3.5 stars? I am nonplussed.
I will tolerate the casual racism typical of Heyer's work as a product of it's time--the excitable French and lazy Spaniards are usually drawn with some affection. But in this book we get an outright Shylockian loan shark, greasily "Semitic", hooked nose and all--which goes several steps beyond too far.
However, here is the conflict: Sophy is one of my favourite heroines. She is tall and brassy and fearless. She sails into an unhappy household and briskly sets about improving everything. She copes with tyrants, engagements, a Spanish Marquessa, Typhus, the aforementioned loan shark, several ducklings and a monkey. The story is a witty tangle of plots and plotting, and I enjoy it very much evey time, except for wincing over Mr. Goldhanger for a few pages in the middle.