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Murder in St. Giles: A Regency Mystery (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 13) (Volume 13) Paperback – April 10, 2018
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About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Ashley Gardner is pseudonym for NY Times bestselling author Jennifer Ashley.
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If you are not acquainted with Captain Lacey and all his family and friends, you can still pick up this 13th book and be entertained, but it really is so much better to know everyone involved. They feel like my very own family and friends by now. After all, it has been 4 or 5 years now that I've been a part of their lives. (Well, an observer of their lives, perhaps I should say.)
It's 1819 now and that's perhaps chronologically 3 or 4 years after the first story. Captain Lacey is happily married (albeit with periodic strains that come in a mesalliance, since he's middle-class and his wife of the aristocracy). He has a new baby girl, his young adult daughter from his first marriage is ready to make her come-out in society, and he has a good relationship with his young stepson. His good friends Grenville and Marianne are still in his life, as is the mysterious Denis with all his henchmen.
So life is good, except for two main problems to worry about: (1) A couple of wife Donata's less savory relatives want to take her son away, claiming he would be better off not under the influence of non-aristocrat Lacey, and (2) a murder in St. Giles to solve. The murder takes up the bulk of the book because the dead man is the brother-in-law of Brewster, Lacey's "bodyguard" and now friend, and, if the real killer is not found, Brewster could end up accused of the murder.
This leads Lacey to St. Giles, with unsavory characters abounding, a lovely homeless dog who may or may not know who the murderer is, and a good deal of interesting information about boxing in the 1800s and prisoners and convicts.
Kudos to author Gardner for keeping up the quality of this series. Now I'm ready for #14. Any time now. No pressure.
Captain Gabriel Lacey is having a very bad day indeed! To begin, Stanton, a cousin of Donata’s deceased first husband barges into their home and announces that he is going to take custody of Donata’s son, Peter. Then, after Lacey gets rid of Stanton, but before he can console Donata, Brewster arrives and demands that Lacey go with him to St. Giles where there has been a murder.
Throughout the whole book, Lacey is juggling the murder investigation and thwarting Stanton. Luckily, Donata is a resourceful woman and handles much of the planning for Peter’s safety herself. Lacey uncovers a vile and corrupt peer as well as a sea captain that subverts the justice system while he is investigating. How much more can one man get into at one time?
Who killed Jack Finch? Finch was a huge man, a former pugilist and he had been beaten – badly. But, how was he even in London? He’d been convicted of a crime and transported. Did Brewster kill him? Did a former partner in crime get to him? Was it a former victim – he was a blackmailer and a thief, so it could have been anybody. Usually in a crime, there are few suspects and they all appear innocent – in this case, there are many, many suspects and they all appear guilty. Add in embezzlement from the Bank of England and you have a real mind boggler. When the murderer is identified you will be absolutely shocked.
Amid all the pandemonium Lacey’s daughter, Gabriella arrives for the start of her season. She doesn’t want a season or to choose a groom from among the suitors, but she doesn’t want to disappoint Donata and her father. However, all goes well – until there is a proposal. Oh! What chaos!
Luckily, Mr. Denis, a master criminal, is there to lend a hand and to suck Lacey further into his debt. Lacey will pay any price to keep Peter and Donata safe and happy. I know Mr. Denis is supposed to be this really bad guy – and he is – but – I sort of like him.
I highly recommend this well-written, highly entertaining book!