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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Review - Murder at Queen's Landing

I have been a fan of this series from the very beginning.  Here are my previous reviews for you:
First book, Murder on Swan Lake (click here)
Second book, Murder at Halfmoon Gate (click here
Third book, Murder at Kensington Palace (click here)
Plus an interview with the author (click here).

"Andrea Penrose transports readers to Regency England with the story of Lady Charlotte Sloane and the Earl of Wrexford who must untangle a dangerous web of secrets and lies that will call into question how much they really know about the people they hold dear—and about each other…"  

Sounds like another rip-roaring adventure for our duo.  Apparently, this addition to the Wrexford and Sloane series got very mixed responses from readers.  Continue on to find out what I thought.

Author: Andrea Penrose

Copyright: Sept 2020 (Kensington Books) 370 pgs

Series: 4th in Wrexford & Sloane Mysteries

Sensuality: mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical Cozy Mystery

Main Characters: Charlotte Sloane, widow who makes a living drawing satirical cartoons

Setting: Regency era, London, England

Obtained Through: Personal purchase

Book Blurb: "The murder of a shipping clerk…the strange disappearance of trusted friends…rumors of corruption within the powerful East India Company…all add up to a thrillingly dark mystery…
When Lady Cordelia, a brilliant mathematician, and her brother, Lord Woodbridge, disappear from London, rumors swirl concerning fraudulent bank loans and a secret consortium engaged in an illicit—and highly profitable—trading scheme that threatens the entire British economy. The incriminating evidence mounts, but for Charlotte and Wrexford, it’s a question of loyalty and friendship. And so they begin a new investigation to clear the siblings’ names, uncover their whereabouts, and unravel the truth behind the whispers.
As they delve into the murky world of banking and international arbitrage, Charlotte and Wrexford also struggle to navigate their increasingly complex feelings for each other. But the clock is ticking—a cunning mastermind has emerged . . . along with some unexpected allies—and Charlotte and Wrexford must race to prevent disasters both economic and personal as they are forced into a dangerous match of wits in an attempt to beat the enemy at his own game."

Lady Charlotte is still a force to be reckoned with but she has to face some tough decisions in this story. In particular, she stiffens her spine and tells her Great Aunt Alison the truth about herself and the boys. I love Alison, she is a stellar character and I want more of her. Alison accepts everything about Charlotte without blinking.  Of course, Raven and Hawk are favorites. They are blossoming and becoming shrewd young men.  The Earl of Wrexford, Wrex for short, often finds his rough edges are smoothed a bit by Charlotte and he isn't sure what to make of that. 

Kit Sheffield is Wrex's best friend who is trying to be more responsible rather than waste all his money gambling.  Lady Cordelia, the math tutor for the boys, ends up in the center of the intrigue and over her head.  Lord Woodbridge, Cordelia's brother, was the source of entangling Cordelia and himself in the deadly trouble.  The dirt poor street urchins, Skinny, Harry, One-Eye, and Alice the eel girl, who are friends of Raven and Hawk, get a change in their fortunes that made me so happy.

London is always replicated with such precision in the series, I feel like I entered a time machine.  In this book, we get to visiting Wrexford's country estate and the descriptions are perfect so you feel the country breeze.

The plot is complicated as it unravels involving new technology for that era in a criminal enterprise.  Excellent plot. The complexity did make it slow in a few short spots. In particular -the details about mathematics and design of a machine to more accurately calculate math functions, although integral to the plot, did slow down those sections.  I didn't find those rough patches much to discourage me.

The killer confrontation was wonderfully tense and dangerous, as I have come to expect from this series.  The wrap-up has some surprises.  

Overall I found this a delightful addition to the series, although a bit different due to the complex plot.  There was a fair bit of idioms and period phrases that might detract for some readers, but they didn't bother me.  I enjoyed the use of real history and the developing science of the era.  That makes the time period more real to me. I love how Charlotte is creating her family with the boys, and how Wrexford is softening. The slow-burn romance is well done and believable to me, while some might want things to move faster.

Rating: Excellent - I enjoyed it!  Consider giving it a try.

Join me on Goodreads (click here).

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Mystica said...

I like the Regency type setting and the mystery/detective part of it very much. Thanks for the update.

Ariel said...

I think I like Regency era more than Victorian even. Good to hear from you again Mystica! Hope all is well.

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