Tag Archives: Andrea Penrose

Murder at Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose

Murder at Half Moon Gate (A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery #2)Murder at Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars (I’d give it more if I could)

Series: Wrexford and Sloane #2
Publication Date: 3/27/18

Penrose’s second book in the Wrexford and Sloane series provides intriguing insights into the main characters pasts and their relationship as well as a mystery that will keep you guessing right up to the very end. The book is fast-paced and very well written. It can certainly be read as a stand-alone book, but you’ll miss all of those formative interactions among all of the characters and their relationships with each other. I’ve now read both books in the series and they are both outstanding!

The Regency period sees the very early beginning and the burgeoning of social and technological changes within England. Science and technological innovation were changing the way people lived and worked. Social order was beginning to change as well and was constantly challenged by satirical cartoonists who were actually quite powerful in molding public opinion. I think that the fact that our author chose Sloane as a very gifted and influential satirical cartoonist and Wrexford as an earl who is a gifted scientist is a big part of what makes this series very appealing to me. The characters are wonderful, fully-developed, humorous, brave and intelligent and when you add in an excellent dose of great history and an excellent mystery, you just can’t go wrong.

Wrexford is a bored, pragmatic, cynical, emotionless man who is also a gifted scientist. He governs his life by scientific principles. No emotions, only empirical evidence, and the step-by-step scientific process need apply! That is – unless Charlotte is involved and then – well maybe it is a little harder to be pragmatic and emotionless.

Charlotte Sloane has secrets – many secrets. Wrexford knows some of her secrets, but not all of them. One of Charlotte’s secrets is that she is the political satirist known as A. J. Quill. It is very important that she keep that secret, though Wrexford knows it, because it is how she earns her living. Were it to become known that A. J. Quill was a woman, nobody would publish her work and she would starve. Charlotte also has a large network of street urchins (boys and girls) as well as other important contacts that keep her up-to-date on what is going on. She always seems to be one step ahead of everyone else when it comes to her cartoons. Charlotte is also a pragmatic lady who always strives to control her emotions.

The prologue begins with a heart-pumping chase through the worst part of London. A thick mist from the river is covering the area and the wind is howling (I love the word the author used – skirled – isn’t that perfect it). Our victim is new to London and is hopelessly lost – and finally – he is brutally attacked and killed. Elihu Anthony is an inventor who is on the cusp of patenting a brilliant ground-breaking new technology that will increase the power of steam engines. The patent is worth a fortune for whoever manages to file for it first. Now – what will happen to the patent? Is it the Luddites who are trying to prevent the patent? Is it a greedy investor? Is it family?

Wrexford and his friend Christopher Sheffield are returning home from a gaming hell and take a route through the more unsavory parts of town and discover a lifeless and mutilated body at Half Moon Gate. Not only is the body mutilated, but his clothes are cut and ripped at the seams. Wrexford and Sheffield notify Bow Street, give their account and then go on home. Later, Wrexford is visited by Isobel, the wife of Mr. Anthony and she asks him to solve the case because Bow Street isn’t taking it seriously. That sets us off on a chase that leads to places and events you wouldn’t imagine. There are so many suspects and all of them are very viable – but you won’t guess who the real culprit is until almost the very end (unless you peek).

Raven and Hawk are featured again in this book and they are delightful. They are the street urchins that Charlotte taken into her life and is trying to encourage them to actually live with her and give up their street ways. They are leery of doing that, but she’s winning them over.

Click on the title to see my review of the first book – Murder on Black Swan Lane.

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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

Tracy & Barbara’s Mystery, Suspense and Other Favorites for 2017

Yesterday, we shared our favorite Historical Romances published in 2017.  Today, we’d like to share our favorites from other genres and novellas that were published in 2017.  Just click on the picture of the cover to see our review of the book!

