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The Sudbury School Murders (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 4) [Kindle Edition]

Ashley Gardner , Jennifer Ashley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Sudbury School Murders
by Ashley Gardner

England, 1817
Captain Lacey takes a post as a secretary at the Sudbury School in Berkshire, a school for sons of the wealthiest merchants and bankers in England. Lacey discovers as soon as he arrives that he's been hired for more than his letter-writing skills--a series of disturbing pranks have kept the school in an uproar, and the headmaster expects Lacey to discover the identity of the prankster.

The problems intensify when a groom of the school's stables turns up dead in a lock of the nearby canal. A Romany is arrested for the murder, and Lacey is the only person who believes him innocent.

As Lacey works to discover what happened, he gets drawn into the secrets of Marianne Simmons, the actress who'd lived upstairs from Lacey in London. Marianne swears Lacey to silence, which puts a new strain on his friendship with Grenville. Meanwhile the intrigue surrounding the murder becomes as murky as the waters of the canal itself and puts Lacey and Grenville into deadly danger.

The Sudbury School Murders won the RTBookReviews Reviewers Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery of 2005.

Book 4 in the Captain Lacey Regency mysteries. This is a full-length novel.

Editorial Reviews


One of the most honorable men to grace the pages of a mystery book. -- BookBrowser

About the Author

Award-winning author Ashley Gardner also writes as New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ashley. Under both names—and a third, Allyson James—Gardner has written more than 50 published novels and novellas in mystery, romance, and urban fantasy. Her books have been nominated for and won several RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice awards (including Best Historical Mystery for The Sudbury School Murders), and Romance Writers of America’s RITA. Ashley’s books have been translated into a dozen different languages and have earned starred reviews in Booklist. The Hanover Square Affair spent weeks as the #1 bestselling historical mystery on Amazon Kindle; the entire series spending months in the top 10. More about the Captain Lacey series can be found at

Product Details

  • File Size: 633 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: JA / AG Publishing (January 11, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00501I6MI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,614 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, an actual mystery! December 23, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
These days, it's not easy to find a true mystery; a murder, clues and a solution. This is just such a book! Captain Lacey is an interesting character, one whose merits are seen and valued by others much more than himself. He is a strong, appealing character with a history and unresolved issues. Lacey is supported by interesting secondary characters an a vivid depiction of the time period. The dialogue is well done; neither so focused on being of the period it slows down ones reading nor so modern as to be anachronistic. The story is involving so that I read it straight through. I very much enjoyed this book but it is best to read the series from the beginning. The good news is that the 5th book is due out June 2006.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By jrv
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have had the first Captain Lacey Regency Mystery in my kindle for several months. I decided on a whim to read it. Was I every surprised. I loved it. I promptly read all four that are now available on kindle. The mysteries are good, with always a little twist in the end. The main characters are well-drawn and you really care about them. I am looking forward to the novella coming out in June and the other books coming out each month. I think they are some of the best period mysteries I have read. They rank right up there with the Nell Sweeney Mysteries that I also loved. Keep them coming. They will be at the top of my kindle list to read. Thank you, ms. Gardner for a great series!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series June 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I am so glad I stumbled on this series by looking for cheap new ebooks. Ms. Gardner writes a wonderful murder mystery. In book #4, Lacey is off to the countryside to become a secretary to a boy school headmaster, or so he thinks. The headmaster demands him to determine who is behind all the school boy pranks but worse occurs when Mr. Denis' old thug is murdered by the school. Again, Lacey defends his honor and helps those who can't help themselves by attempting to clear the Roma stable hand accused of the murder. All the old characters re-appear, with more character development. In each book, more information is revealed about Lacey, Grenville, Marianne, and the Brandons.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheers for Captain Lacey April 19, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was my first Captain Lacey book, but it certainly won't be my last. I was disappointed when I couldn't get a hold of any more of Rosemary Stevens's charming Beau Brummell mysteries as I enjoy novels set in the Edwardian/Regency/Victorian eras, but Ms. Gardner have provided me with a complex and appealing new hero. I especially enjoy her descriptions of "how the other half live" in the two novels I have read thus far and find her female characters most interesting. I look forward to getting a hold of Lacey's earlier adventures as well as discovering what his future might be with Lady Breckenridge!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Regency Mystery July 20, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An excellent continuation of a fine series. The atmosphere of Regency England is believable. While the villain was revealed about the middle of the story, more details of the protagonists past are revealed and a progress is seen in his character. You are left anticipating the next book in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite in the Series July 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
By far this is my favorite of the Captain Lacey mysteries. As the events were wrapping up at the end of the previous book, Lacey has accepted a position as assistant to the headmaster of an exclusive boys school in the country. But the city life continues to follow him in the form of that beloved dandy, Grenville. We also have opportunity to get to know more about the character of Marianne, the young actress who once lived above Lacey. Marianne has entrusted Lacey with the gift of her secret, as long as she keeps it from their mutual friend, Grenville. Grenville is beside himself since he elevated Marianne's circumstances, but she won't stay in the gilded cage he's built for her. Now Lacey finds himself caught in the middle between two dear friends.

