Book 1 of 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 languages and have earned starred reviews in Booklist. More about the Captain Lacey series can be found at the website: www.gardnermysteries.com.
He discovers that she is one Lydia Westin, wife of Colonel Roehampton Westin, who has recently been accused of murdering an English officer in Portugal during the Peninsular War. Before he could come to trial, however, Colonel Westin was found dead at the foot of the staircase in his own house.
Lydia Westin, to Lacey’s surprise, declares he was murdered and that she knows the culprits’ identities. Intrigued, Lacey begins to investigate, and soon finds himself mired in scandals past and present, with a journalist dogging his footsteps, eager to print Lacey’s latest adventure.
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.
The Sudbury School Murders is the winner of the RTBookReviews Reviewers Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery.
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.
June 1817: Captain Lacey stops to assist a young woman in the market at Covent Garden, and realizes to his astonishment that she is his daughter. Lacey then discovers that his estranged wife and her paramour, a French officer, have journeyed to London at the invitation of James Denis to dissolve her marriage to Captain Lacey.
Meanwhile, a Bow Street Runner and a man from the Thames River Police have asked Lacey to help them look into the disappearances of “game girls” from Covent Garden. The magistrates aren’t interested in their fate, but perhaps Lacey can learn a thing or two. Lacey agrees and recruits old friends to help.
But when the goings-on in Covent Garden put his daughter in danger, Lacey’s crusade turns personal. He will do anything, and call in any favor from anyone, in order to protect his own Gabriella.
September 1817: Captain Gabriel Lacey travels with Lady Breckenridge to his boyhood home in northern Norfolk only to discover mysterious happenings in and around the Lacey estate. A young woman, cousin of an old friend, has gone missing, strange objects appear in Lacey's ruined house, and the dark windmills on the marshes keep pulling Lacey to them.
The underworld criminal, James Denis, uses Lacey's visit to Norfolk as an opportunity to have Lacey deliver a message to a local squire. A simple task--but one that lands Lacey squarely in international theft and murder. Lacey learns more about Denis's past, and finds himself joining forces with Denis to flush out a brutal killer and save the one person about whom Denis admits to caring.
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.
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.
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
The task does not turn out to be so simple. Locating what Denis wants proves difficult, sending Lacey and Grenville exploring tombs along the Nile. Lacey must deal with treasure hunters, a shadow following him and his friends, murder, and missing his new family as he explores the exotic country he has so longed to see.
Book 11 in the Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries series.
Adam is stunned to find Bailey Farrell working there–she was the shy girl who’d helped Adam graduate high school so he could run off to Hollywood. Except the budding Bailey, with whom Adam had a brief but intense affair, has blossomed into a beautiful woman. Now the sparks that had once ignited between them threaten to explode.
Adam is beaten-up, broken-down, and has lost his nerve—the stunt that injured him also killed his best friend. The only one he can turn to is Bailey, but will Bailey, who has come back to Riverbend to lick her wounds after a painful divorce, be willing to help him again?
Book 1 of Riding Hard.
When Janet and her lover Mick intervene to save Ansel’s un-life, they find that the attack is the beginning of an oncoming storm. Janet already has her hands full with her crazy half-sister, the upcoming marriage of her father, the return of a woman who claims to be Coyote’s wife, a couple of dragons on her back, and her worry about Mick, who’s behaving strangely again.
But it seems that everyone is after Ansel, who fears he killed the woman he loves in a Nightwalker frenzy. Janet must choose between protecting Ansel or facing the most powerful magical beings in the world, who are willing to destroy Janet, Mick, her hotel, and everyone she cares about to get to Ansel and his secrets.
Book 4 of the Stormwalker series.
Grace Malory always had a crush on Carter, the dark and damaged man who never quite fit in to the close community of Riverbend. When Carter’s foster mom needs help running the domestic side of the ranch, Grace is ready to help out with all the cooking for the brothers and their growing families.
Carter’s troubles rise again in the form of his dangerous ex-girlfriend, who returns to try to claim custody of Faith. Carter’s greatest fear is losing his daughter, and he turns to Grace for help in a race against time and his past.
Book 3 of Riding Hard. Recipe included: Faith's Texas Sheet Cake
Nella of Ariel is on the run, finding herself on Bor Narga, alone, penniless, friendless. She can trust no one—except the tall, amazing man who saves her from death by assassin bot and carries her off to his hideaway.
He's a Shareem, he says. Rio. Level three, which means dark and dangerous pleasures.
Nella has no clue what Shareem are, but Rio is enticing, sexual, rude, crude, and makes her laugh. He also burns fire through her blood as he teaches her to trust him, the only way a level-three Shareem knows how to . . .
Rio had been on his way to get himself off stifling Bor Narga, where he lives as a near-slave. But he's intrigued by his damsel in distress. And she needs his protection. Protecting her and teaching her is worth missing his transport, and maybe being stuck on this rock forever.
Brianne, a woman of the ruling family, has never met a Shareem, until she spies Aiden, a level one, in a coffee bar in the working-class part of town. Unknown to Brianne, her bodyguards arrest Aiden for even looking at her, and Aiden is locked away, scheduled to be terminated.
Ky, a level-three Shareem and Aiden's closest friend, is furious. He tries to extract Aiden, which only ends up in him being arrested alongside him.
Brianne, horrified, has both of them freed, but Ky wants to teach Lady Brianne a lesson to make up for almost getting Aiden killed. Aiden accompanies him, worried about Ky's volatile nature, and Brianne finds herself alone in a train car with two Shareem men who have many things on their minds.
The incident has Ky bothered for more than one reason—it forced the feelings he's kept hidden for Aiden to surface. But such things are forbidden to Shareem, as he learned the hard way years ago.