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.
Problems intensify when a groom of the school's stables turns up dead in a lock of the nearby canal. A Romany is arrested for the murder, and Lacey is the only person who believes him innocent.
As Lacey works to discover what happened, he gets drawn into the secrets of Marianne Simmons, the actress who'd lived upstairs from Lacey in London. Marianne swears Lacey to silence, which puts a new strain on his friendship with Grenville. Meanwhile the intrigue surrounding the murder becomes as murky as the waters of the canal itself and puts Lacey and Grenville into grave danger.
Meet Captain Gabriel Lacey, a half-pay cavalry officer who returns to Regency London with little money and no purpose, but with a sense of honor and fairness. He’s pulled into a search for a missing young woman, and thus begins investigating crime, using his status as a gentleman but a poor one to cross the boundaries between the top of society and the working class of the back streets.
In The Hanover Square Affair, a missing girl and a horrific corpse plunge Captain Lacey into the dark underworld of Regency London.
In A Regimental Murder Captain Lacey is on hand to save the life of a beautiful widow; he then investigates the death of her husband, a colonel who had been accused of murdering a cavalry officer during the Peninsular War.
In The Glass House, Lacey investigates the death of a barrister’s young wife, and links her to a notorious brothel where the haut ton play.
Two short stories finish off the collection: In “The Disappearance of Miss Sarah Oswald,” Lacey is asked to locate a man’s missing daughter, though he senses that the family would be just as happy for her to remain missing. In “The Gentleman’s Walking Stick,” Lacey untangles a web of deceit involving a respectable society man, his only clue being a missing walking stick.
Join Captain Lacey and his friends as he investigates intrigue, murder, and villainy from the plush ballrooms of Mayfair to the darker streets of Regency London.
In April 1817, a Bow Street Runner summons Captain Gabriel Lacey to a Berkeley Square ballroom where a young dandy has been found stabbed to death during a society ball. The prime suspect: Lacey’s former commander, Colonel Brandon.
Instead of denying the charges, Colonel Brandon allows himself to be arrested, and claims, to Lacey’s shock, that the lady he’d stayed protectively near at the ball is his mistress. Lacey realizes that he is the only person not convinced of Brandon’s guilt—all present, including Brandon’s wife, believe Brandon committed the murder.
Colonel Brandon’s reticence to tell the truth proves to be Lacey’s greatest obstacle in his race against time to prove Brandon’s innocence. Lacey’s hunt for evidence uncovers dark secrets that go back to the Peninsular Wars and involve the origins of Lacey’s and Brandon’s own private war.