Nick Petrie Series

Ashley Gardner Books In Order

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Publication Order of Captain Lacey Mysteries Books

The Hanover Square Affair (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Regimental Murder (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Glass House (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sudbury School Murders (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Body in Berkeley Square (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Covent Garden Mystery (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Necklace Affair (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gentleman's Walking Stick (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Death in Norfolk (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Disappearance in Drury Lane (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder in Grosvenor Square (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Thames River Murders (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Alexandria Affair (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Mystery at Carlton House (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death at Brighton Pavilion (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Custom House Murders (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder in the Eternal City (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Leonidas the Gladiator Mystery Books

as Jennifer Ashley
Blood Debts (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood of a Gladiator (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Gladiator's Tale (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ring that Caesar Wore (2023)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Murder Most Historical (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Past Crimes (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Ashley Gardner
Author Jennifer Ashley uses the pen name of Ashley Gardner to release the “Captain Lacey” series, and some other books. Under this name, she releases some of her mystery, cozy mystery, and historical mystery novels.

Ashley has lived all over the world, including Japan and Europe. She has a master’s degree in English literature, something that gave her a great interest in the arts, history, and the culture of England’s Regency era and the Romantic period.

When she is not busy writing or researching something, she likes to play guitar, drink gourmet teas, travel, cook, reading historical mystery novels, and build miniature room settings.

“The Sudbury School Murders” was given the Best Historical Mystery of 2005 from the RTBookReviews Reviewers Choice Award.

“The Hanover Square Affair” is the first novel in the “Captain Lacey” series, which was released in the year 2003. London in the year 1816. Gabriel Lacey, cavalry captain, goes back to Regency London after serving in the Napoleonic wars, fighting melancholia, burned out, and his career over. Lacey’s interest becomes piqued when he finds out about a missing girl, who may have been kidnapped by an important member of Parliament.

Lacey’s quest to find the young woman leads him to corruption, murder, and dealings with one of the leaders of the underworld. Meanwhile, he battles with his transition from living a soldier’s life to the civilian world. Redefining the role he has with his ex-commanding officer, and even making some new friends, from the street girls from Covent Garden to the people at the top of society.

This one has a cunning plot, a competent and engaging lead character, and a satisfying conclusion. London comes alive in the novel, appearing to be raw, dirty, gritty, and wet. Captain Lacey is a character of great strength and shows an admirable amount of tenacity getting results for the underdog.

“A Regimental Murder” is the second novel in the “Captain Lacey” series, which was released in the year 2004. Gabriel Lacey is surprised to see an elegant and well-dressed lady move right to the middle of an unfinished bridge. Lacey follows her out of curiosity, and he is on hand to rescue her from an attack from a foot-pad. As grateful as she is for his help, the lady will not give him her direction or name. Lacey takes to his very own rooms in a street off Covent Garden for rest.

He finds that she is Lydia Westin, the wife of Colonel Roehampton Westin, who has just been accused of killing an English officer in Portugal while the Peninsular War is going on. Before it was possible to bring the case to trial, though, Westin was found dead at the bottom of the staircase in his own home.

Lydia, to Lacey’s surprise, declares that he was murdered and she knows who did it. Lacey, who is intrigued, starts investigating, and quickly finds he is caught up in scandals from the past and the present, with a journalist dogging all of his footsteps, just eager to print Lacey’s recent adventure.

Lacey also gets embroiled with Lydia, a lady that has many secrets, and with James Denis, who furthers his quest to bring Lacey right under his thumb.

Readers were able to warm to Lacey and they enjoyed the remarkable story Ashley told in this one. The details of the period were done well, and the writing was excellent. By the end, readers wanted to read more about Lacey and the cases he goes about solving.

“The Glass House” is the third novel in the “Captain Lacey” series, which was released in the year 2004. A cold night in January of 1817, and Gabriel Lacey is summoned to the banks of the Thames so that he can identify a young woman’s body. Lacey looks at the dead and pretty young woman, who was cut down too soon, he makes a vow to find her killer.

Lacey’s investigation leads him over to the Glass House, a sordid gaming hall that played a prominent part in the victim’s past and to gatherings of the hautton and respectable Middle Temple barristers’ chambers. Lacey discovers secrets from the lowborn and the high, and finds himself pulled in deeper into a crime lord’s schemes. Gabriel explores his tentative new friendship he formed with Lady Breckenridge.

This book has an atmospheric setting, a cleverly plotted mystery, and engaging characters. The mystery in this one proved to be true and not become obvious part way through. The relationships these characters have been evolving nicely with each one, too.

“The Sudbury School Murders” is the fourth novel in the “Captain Lacey” series, which was released in the year 2005. Lacey takes a job as secretary at the Sudbury School in Berkshire, which is a school for the sons of the wealthiest bankers and merchants in all of London. He finds that as quickly as he arrives that he has been hired on for more than just his letter-writing abilities. There is a series of disturbing pranks have been keeping the entire school in an uproar, and the headmaster expects Lacey to figure out the prankster’s identity.

Problems get more intense after a groom from the school’s stables winds up dead in a lock of the nearby canal. A Romany gets arrested for the murder, and Lacey is the only one that believes he is innocent.

While Lacey tries to figure out what happened, he gets pulled into Marianne Simmons, the actress that used to live upstairs from Lacey in London, and her secrets. Marianne swears Lacey to be silent, which puts more strain on his friendship with Grenville. At the same the intrigue that surrounds the killing gets just as murky as the canal’s waters and puts Grenville and Lacey into some lethal danger.

This book has a good mystery, a ton of action, and a fine plot in it. The writing and pacing are excellent and the characters are mostly likable, except those you are meant to dislike. Readers found this one to be much too short, always a sign they found it highly enjoyable.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ashley Gardner

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