Andrea Penrose sketches a fascinatingly detailed and intricate mystery in this first in a new historical series. I was looking forward to this book from the moment I read the blurb. As a fan of Regencies and mysteries I couldn’t wait to read a combination of both. This story delves into not just the gilded high society of the time but of the world of the mainly unseen and heard population. I loved getting to see behind the scenes so to speak.
The Earl of Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane complement one another as their unique perspectives take in the clues and questions in a way neither one could without the other. His scientific bent and her artistic leanings provide a unique combination of viewing the world around them. I enjoyed meeting the people in their respective circles and how much these supporting characters revealed about Wrexford and Charlotte and how entertaining they all were in their own right. I enjoyed the overlap in their lives and how different their day to day was. I was enthralled with the mystery, the setting and the players in this story and I cannot wait to see just what these unlikely duo can get up to next. If you're a fan of historical mysteries this is definitely a treat for you.
The Story: A.J. Quill has been skewering the Earl of Wrexford on paper to society’s delight. But when a sensational murder takes over as the main piece of gossip Wrexford becomes the main feature. And now he is the main suspect. Perhaps it’s time for the artist to help draw out the real killer.
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 reckless 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, London’s most popular satirical cartoonist, A.J. Quill, 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 suspect.
An artist in her own right, Charlotte Sloane has secretly slipped into the persona of her late husband, using his nom de plume A.J. Quill. When Wrexford discovers her true identity, she fears it will be her undoing. But he has a proposal—use her sources to unveil the clergyman’s clandestine involvement in questionable scientific practices, and unmask the real murderer. Soon Lord Wrexford and the mysterious Mrs. Sloane plunge into a dangerous shadow world hidden among London’s intellectual enclaves to trap a cunning adversary—before they fall victim to the next experiment in villainy . . .