Review of Murder at Half Moon Gate

Posted April 14, 2018 by Stormi in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Review of Murder at Half Moon Gate

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Murder at Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose
Series: A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery #2
Published by Kensington on March 27th, 2018
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley


A wealthy lord who happens to be a brilliant scientist . . . an enigmatic young widow who secretly pens satirical cartoons . . . a violent killing disguised as a robbery . . . Nothing is as it seems in Regency London, especially when the Earl of Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane join forces to solve a shocking murder.   When Lord Wrexford discovers the body of a gifted inventor in a dark London alley, he promptly alerts the watchman and lets the authorities handle the matter. But Wrexford soon finds himself drawn into the murder investigation when the inventor’s widow begs for his assistance, claiming the crime was not a random robbery. It seems her husband’s designs for a revolutionary steam-powered engine went missing the night of his death. The plans could be worth a fortune . . . and very dangerous in the wrong hands.   Joining Wrexford in his investigation is Charlotte Sloane, who uses the pseudonym A. J. Quill to publish her scathing political cartoons. Her extensive network of informants is critical for her work, but she doesn’t mind tapping that same web of spies to track down an elusive killer. Each suspect—from ambitious assistants to rich investors, and even the inventor’s widow—is entwined in a maze of secrets and lies that leads Wrexford and Sloane down London’s most perilous stews and darkest alleyways.   With danger lurking at every turn, the potent combination of Wrexford’s analytical mind and Sloane’s exacting intuition begins to unravel the twisted motivations behind the inventor’s death. But they are up against a cunning and deadly foe—a killer ready to strike again before they can recover the inventor’s priceless designs . . .

Also by this author: Murder on Black Swan Lane, Murder at Queen's Landing


First Line

A Thick mist had crept in from the river.

Here is what I thought

This one was one of my anticipated reads for this year and it didn’t disappoint! I loved the first book that I read last year and I am so glad the sequel was just as good.

On the way home from the gambling places Lord Wrexford and his friend Kit come upon a dead man in the street. It looks like it could be just a common mugging, but it was brutal. The ‘weasels’ as Wrexford likes to see them are there was well and of course they tell Charlotte Sloane who has taken them in as her wards.

Wrexford has not reason to get involved in another murder but the wife of the deceased asked if he would look into things because nobody seems to be doing anything. The runners think it’s just a robbery but she believes he was killed for his newest invention. With the steam engines starting to take over jobs there are a lot of tension between inventors and workers. There are also those who know his invention will be worth a lot of money if sold to the right person. He reluctantly agrees because he knows the man and had respected him and his ways about science.

He also knows that Charlotte Sloane has better ways than even the police about finding information on the street so he ask her if she would like to join him in finding out what happened. She has a curious mind and when he shows her an emblem that was on the victim she recognizes it and decides to help. She finds out that it’s the Workers of Zion emblem and that they could have something to do with things. The killer though seems to be one step ahead of them as when they find out about one person they end up dead before they get there.

I really enjoy the characters in this book and the author does a great job with adding some humor to a bleak thing such as murder. The banter between Wrexford and Sloane is great and so I highlighted a spot so I could remember to put it in here for you to see. For this quote we have Sloane moving into a better place because she can now afford it with the money she grudgingly took from Wrexford at the end of the first book for helping him get his neck out of the noose.

“Perhaps I have come to wish you well in your new residence.”

She let out a low laugh. “And perhaps pigs have learned how to fly.”

Some men might have been offended. However, he liked to think hypocrisy was not one of his many faults. “I may always count on you to bring my vanity down to earth,” he murmured.

Then there is the great banter between him and his valet who is also very smart and a man of science and helps Wrexford with his experiments.

“Remind me again why I shouldn’t give you the sack and hire a more obsequious servant?”

“Because no one else knows the secret for removing chemical stains from your expensive evening coats.”

It’s the great dialogue like this as well as a good solid mystery that puts this series high on my list of favorites. I thought I knew who it was but then just as the characters I kept getting it wrong. I had suspicions about one character but was surprised at some of the things that come to light at the end.

If you are a fan of historical mysteries then you really should check out this series. If you are a fan of the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn then I also think you will enjoy this series.

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3 responses to “Review of Murder at Half Moon Gate

  1. I’m so glad you kept on me about reading the first one. I really did like it and this sounds like a great follow-up. I honestly am a fan of the “weasels” and am glad they are back in full force. I think the characters are part of the best thing about this series and to me, the mystery comes in second. Also, there are pretty in depth mysteries with lots of pieces to put together so that’s kind of refreshing as well!

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