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Murder at Half Moon Gate
May 25, 2018
Murder at Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose Kensington Books
Historical Fiction , Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 27 Mar 2018
Murder at Half Moon Gate is a compelling regency mystery with just the right touch of romance added for flavor. There is a steam tech element, but I wouldn’t classify the novel as steampunk. Still, I think it will appeal to fans of the genre who also enjoy well composed mysteries.
The novel begins with the brutal murder of an inventor known for his work designing efficient steam engines. Although it superficially appears to be the work of a cutpurse, too many people have a motive. Was it a revolutionary group determined to stop steam engines from stealing jobs or a competitor intent on acquiring a lucrative patent or even the beautiful and icily composed wife? Lord Wrexford, a gentleman scientist and adventurer, and Charlotte Sloane, a widow who pens satirical cartoons and has a wide range of contacts, join forces to find the killer. While both are intelligent and their talents complementary, each manages to raise a complicated array of emotions in the other. The supporting characters are also well developed and play an important and believable role in the plot. There is a touch of romance, but not to worry - Murder at Half Moon Gate is first and foremost a mystery, not a Regency romance pretending to be a mystery.
4 / 5
I received a copy of Murder at Half Moon Gate from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
A wealthy lord who happens to be a brilliant scientist . . . an enigmatic young widow who secretly pens satirical cartoons . . . a violent killing disguised as a robbery . . . Nothing is as it seems in Regency London, especially when the Earl of Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane join forces to solve a shocking murder.
When Lord Wrexford discovers the body of a gifted inventor in a dark London alley, he promptly alerts the watchman and lets the authorities handle the matter. But Wrexford soon finds himself drawn into the murder investigation when the inventor’s widow begs for his assistance, claiming the crime was not a random robbery. It seems her husband’s designs for a revolutionary steam-powered engine went missing the night of his death. The plans could be worth a fortune . . . and very dangerous in the wrong hands.
Joining Wrexford in his investigation is Charlotte Sloane, who uses the pseudonym A. J. Quill to publish her scathing political cartoons. Her extensive network of informants is critical for her work, but she doesn’t mind tapping that same web of spies to track down an elusive killer. Each suspect—from ambitious assistants to rich investors, and even the inventor’s widow—is entwined in a maze of secrets and lies that leads Wrexford and Sloane down London’s most perilous stews and darkest alleyways.
With danger lurking at every turn, the potent combination of Wrexford’s analytical mind and Sloane’s exacting intuition begins to unravel the twisted motivations behind the inventor’s death. But they are up against a cunning and deadly foe—a killer ready to strike again before they can recover the inventor’s priceless designs . . .