From the publisher: A perplexing murder in a renowned Oxford University library and a suspicious fire at a famous inventor’s London laboratory set Wrexford and Lady Charlotte on two separate investigations in this masterfully plotted, atmospheric Regency-set mystery.
Are you looking for a new historical mystery series? Check out Wrexford and Sloane by Andrea Penrose. Charlotte Sloane is a widowed lady of quality with a secret. She is a satirical cartoonist under a pen name. She uses her pen to cast light on injustices and misbehavior. Circumstances bring her together with two orphaned guttersnipes who she comes to love as her own, and with the intimidating Earl of Wrexford. This series has a nice mix of mystery, historical details, and found family. The relationships feature romantic love, parental love, family love, and deep friendships.
The book that introduces these characters and other series regulars is Murder on Black Swan Lane, and book seven in the series is due out in September. This is a great time to start reading, because if you like the first book, you can move right on to the next, but the number of books already published is not intimidating. Set in Regency London, the author likes to spotlight legitimate scientific innovation of the time period. Real scientists make occasional appearances in her stories.
Book seven, Murder at the Merton Library, starts with the murder of an Oxford librarian. It deals with fallout from the Napoleonic wars and intrigue around competition to create a marine propulsion system utilizing steam engines. (If that sounds boring, don’t worry – the author makes it interesting.) The Regency details seem perfect, and the author believably makes her female characters as important to the action as the male characters. I’ve found some of the other books in the series a bit draggy at times, but this one moved along briskly for me.
This series is a lot of fun for the serious historical mystery reader.
I read an advance reader copy of Murder at Merton Library from Netgalley. It is scheduled to be published on September 26. The Galesburg Public Library will own it in multiple formats, and we already own the first six books in the series.