A strong historical mystery, Andrea Penrose‘s Murder at Half Moon Gate leads us through the fog-filled streets of London on a merry chase. Penrose dispenses a great mix of mystery, death and romance in a Regency setting with unerring intent. This second offering in the Wrexford/Sloane series does not fall short.
Lord Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane make a formidable pair, reminiscent of Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne in the series by Julia Spender-Fleming. Speaking of other fictional detective duos, Wrexford and Sloane are more evenly matched than Holmes and Watson in analyzing clues and info. However, friends of Raven and Hawk (Charlotte’s wards) are a troupe of streetwise urchins similar to Holmes’ Baker Street Irregulars.
Wrexford and Sloane stumble across a number of deaths including the death of Elihou Ashton. On the verge of revolutionizing the steam engine, Ashton’s design would transform manufacturing. Both nobility and commoners were at the mercy of the unknown killer. Greed and blood lust mix and coalesce in a fiery brew among the swirling London fog before Wrexford, Sloane and their associates bring things to a full stop.
Secondary characters are given full measure in Murder at Half Moon Gate. From Jeremy Sterling, Charlotte’s long-time friend, to Tyler, Wrexford’s valet, to Christopher Sheffield, Wrexford’s friend, to McClellan, one of Wrexford’s maids. All did much to assist the investigation efforts.
I read, but didn’t review, Murder at Black Swan Lane, the first book in this series. For sure, I’ll be reading more of Penrose’s Wrexford and Sloane series in the future. Also, I’ll be checking out her other mystery series about Lady Arianna. Stay tuned for my reviews.