Ting to the study of alchemy and its bearing on the scientific knowledge of the time There s larceny espionage and the discovery of some painful truths as Charlotte and Wrexford uncover links between her husband s untimely death and the mysterious Ancients Club things she had suspected but been unable to prove until nowThere is a small but colourful cast of secondary characters who I hope we ll see of in future books Henning the dour Scots surgeon Tyler Wrexford s valet and fellow chemist Raven and Hawk the two street urchins Charlotte has taken under her wing and Kit Sheffield Wrexford s closest friend who is at first glance somewhat of an empty headed fribble but who is far from being as stupid as he seems The two principals are flawed et likeable and hopefully the author plans to reveal about them in future stories as it s clear from the hints she drops here that there is much to both of them than we ve seen so farMy one criticism of the book is with the way in which the story is set up Holsworthy holds Wrexford up as an example of the worst kind of wickedness and denounces him as a rakehell Our Island Guide yet there isn t much evidence of this debauched lifestyle on the page in fact Wrexford himself says at one point that the reality of his life doesn t live up to his scandalous reputation The man I read about is irascible and highly intelligent with an unusual for a member of the aristocracy interest in science a man who puts logic ahead of emotion and disdains sentimentality There are a few references to his unsavoury reputation throughout the book but unless his reputation is for being a man with a hot temper who prefers to go his own way the idea of a cleric using him as an example of immorality doesn t really make senseI ll also add a word of caution for anyone looking for a Lady Julia or Lady Darby type of romantic frissonou won t find it here Wrexford and Charlotte develop a strong working relationship which gradually turns into friendship and have developed an almost grudging admiration and respect for each other s abilities by the end of the book That s not to say there is no potential for development in a romantic direction in future but for now this is a solid historical mystery in which the emphasis is firmly on tracking down the killer and proving Wrexford s innocenceI enjoyed the story and the characters and am eager to read of Charlotte and Wrexford s adventures together Murder on Black Swan Lane is recommended for anyone in the mood for a well written historical mystery featuring a moody aristocratic hero and a heroine who knows how to cut him down to size A decent murder mystery set in Regency London It s well written and I especially liked the female protagonistAs for the male characterhe left me curiously incurious As one of the reviewers mentioned the author makes a strategic decision not to delve too deeply in It took about a third of the book to know for sure but I loved this first entry in the WrexfordSloan Regency mystery series Lots of new characters along with villains victims scientific puzzles and mystical alchemy references Plus Newton and friends Excellent series looking forward to a new binge Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose is a 2017 Kensington publication A thrilling new Regency period mystery series AJ uills is a political satirist sketching scathing cartoons which often make his subjects suirm However most people are unaware that AJ uills is not at all the person they believe him to be When the Earl of Wrexford becomes the primary suspect in a murder investigation he is unnerved by uill s sketches which would suggest the artist was either on the scene of the crime or has inside information Once his informers have located the enigmatic cartoonist Wrexford is surprised to make the acuaintance of Charlotte Sloane Seeing his advantage Wrexford agrees to keep her secret if she will help him clear his name Thus begins an uneasy alliance between the pair But as the mystery behind the murder deepens suggesting a secret club could be responsible Charlotte and Wrexford become a solid if unlikely detective team Andrea Penrose is the pseudonym for Cara Elliott and Andrea Pickens who has written a fair amount of Regency period romance novels Now she is exploring the darker side of the era with this atmospheric mystery chock full of intrigue and sinister goings on Scientific experiments secret clubs occult rituals reveal the underbelly of London society but could also be linked to the death of Charlotte s husband The plot is complex and there is uite a lot going on The story is not hard to follow but I did find myself slowing down and reading carefully to be sure I was understanding all the various threads and intrigues This feels like a pretty ambitious undertaking and has some rocky moments here and there but overall this is a very impressive beginning to a new series Penrose obviously knows her history having researched this era for uite some time but I must say the underside of aristocracy is a much fertile ground to explore While I enjoy Penrose s stories from the lighter side of the Regency era this is a much interesting type of story and is far challenging I am happy Penrose has taken a break from an overly saturated sub genre and spread her creative wings a little I hope this series catches on as I do think it shows a great deal of promise 4 star. London’s most popular satirical cartoonist AJ uill skewers them both But then the clergyman is found slain in a church his face burned by chemicals his throat slashed ear to ear and Wrexford finds himself the chief suspec.
