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Book Review: Belinda Goes to Bath

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

You ever have an author that you turn to and it’s like pulling on pajamas still warm from the dryer? Marion Chesney aka M.C. Beaton is that.

With a rather large inheritance from her former employer and a desire to travel, former housekeeper Hannah Pym has decided to spend her fortune on traveling the British countryside… no Grand Tour for her! Not with Boney causing trouble. After her first adventure, she’s turned her sights on Bath… one of the places to be that isn’t London.

Joining her in her travelling coach are the disgraced Belinda, her chaperone, and a few other characters… and I do mean characters. Along the way, the unpredictable English weather strikes forcing them to seek shelter with the prickly Marquis Fenton. A marquis that can’t seem to take his eyes off of the wonderful Belinda.

If Hannah knows anything, it’s this… her matchmaker’s sense is tingling and these two are perfect for each other. Now if only she can get them to admit it.

Hannah Pym is a delight. Like seriously, I love her. She’s in her late forties, early fifties, and her characterization is wonderful. She’s just nouveau riche enough to blunder through society, but aware and empathic enough to not be annoying. She’s lovely.

And I love watching her traipse through the various misadventures she stumbles into as she ends up throwing the disgraced Belinda and the incorrigible Marquis Fenton together. Belinda is not your typical heroine. She’s spirited…sure… but in an understated way. While Fenton is dashing… but seriously old fashioned… this is not your Beau Brummel inspired Alpha. He wears a powdered wig for instance… which still happened in the Regency especially earlier in the period.

The side characters are fabulous. Authors should seriously read these books to see how to create wonderful and lasting characters in a very short period of time. There is a lightness and whimsy to this book. It’s charming. Unexpected. Old school… sure. But still surprising.

It’s just plain fun.

The author was a favorite of mine when I went through my “read all the romance books in the library system” phase from 1989-1995. Unlike Cassie Edwards or Johanna Lindsey, Chesney is still just as good now.

Five easy stars.

If this is your jam, you can get it here. But check your library first… it’s probably on Hoopla or Overdrive.

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