Murder at Half Moon Gate is the second book in Andrea Penrose’s Wrexford & Sloane Regency-era historical mystery series. I enjoyed reading the first book in the series, and I was looking forward to happen next in the series.
The Earl of Wrexford stumbles upon a body in an alley, and he realizes immediately that this is not a random incident of a hapless soul wandering into a dangerous neighborhood. Wrex doesn’t intend to involve himself with another mystery so soon after the last incident, but after meeting with the man’s widow, he feels that it is his duty to look into what led up to the victim’s brutal death.
Wrex knows that he isn’t going to be able to piece the details together without the insight of his new friend Mrs. Charlotte Sloane. Together, they pore over the clues and attempt to rule out the various suspects. But someone was killed for the information at the crux of this case, and the perpetrators would certainly be willing to kill again.
This was an excellent mystery. Wrexford and Charlotte work well together, and they are bolstered by an extensive cast of secondary characters. Charlotte has two streetwise young boys who she has taken on as wards. Their skillset and network of cohorts prove to be invaluable. Wrex gains a new appreciation for Charlotte, and begins to wonder if his affection for her is platonic or perhaps something more. Charlotte’s secret job as a satirical cartoonist does seem to be less of a priority than it was in the first book. This is understandable because she had some changes in her personal life to sort out, but I do hope that there are more satirical prints in future books.
I would absolutely recommend Murder at Half Moon Gate. I would suggest reading the first book in the series before this one; it’s not mandatory, but I do think it gives the reader a more thorough understanding of the relationship between Wrex and Charlotte, and an appreciation for the developments over the course of this book. There’s a nice balance of mystery and world building, and as a fan of the Regency era, I appreciated how much Penrose is able to immerse the reader into 19th century. I am already looking forward to the next book in the series!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book