He's also caught in the circumstances surrounding another mystery to solve. The pranks and hijinks of the schoolboys take a rather nasty turn as fires, murders and attempted murders escalate. The headmaster is breathing down Lacey's neck to solve the crimes before someone else gets in the way.

And someone dear to Lacey does.

The mystery here is a little more complex than some of the previous (I like that), though it still isn't too difficult to follow. The accused is obviously innocent, but there are so many underlying and intricate mysteries here it seems almost anyone could be a suspect for one reason or another. The layers to the story added several nice elements to complicate Lacey's life and make the mystery that much more intriguing in trying to unwind the web.

Five rare stars for this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough of a challenge to solve. August 15, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Captain Gabriel Lacy leaves London to travel into Berkshire to take up the position as secretary to Everard Rutledge, headmaster of the Sudbury School. Lacy's good friend Grenville has helped him get this post so Lacy can rest and recover both his mental and physical strength. Somehow Lacy always seems to find himself involved in solving mysteries and is in need of some relaxation time. He is also at the school to discover who is playing the pranks on the students and tutors. Some of those pranks have become dangerous and need to be stopped. This school does not cater to the English upper class in society, rather these boys are the sons of the newly emerging wealthy commercial tycoons. Rutledge relies very heavily on financial donations from these men to keep his school up and running.

This is the fifth Captain Lacy book I've read. I had hoped for just such a book as this, the kind where the mystery would play a larger part than the personal relationships between Lacy and the continuing characters in the other novels. I got my wish to some extent. Grenville shows up at the school to help Lacy in his investigations after a murder of a school employee takes place. Also putting in an appearance are Marianne (Grenville's mistress), Lady Breckenridge (a widow Lacy is liking more an more) and Colonel and Louisa Brandon (Lacy's former commanding officer and his wife). James Denis plays quite a large part in this story but this time in a very positive manner. My problem with the story is that the author did not present us with very many suspects so after the second murder it was fairly obvious who the culprit was. The motive was also revealed rather early in the story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Page-Turning Mystery
All of Ashley Gardner/Jennifer Ashley's books are page-turners...enjoy solving a mystery without DNA evidence and computer searches. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jane
4.0 out of 5 stars I love this series and think BBC should make a movie ...
I love this series and think BBC should make a movie or series out of it The characters are so finely defined and the descriptions make me feel I am right there in London
Published 1 month ago by Sharon England
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it. Stayed up to finish it. Look forward to reading many more of her books
Published 2 months ago by CELESTE DIFIORE
5.0 out of 5 stars These Keep Getting Better
THE STORY: Captain Lacey has taken a position as secretary to the head of a boys school. When someone ends up dead, Lacey is in position to investigate the murder. Read more
Published 4 months ago by S. Melo
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!
I love this series as I loved reading the many series of Agatha Christie. I'm always gifted with the solution to the crime at the end and delighted that you always have more to the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great Captain Lacey novel from Ashley Gardner!
Published 4 months ago by Billie Brinkley
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sudbury School Murders
I do hope to have many more books on the Captain Lacey series. I have read all that has been written so far and hope that they continue..
Published 5 months ago by Claire M. Hamson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read.
Very interesting story. Has twists and turns that were unexpected. Excellent read.
Published 5 months ago by Kathleen Dalahite
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this series
Published 5 months ago by Diana Hutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Captain Lacey is one of my favorite characters with all his cronies. These Lacey stories never disappoint.
Published 6 months ago by Katherine OBrien
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More About the Author

Ashley Gardner is a pseudonym for NY Times bestselling author Jennifer Ashley, who also writes as award-winning author Allyson James. Jennifer / Ashley writes mysteries, romances, urban fantasy and mainstream fiction. Visit the Ashley Gardner site: for for more information on the Captain Lacey mystery series or for more information on her other works.

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