Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Murder and Madness in the Name of Science

A Wrexford and Sloane Mystery #3
Andrea Penrose
Kensington Books
September 24, 2019

The third book in this mystery series set in the Regency Period finds widow Charlotte Sloane settled into better surroundings with her two wards, Raven and Hawk. Charlotte's secret career as the political cartoonist A.J. Quill is still a closely held secret, as is her status as Lady Charlotte. Only a few people know that she is an Earl's daughter who was disowned by her family when she eloped with her drawing master. Her investigative partner in the two previous books, Lord Wrexford, knows her real identity, but Charlotte is leery of letting anyone else know. That may have to change; however, when her childhood playmate and cousin is murdered in a grisly way, and it appears that his twin brother may be the murderer. The investigation leads them into the highest circles of the "men of science" of the day. Wrexford, of course, has complete access to those groups. It appears that the two brothers had gotten involved with another scientific group, the Eos Society. The Eos Society is secretive and up to no good. Could they hold the answer to saving her cousin from the gallows?

Once again, Penrose presents a well-researched look at the Regency Period. As the author points out, the era was the beginning of the modern world in its enthusiasm for science and exploration. Women also were just beginning to chafe at the restrictions placed on them by a patriarchal society. We meet several new characters that I hope to see more of in future books. Raven and Hawk are developing from the street urchins they were into distinct personalities. I am also enjoying the relationship between Wrexford and Sloane who are extremely well-matched. The growing romance is a nice addition but the intricately plotted mystery takes precedence. I highly recommend this series to fans of historical mysteries.

Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own.

RATING-4.5 Stars

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