Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose

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I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Murder on Black Swan Lane was written by Andrea Penrose. This mystery, set during the Regency era, is the first in a new series featuring the delightfully dynamic duo of Wrexford and Sloane.

When the charismatic Reverend Josiah Holworthy is found murdered in a church, it is a shocking crime. Suspicion falls on The Earl of Wrexford, who has been known to be one of the targets of Holworthy’s sermons against debauchery. Wrexford didn’t do it, of course, but can he convince Bow Street of his innocence?

Meanwhile, Mrs. Charlotte Sloane has a secret- she is A.J. Quill, the satirical cartoonist whose prints have targeted Wrexford in the past. She is not convinced of Wrexford’s guilt, but prints that showcase him with demonic features prove to be lucrative.

Eventually, Wrexford locates Quill’s house and his surprised to discover that his quarry is a woman. They enter into an unlikely partnership in order to discover the truth about what happened to Holworthy. Charlotte has good reason not to trust aristocratic gentleman based on events in her past, but her keen eye for details might be the only thing that can save Wrexford.

Penrose has created an immersive Regency world filled with period details. It was very satisfying to watch Wrexford and Charlotte uncover the clues that eventually lead them to the identity of the perpetrator. I would also like to point out that I loved almost all of the secondary characters just as much (villains excluded), and although it is hard to pick a favorite, I hope that we get to see more of Sheffield in future mysteries.

I would absolutely recommend Murder on Black Swan Lane to fans of historical mysteries. Wrexford and Charlotte have some great chemistry together, and it’s rather pleasant that their rapport is built on mutual respect and admiration rather than attraction. That said, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for those two. I am already eagerly waiting to see which mystery Wrexford and Sloane tackle next!

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