1818: As Captain Gabriel Lacey prepares for his upcoming wedding, his former neighbor, Marianne Simmons, asks for his help to find an actress friend who’s gone missing. Lacey agrees to help look for the actress, little realizing that the search will pit him against men who think nothing of abduction, assault, or sending incendiary devices to the innocent.
At the same time, Lacey’s personal life is changing, and his time for investigation is frequently and frustratingly interrupted. He is also commanded by a new Bow Street Runner to assist in bringing down James Denis, a criminal with whom Lacey now has complicated ties. Lacey must help or else risk hanging alongside Denis.
The search for the actress takes Lacey from elegant assembly rooms to the backstage of the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, where he finds darkness in all corners. Lacey’s life and honor are constantly challenged as he tries to settle into his new life, until he realizes he can follow no code but his own.
Book 8 in the Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries.
Award-winning Ashley Gardner is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ashley. Under both names—and a third, Allyson James—Ashley has written more than 75 published novels and novellas in mystery and romance. Her books have won several RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice awards (including Best Historical Mystery for The Sudbury School Murders), and Romance Writers of America's RITA (given for the best romance novels and novellas of the year). Ashley's books have been translated into more than a dozen different languages and have earned starred reviews in Booklist. More about the Captain Lacey series can be found at the website: www.gardnermysteries.com.
Captain Gabriel Lacey begins Spring 1818 preparing for a duel. But while he focuses on the affair of honor, darkness, greed, and death stalk the streets of London and bring tragedy to a family Lacey has grown close to.
With the aid of Lucius Grenville, London’s most famous dandy, and Brewster, a ruffian employed by an underworld criminal, Lacey explores the world of molly houses and the double lives some men of society lead. His investigation takes him from the elegant mansions of Grosvenor Square to the squalid lanes of Seven Dials, to taverns that practice a highly illegal trade, spelling ruin and possible hanging for those caught within.
Lacey once again comes into the realm of James Denis, a crime lord, when what appears to be a simple crime of hatred becomes far more complex.
Book 1 of the Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries.
It’s official. Fortune Redding is out of the CIA and a newly minted resident of Sinful, Louisiana. She never expected her homecoming to be all apple pie and hugs, but a murder wasn’t on her list of things to deal with before she’d even gotten her name stenciled on her mailbox.
Boone Carre—Hooch, to the locals—was a drunk and a louse and had shafted pretty much everyone he’d ever done business with. So when someone kills him, there is no shortage of suspects. Unfortunately, Ally is at the top of the list.
Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie know that Ally isn’t capable of murdering anyone, but with an ambitious ADA looking to make a name for himself, and the local gossip train intent on finding someone to blame, they know they have to find the killer and clear Ally’s name.
Captain Lacey joins him in the hunt, entering a part of society that is closed to outsiders. Meanwhile, he must deal with his daughter’s come-out and more developments in his new domestic life, including a blackmailer who’s out to ruin Lacey any way he can.
Book 10 of the Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries
Read a deleted scene from Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage.