For fans of Miss Scarlet and the Duke and Bridgerton—a masterfully plotted mystery that combines engaging protagonists with rich historical detail and “an unusually rich look at Regency life,” (Publishers Weekly), plus a touch of romance that readers of Amanda Quick and Deanna Raybourn will savor.
Charlotte, now the Countess of Wrexford, would like nothing more than a summer of peace and quiet with her new husband and their unconventional family and friends. Still, some social obligations must be honored, especially with the grand Peace Celebrations unfolding throughout London to honor victory over Napoleon.
But when Wrexford and their two young wards, Raven and Hawk, discover a body floating in Hyde Park’s famous lake, that newfound peace looks to be at risk. The late Jeremiah Willis was the engineering genius behind a new design for a top-secret weapon, and the prototype is missing from the Royal Armory’s laboratory. Wrexford is tasked with retrieving it before it falls into the wrong hands. But there are unsettling complications to the case—including a family connection.
Soon, old secrets are tangling with new betrayals, and as Charlotte and Wrexford spin through a web of international intrigue and sumptuous parties, they must race against time to save their loved ones from harm—and keep the weapon from igniting a new war . . .
Praise for the Wrexford & Sloane Historical Mysteries
“Penrose deftly combines a Regency romance with a tricky mystery.”—Kirkus Reviews
“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
At the start of Penrose's roisterous sixth Wrexford and Sloane mystery (after 2021's Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens), the Napoleonic Wars are finally over, and the Prince Regent has invited the sovereigns of Europe to London for a gala peace celebration. Charlotte Sloane, whose secret identity is scathing political cartoonist A.J. Quill, has finally married the dashing Earl of Wrexford, and they have created an unorthodox family with their two rambunctious, streetwise wards. But after the boys discover the body of engineering wizard Jeremiah Willis floating in a lake in Hyde Park, Charlotte's long-desired life of domesticity will have to wait a while longer. Willis was designing a fearsome secret weapon, but the prototype for his invention is missing, and the Crown's spymaster, Lord Grentham, recruits Wrexford to retrieve it before it falls into the hands of a foreign enemy. Fascinating and well-researched historic events compensate for a plot that unwinds slowly and sometimes tediously as a host of intrepid heroes and heroines pit their wits against dastardly villains. Readers who enjoy a colorful depiction of Regency England without demanding strict plausibility will have fun. Agent: Gail Fortune, Fortune Talbot Agency.