Barbara’s Favorite Mystery and Suspense for 2017

Where The Dead LieMurder In MayfairMurder On Black Swan LaneThis Side Of MurderMurder In ShadowMystery At Carlton HouseSecrets In DeathThe Detecting DuchessOnce Upon A SpineEchoes In DeathDeath In St. Petersburg


Tracy’s Favorite Novellas & Subgenre Favorites for 2017

Tracy - A Love To RememberTracy - How to tame a beast in 7 daysTracy - The Mad CountessTracy - So I Married A SorcererTracy - MorganTracy - A Thostly Tale Of Forbidden LoveTracy - With This Christmas RingTracy - Mistletoe And The MajorTracy - A Talent For TemptationTracy - The Proper Way To Stop A Wedding

Books Releasing 06/27/17

Several great books we’ve reviewed are releasing today, so we thought we’d share a recap of those with you! Here is a quick list of the books releasing today:

Courting the Corporal
No Perfect Magic
Three Weeks With a Princess
Murder on Black Swan Lane
Duke with Benefits
The Highland Commander

Scroll down for links to our reviews


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Courting the Corporal by Heather McCorkle

Link to Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/05/10/courting-the-corporal-by-heather-mccorkle/


No Perfect Magic: Unexpected Magic Book Five

 

No Perfect Magic: Unexpected Magic Book Five by Patricia Rice

Link to Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/06/12/no-perfect-magic-by-patricia-rice/


Three Weeks with a Princess (The Improper Princesses, #2)

 

Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly

Link to Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/05/23/three-weeks-with-a-princess-by-vanessa-kelly/


Murder on Black Swan Lane (Quill Mystery, #1)

 

Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose

Link to Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/05/20/murder-on-black-swan-lane-by-andrea-penrose/


Duke with Benefits (Studies in Scandal #2)

 

Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins

Link to Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/04/21/duke-with-benefits-by-manda-collins/


The Highland Commander (Lords of the Highlands #2)The Highland Commander by Amy Jarecki

Link to Review: https://flippinpages.blog/2017/05/19/the-highland-commander-by-amy-jarecki/

Murder On Black Swan Lane By Andrea Penrose

Murder on Black Swan Lane (Quill Mystery, #1)Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Quill Mystery #1
Publication Date: June 27, 2017

An impeccably written, exciting, intriguing, engrossingly tangled and twisted regency mystery. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. The characters are fully developed and deep with flaws and secrets I’m sure we’ll learn more about as the series goes on. I am so very excited that this is a series and we will get to know them all better. If you are a fan of Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries, you will absolutely LOVE this one.

This is the first book I have read by Andrea Penrose or any of her other pen names — Cara Elliott for Grand Central and Andrea Pickens for NAL, but I can’t wait to read more of this series and to also check out her other Regency mystery series.

I have to admit that my two favorite characters in the book are the two street urchins – Raven and Hawk. They are intelligent and wise beyond their years and even though they have lived their lives, alone, in the stews of St. Giles, they still have sweet and innocent hearts. It will be interesting to see if, over time, they give up being street urchins and let Charlotte care for them.

Since the series is named Quill Mystery, I assume that the main character will be Charlotte Sloane, also known as A. J. Quill. She is the most popular satirical cartoonist in England, but she must guard her identity and gender. She is very intelligent, feisty and not afraid of anything – at least she thinks she isn’t. One of the facts that is uncovered in this mystery is the facts behind the death of her talented artist husband Anthony. She also has another, even bigger, secret in her past and it is hinted at, but not revealed in this book.

The Earl of Wrexford has a brilliant, logical scientific mind and thinks he is incapable of any of the softer feelings. He is also a brilliant chemist – although he keeps that part of his life well hidden. All is logic with Wrexford. So, when everyone thinks he’s the person who murdered a Reverend he’s been publicly feuding with, he decides that he must solve the murder in order to save himself. His first order of business is to uncover the identity of A. J. Quill who has been skewering him in cartoons. The drawings are absolutely too accurate and therefore the artist must know something. There is also some hinted mystery with the death of Wrexford’s brother and I came to feel as if that was what caused Wrexford to close himself off from the softer feelings in life.

Although there is no romance in this book between Charlotte and Wrexford, they do develop a friendship and I hope it will develop into a romance over the course of the series. We do see a bit of ‘softening’ in Wrexford over the course of the book.

The secondary characters in the book are also great and it will be fun to watch their growth over the course of the series. There is Wrexford’s valet cum lab assistant who is smart and sassy. Then, there is Wrexford’s friend who is always short of funds and isn’t thought to be particularly intelligent. We also have a Scot doctor who does the autopsies and is gifted at interpreting what he is finding – Oh shades of St. Cyr Mysteries with their Scot anatomist.

The mystery is full of twists and turns and people with intertwining plots. You’ll have a time figuring out who murderer is and how all of the plots fit together.

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

View all my reviews

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