Took me long enough, but finally one of George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books, Royal Flash.
It’s excellent—just as irreverent, uproarious, and rascally as everyone says the series is, with Flashman himself a delightfully wicked rogue.
As critic Nick Fuller noted, Fraser had to be influenced by John Dickson Carr, who also loved history, set many of his stories in the same period, and had the same peculiar but welcome politics—a conservative libertarianism that celebrates individual rapscallions, dissenters, and swashbucklers, heaps scorn on bluenoses, stuffed-shirts, and economists (hear hear!), possesses no snobbishness or prejudice, and simultaneously champions institutions, including monarchy. They’re the only two authors I know who have a politico-cultural blend like that, to which I’m more than sympathetic.