Returning home through a sticky London night in July 1816, Captain Gabriel Lacey is surprised to spy a well-dressed, elegant woman stride to the middle of an unfinished bridge. Following her in curiosity, Lacey is on hand to rescue her from an attack by a footpad.
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.
Lacey also becomes embroiled with Lydia, a lady with many secrets, and with James Denis, who continues his quest to bring Lacey under his thumb.
Lucius Grenville returns in this installment, the rich man-about-town who has become Lacey's sidekick. The story also contains the first appearance of Lady Breckenridge.
Book 2 of the Captain Lacey Regency mysteries. This is a full-length novel.
I have purchased 5 books in the series and will certainly purchase the rest! I stay up and read long past my bedtime because the books are page-turners for me...kudos, to you, Ashley Gardener😁55
-Another fine mystery in the Captain Lacey series. -Captain Lacey is walking alone in the evening near a bridge which is being constructed when he sees a woman further up in the shadows approaching a man who appears to be a beggar. They appear to speak, but then she backs off and tries to run away, but he grabs her. The Captain rushes to her assistance and fends off her assailant. The woman is shaken up and when he asks her name or where she lives, she refuses to tell him anything. He even wants to take her to his close friend, Mrs. Brandon, but she adamantly refuses that. Her clothes are fine and she is wearing a diamond tiara so he can see that she is upper class. -He can't just leave her, and so, he has no choice but to take her to his own apartment. He removes her damp shoes and cloak in order to dry them and gives her a blanket to stay warm. Though she is obviously exhausted and distraught, she suddenly rises and puts her arms around Captain Lacey's neck and kisses him. Captain Lacey was struck by her beauty and it is only with the strongest impulse to be a gentleman, that he pulls himself away as he cannot take advantage of a woman so in distress. He allows her to sleep in his bed, while he sleeps on a chair in another room. -She leaves the next day, but he discovers who she is, and she sends for him. Her name is Lydia Westin and her husband recently died in an accident where he fell down the stairs but not before admitting to a killing which occurred many years before when he served in the army, and a fellow officer was killed. -She tells Lacey something that did not appear in the papers. Her husband's death was not an accident. She found him in his bed, with his neck punctured and she only revealed that story of the fall so that her family would not be the target of even more public talk. She beseeches Lacey, because of the kindness that he's shown her, to help her clear her husband's name, as she knows that his admission of guilt, so many years after the incident, was only to protect others who were guilty. -Lacey is smitten with the woman, who is extremely beautiful, though she is near 40, and agrees to help her. He contacts his friend, Grenville, who has assisted him in the past. Together, they investigate other officers who were there during the incident, and who are titled gentlemen, but then other murders occur which appear to be accidents, but which Lacey knows are not. -Because of Lacey's attraction to Lady Westin, his personal life is thrown in turmoil and even at the end, when the discovery of the actual murderer is made, there is much that Lacey has to still do to get his life back in order from this case. -Very well done and a delight to read.55
I am very impressed with this author. The story is complex but not difficult to follow. It lures you in from the first few pages and keeps you wondering till the very end. If you like historical mysteries, this is a great series.55