Wrexford and Sloane must unravel secrets within secrets—including a few that entangle their own hearts—when they reunite to solve a string of shocking murders that have horrified Regency London . . .
Though Charlotte Sloane’s secret identity as the controversial cartoonist A.J. Quill is safe with the Earl of Wrexford, she’s ill prepared for the rippling effects sharing the truth about her background has cast over their relationship. She thought a bit of space might improve the situation. But when her cousin is murdered and his twin brother is accused of the gruesome crime, Charlotte immediately turns to Wrexford for help in proving the young man’s innocence. Though she finds the brooding scientist just as enigmatic and intense as ever, their partnership is now marked by an unfamiliar tension that seems to complicate every encounter.
Despite this newfound complexity, Wrexford and Charlotte are determined to track down the real killer. Their investigation leads them on a dangerous chase through Mayfair’s glittering ballrooms and opulent drawing rooms, where gossip and rumors swirl to confuse the facts. The more Charlotte and Wrexford try to unknot the truth, the more tangled it becomes. But they must solve the case soon, before the killer’s madness seizes another victim . . .
Praise for the Wrexford & Sloane Historical Mysteries
“Penrose deftly combines a Regency romance with a tricky mystery that delves into social unrest and the darker side of this storied period.”
“Its complex story line and authentic historical details bring the early days of the Industrial Revolution vividly to life. Bound to fascinate readers of C.S. Harris and even fans of Victorian mysteries.”
—Library Journal, Starred Review
The fatal stabbing of artist Charlotte Sloane's cousin Cedric, Lord Chittenden, propels Penrose's uneven third Regency mystery featuring Charlotte and the Earl of Wrexford (after 2018's Murder at Half Moon Gate). A bloody knife found in the victim's residence causes the Bow Street Runners to arrest Chittenden's twin brother, the Hon. Nicholas Locke. Though Locke is bitter that a difference of a few minutes at birth prevented him from inheriting the Chittenden title, Charlotte believes he's been framed. Wrexford, an amateur chemist, learns that Chittenden had been experimenting with electricity, which some of the era's less reputable thinkers claim can reanimate the dead. Meanwhile, Charlotte explores Chittenden's romantic rivalry over the hand of a beautiful bluestocking. A melodramatic final act disappoints, and the bad-tempered Wrexford's predilection for violent attacks on those reluctant to answer his questions lessens his appeal. In contrast, Penrose does a good job linking the mystery to the period's scientific and social changes. Those seeking an unusually rich look at Regency life will be satisfied.