Chills

Chills (Distinguished Rogues, #1)Chills by Heather Boyd
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nice Regency romance concerning a dashing but cold duke, his beautiful but damaged twin sister, and the young ward who has been left destitute by her parents’ bad habits. Pixie will be forced to marry someone who can afford to settle all her debts, but Jack will have none of this. He wants her for himself. His twin takes the opposite route to achieve this aim for them and some scary things happen before the HEA.

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Murder on the Serpentine

Murder on the Serpentine (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt #32)Murder on the Serpentine by Anne Perry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anne Perry does it again. Commander Thomas Pitt of Special Branch, receives a royal summons. A gentleman has died mysteriously, and the Queen doesn’t believe the official version. Neither does Pitt when he investigates. A story filled with the abuse of power, and the cruelty it brings to those closest by, follows.
Both Thomas and Charlotte are hurt and upset by the emotions this type of abuse brings, and the victims are spread far and wide. Both step to the very edge of propriety and wisdom, one to solve the case and one to try to regain her footing in the new world of her husband’s position.

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A Mystery at Carlton House

A Mystery at Carlton House (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 12)A Mystery at Carlton House by Ashley Gardner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another excellent trip into 1818 England and Captain Lacey and family. The book opens with the birth of Gabriel and Donata’s child, which is suspenseful. Lacey is then approached by Spendlove, a Bow Street Runner who is an enemy of both Denis and Lacey. He wants proof that the strange doings at Carleton House (home of the Prince Regent) can be laid at the feet of the mysterious and dangerous James Denis.

He threatens Lacey with a promise that Lacey knows he can fulfill, so Lacey undertakes to find out what is happening at the Prince’s home. So many details that Gardner excels at are seen here, from the Prince’s demeanor and physical appearance to the decor at Carlton House to Donata’s ease and familiarity with the Regent. Lacey appears an outsider but he understands them better than they know. Donata and Grenville are also keen observers and are insiders of the Ton world.
A secondary story with Marianne plays more into the story than first appears clear.

This is a well-done mystery and an even better story of family and friends – of all types.

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The Alexandria Affair (Capt. Lacey)

The Alexandria Affair (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries, #11)The Alexandria Affair by Ashley Gardner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A rollicking, world-traveling tale of Captain Lacey and his good friend Grenville, finally taking the trip to Egypt they have discussed for years. They insert themselves into many adventures and situations along the way.

Gardner finds a way to place them into all kinds of danger, too. I’m not sure whether it’s over the top or not. However, a few things of lasting import happen, namely the solidifying a friendships and a confrontation with the mysterious follower who has harmed both Lacey and Brewster.

Throw in a commission from the nefarious Mr. Denis, and you have a soup of a story that is ultimately satisfying.

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The Reluctant Duchess

The Reluctant DuchessThe Reluctant Duchess by Sharon Cullen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent romantic Victorian mystery. Lady Meredith had been brutally murdered two years earlier. Her cousin, Lady Sara, has been receiving letters that mention Meredith and Sara is terrified. She is not a shrinking violet in conversations, even though she suffers from an inability to control her panic in crowds. The Duke of Rossmayne was Meredith’s intended and extended an offer of assistance to her family after her funeral. Sara takes him up on his offer, to both their surprise.

When he arrives home from India exhausted, he finds that Sara has called every day. When he meets her again, he is shocked to find that she doesn’t bow to his every command as he is accustomed to. He finds it annoying, then amusing, then charming and then impossible to live without. Meanwhile, the letter writer is becoming more and more open about his connection to the murder, and his obsession with the deceased. When his letters turn to Sara, Ross knows that he has to keep her safe – forever.

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When Falcons Fall

When Falcons Fall (Sebastian St. Cyr, #11)When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent entry to the series that becomes more and more complex, while giving more and more insight into the (now) two main characters, Sebastian St. Cyr and his wife Hero Jarvis. Their baby Simon is also in the picture regularly now since, contrary to what was the popular method of child rearing among the “quality” of that era, the St. Cyr’s always have their baby around them. Numerous descriptions in the book have them lifting, hugging, feeding or otherwise interacting with their child.

In this story, Lord and Lady Devlin have traveled to Ayleswick to first, deliver a gift that Jamie Knox had purchased for his grandmother, and then for Devlin to search for more clues as to his true parentage. They step into a murder presented as a suicide and the local magistrate, a young man, recognizes that he is over his head. He asks Devlin for help.

Throw in some French intrigue, some real crime from twenty years previous, a large cast of characters for a small village, and a real sense of dislike for what he does from Devlin, and this one becomes a winner.

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Corridors of the Night (William Monk)

Corridors of the Night (William Monk, #21)Corridors of the Night by Anne Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The end justifies the means”.

This one involves Hester Monk more than her husband, although he has more than one major trauma in this story. Hester is nursing at Greenwich Hospital and meets a young girl one evening. She is frightened and small. Hester finds that she and two of her brothers are in the same ward. What has happened to them is horrible, in more than one way. The tangle of emotions, crimes, and awful behavior makes this one a good, but a very ugly story. There’s a cliffhanger, too. William is looking for a reckoning and will find it, probably in the next story.

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