Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Regency England in the Dawn of a New Age

Wrexford and Sloane Mystery # 2
Andrea Penrose
Kensington Books
March 27, 2018

England in the Regency Period was on the cusp of tremendous change with advances and interest in science and technology. Just as in our own time, technology brought with it social change and uncertainty. Charlotte Sloane is feeling the stress of changes in her own life with a move to a more prosperous (and proper) neighborhood. Can her two street urchin charges, Raven and Hawk, make the adjustment, and can she continue to conceal her identity; that of A.J. Quill, the most successful satirical cartoonist in London? And can she keep her other, even more, secret self hidden? The other change in her life includes her friendship with the mercurial Lord Wrexford. The two worked successfully to clear his name in Murder on Black Swan Lane and formed an undeniable connection.

Murder at Half Moon Gate begins with a night out in the insalubrious gaming and drinking haunts of London for Wrexford and his friend, Sheffield. The two literally stumble upon the body of a murdered man in a stinking alley. Wrexford merely reports the death to the Runners but is drawn in when he discovers that he knew of the dead man. Elihu Ashton was a well-known inventor and was rumored to be working on a revolutionary new invention that would change the steam power industry forever. Ashton's widow asks Wrexford, a known man of science to investigate her husband's death. Rather than an ordinary robbery ending in murder, the widow thinks it was murder connected to her husband's work. Once again, Wrexford needs Charlotte's extensive network of "street spies" to help him investigate.

Murder at Half Moon Gate both satisfies and entertains, with its well-researched history, colorful characters, twisty mystery and burgeoning romance. I am looking forward to the next in the series. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for an advance copy. The opinions are my own.

RATING- 4 Stars

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