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Ew of what has shaped them into the people they are She seems to be setting the hook to encourage the readers to pick up future books in the series to learn about them but that choice left me feeling a bit disconne The Earl of Wrexford was bored Gambling and women offered little new excitement Even his hypotheses and scientific experiments lacked immediate answers And then he was accused of murder Someone had set him up It became a matter of expedience to solve the mystery It gave him purpose which he hadn t felt in a long time The crime was now like a thorn rubbing against raw skin Wrexford appreciated coherent patterns and logical explanations AJ uill aka the widow Mrs Charlotte Sloane used her experience to draw uncannily accurate pen and ink drawings The two people formed an odd friendship of sorts Just as important to the mystery was Tyler Wrexford s patient and knowledgeable valet his friend Kit I wanted to know of his past Henning the gruff Scottish man of medicine and Charlotte s scamps Raven and Hawk I loved the way these characters were written There was a secret society and stolen objects The storyline included an obscure medieval fantasy something that was illegal to practice both in England and on the Continent Lastly a persistent bow street runner that rounded out the plot Murder on Black Swan Lane was a wonderful beginning to a new historical mystery series It contained uirky bits of delicious history I m hooked I can t wait for the second story Andrea Penrose aka the Regency author Andrea Pickens and historical writer Cara Elliott has found her niche 45 stars While combing through the catalog of titles on Netgalley I happened to come across this one and admittedly was captivated by the cover I am not really sure why I mean it s not like it s really that new an I ve given this a B at AAR so that s 45 starsMurder on Black Swan Lane is the first book in a new series of Regency era historical mysteries by Andrea Penrose who also writes as Andrea Pickens and Cara Elliot which sees a satirical cartoonist teaming up with a scientifically minded earl to investigate a couple of gruesome murders The mystery is well put together and includes some fascinating detail about the chemical sciences as they were understood at the beginning of the 19th century the author has clearly done her homework and we re introduced to an engaging set of characters who will I hope continue to appear throughout the seriesThe Earl of Wrexford who doesn t appear to have an actual name just a title has recently been publicly denounced as the worst kind of dissolute rake by the pompous puffed up Reverend Josiah Holworthy Never one to suffer fools gladly and the sort of man whom boredom inspires to ever reckless behaviour Wrexford responds to his accuser by unleashing his razor sharp wit in a clever rebuttal which is printed in the Morning Gazette An increasingly vitriolic and very public argument ensues between the two men which is eagerly documented every step of the way by the popular satirist AJ uill whose cartoons persistently skewer those at the highest levels of society shining a light on the darkest misdeeds on the rich and powerfulWhen the Reverend Holworthy is found dead in a church on Black Swan Lane almost decapitated his face disfigured by some sort of chemical suspicion immediately alights upon Wrexford whose rather eccentric interest in chemistry is widely known With uill s uncannily accurate drawings and pithy captions stirring up public opinion against him Wrexford decides it s time to find out where the cartoonist is getting his informationA talented artist Charlotte Sloane picked up her late husband s pen after his death some eight months earlier and has continued to produce satirical cartoons using his pseudonym AJ uill She guards her identity judiciously knowing that if it s discovered that the scourge of the ton is a woman she will be completely ruined and unable to earn a living So the last thing she wants or expects is to discover the Earl of Wrexford on her doorstep demanding to see AJ uill Charlotte s attempts at deflection become increasingly desperate at which point the earl realises the truth and offers her a deal If she will agree to share such information as comes her way regarding the investigation he will keep her secret and pay for the information Charlotte is furious at being backed into a corner but she has no alternative She is living from hand to mouth as it is and can ill afford to turn down the money the earl offers or risk being exposed as AJ uill so she takes the dealThus begins a very fragile relationship in which both protagonists circle each other warily as they gradually develop a strong mutual respect for the other s intellect and skills Wrexford and Charlotte are similar in some ways they are both keeping secrets and hiding their true selves behind a public persona but are completely different in others Wrexford is all about facts and is bothered when he doesn t have an answer or reason for something whereas Charlotte is far accepting of the fact that not everything is logical and that sometimes there are no answersThe murder mystery is intriguing and well executed complex enough to grab the reader s interest but not so complicated that it s difficult to follow and peppered with lots of interesting scientific discussions and detail in particular rela. Ckless behavior He does not suffer fools gladly So when pompous pious Reverend Josiah Holworthy publicly condemns him for debauchery Wrexford unsheathes his rapier sharp wit and strikes back As their war of words escalates.
I m giving up on this one for now Although I really like the premise the language is bothering me Some of it is anachronistic for example the author keeps using awfully which was not recorded as an intensifier until some 20 ears later than this book purports to take place some just feels very stilted and unnatural they said this in the Regency period so I ll put it in And the hero just feels too stereotypically bad boy hero ish Series A Wrexford and Sloane Mystery 1Publication Date June 27 2017An 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 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 ou are a fan of Sebastian St Cyr mysteries Horn (Horn, you will absolutely LOVE this oneThis 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 of this series and to also check out her other Regency mystery seriesI 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 theirears 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 themSince the series is named uill Mystery I assume that the main character will be Charlotte Sloane also known as A J uill 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 bookThe 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 uill 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 lifeAlthough 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 bookThe 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 reuested 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 Very much written in the way of Americans writing British historical genre fiction which may or may not ring our bell eg random use of bloodybloody hell in a Regency setting does not imbue text with authentic Britishness and I really wish people would stop doing it Or just ask someone British does this sound right I also have serious issues with phonetic dialogue for lower class characters for multiple reasons one of which is that unless ou use the phonetic alphabet it doesn t work for anyone who doesn t share Damian (The Caine Brothers your pronunciation London urchins sayingou as Driven by Desire ye is not meaningful to me Unless they re Scottish Are they Scottish Plus characters in the early 1800s twice telling each other to cut to the chase It refers to making movies what else could it possibly meanNone of this may bother other readers but it got in my way too much for enjoyment and the plot and characters didn t overcome that so noping out at 19% 25 starsThis book should have been a slam dunk for me Historical mystery Great Set in the Regency period Even better A dark intelligent sardonic hero with potential hidden depths My favorite kind A courageous independent heroine Bring it Andet in spite of being the sort of thing I should love the book didn t pull me in like it should haveI think what kept me from fully engaging with the book is that the main characters didn t completely come alive for me The author makes the strategic decision not to delve too deeply into the pasts of her hero and heroine so that the reader only gets a partial vi. In Regency London an unconventional scientist and a fearless female artist form an unlikely alliance to expose unspeakable evil The Earl of Wrexford possesses a brilliant scientific mind but boredom and pride lead him to re.
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Andrea Penrose is the bestselling author of Regency era historical fiction including the acclaimed Wrexford & Sloane mystery series as well as Regency romances written under the names Cara Elliott and Andrea Pickens Published internationally in ten languages she is a three time RITA Award finalist and the recipient of numerous writing awards including two Daphne Du Maurier Awards for Historic