’s predicament, the morality of murdering wrong ‘uns and the romance between Rose and Chirk (but you’ll have to forgive us for our inability to remember how Staple is supposed to be related to Brean, and how Nell is related to Henry - our brains failed us.)

“But the thing is I’ve got no fancy for one of these dashed suitable marriages, where you don’t really care a fig for the girl, or she for you. I don’t mean to offer marriage to any girl who don’t give me a leveller.”

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