Monday, April 20, 2015

Murder in Grosvenor Square by Ashley Gardner

First Sentence:  I had an appointment on Lady Day, not have a week away, to face a man in a duel.
In a case that is very personal for Captain Lacey, two young men were brutally attacked in a squalid area of London; one murdered and the other at death’s edge.  With the help of Lacey’s friends and acquainted, the investigation involves illegal trade and illegal actions in a plot with elements very relevant today.
Gardner’s Captain is a very interesting and appealing character who was not raised with wealth, but has learned to be fairly comfortable with wealthy society while maintaining his edginess.  Having been in war, his views are often more tolerant than those around him.  He views himself as “A realist, I would say, … I’ve learned to take things as they come.” He is, however, intolerant of injustice.
Gardner is such a good writer that she takes you from the tension of the scene of a duel, to the passion of the bedroom conveying all the passion while the “action” is completely behind closed doors. 
Although each book can be read as a standalone, the characters grow and their lives change with each book in the series.  For those who have been following the series, we do learn more about one of the secondary characters that is unexpected and rather delightful. Each character is well developed with attributed and, certainly, flaws.  Certainly, none of them are boring. 
Gardner provides an excellent look into the attitudes and social structure of the time.  It’s not always a pretty picture, but it is, I suspect, a very realistic one.  One thing of which you become aware is that some attitudes--very important from the 1700s until now--how very little has changed.  Yet for those elements of life which are less critical, customs have changed greatly.
Murder in Grosvenor Square” is a very good read with twists and turns and a wonderful ending.

MURDER IN GROSVENOR SQUARE (Hist Mys-Capt. Gabriel Lacey-London-1818) - VG
Gardner, Ashley – 9t in series
JA/AG Publishing – Oct 2014

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