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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2013
In this first book of the series, Captain Lacey's involvement arises from a happenstance meeting with a bereft father whose daughter has vanished, presumably kidnapped for nefarious purposes. Lacey pursues the investigation to see justice done for the family, who, because of their societal insignificance, would be unlikely to get any help or recognition otherwise.

The story line is quite complex, with a number of strands and a few red herrings thrown in. This makes for an interesting tale, though with some fairly unpleasant, if historically appropriate, themes. Nevertheless, the story develops logically, with events unfolding in an unforced and natural way. The characters' motivations are gradually revealed, a layer at a time, just in the way the investigator perceives them. Thus, the reader is able to keep pace with Lacey's developing understanding of events and the players in them. Where Lacey is surprised by something, we readers are too, without having the feeling that we have been set up or deceived just to add a twist to the story. All this made for a satisfying book that made me look forward to the next tale in the series.

I read this in the Kindle Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Volume 1, a collection which encompasses the first 3 books, plus 2 short stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2014
I can't believe I waited so long to begin reading Captain Lacey's books. I have at times wondered about this set of books but decided that since they obviously couldn't all contain a love interest with the resulting HEA, they just wouldn't fit into my idea of what a great historical romance would be.

This first book in the series, deals with some dark subjects including the kidnapping, rape and imprisonment of innocent young women. These women do have - if not a knight in shining white armor, then at least a knight with a busted leg left over from the torments he suffered in the war and a past history of some sorrow and woundings - whose name is Captain Lacey. I hope that further truths relating to Captain Lacey's past are revealed in the other books in this series. I look forward to what I consider a treasure trove as I read the rest of these stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2015
Period mystery set in Regency England, introducing Cpt Lacey, hot tempered veteran of the Peninsula war and amateur detective. It's derivative but good fun nevertheless. The characters are well sketched. Cpt Lacey is his own worst enemy, trying to do the honourable thing, but cursed with pride and a huge chip on his shoulder, not to mention a gammy leg and fits of depression.

We're on familiar ground with the Regency period. We've all seen the Jane Austen adaptations, so it's easy to visualise the clothes and the street life. The story's various threads are resolved by the end, but the author is skilled enough so it flows quite naturally and she resists the urge to link everything neatly together.

Better than the cover would suggest.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
In the first of the Captain Lacey mysteries, we are given a dark story of kidnap, rape and female abuse in Regency society.

This is the second book in the series that I have read, and I have found them both excellent. Gardener/Ashley has a very fluent style that never feels over-written or as if she's thrusting all her research into our faces. Above all, her characters are fascinating, with deep back stories that she doesn't reveal all at once.

The series builds on the characters who develop in unexpected ways which never feel forced, and the mysteries really are mysterious. Lacey is an interestingly flawed hero with his limp from the Napoleonic wars, and his complicated relationships with his ex-commander and his wife.

If you enjoy well-written historical mysteries, this is an excellent series.
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on 16 September 2015
I thought this book quite well done. The Regency era was well portrayed although the characters were rather type-cast in some cases, (the young prostitute, the bored corinthian etc), and there was some modern use of speech which would not have occurred in the early 1800's. The story kept you guessing as to who the culprits were and how it would all turn out and there were lots of little hints about the Captains's past to make you want to keep reading and discover more. The Captain himself I found quite irritating with his volatile temper, self pity and constant bouts of melancholia - I wanted to shake him up and help him to get a grip on life, but he was still a likeable character if only because he championed the unequal treatment shown towards women during those times. I would happily give the next book a try.
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on 29 August 2015
I enjoyed this book very much, there were surprisingly few words which were out of place, for example I doubt whether anyone in 1816 would describe themselves as being 'plenty solid' or refer to a tarpaulin (if such a thing were even around then) as a 'tarp'. So clearly this author has undertaken to do thorough research and eliminated annoying modern language. I also felt that Captain Lacey was so well written the author must be a man and I was surprised to find Ashley Gardner was a woman. I am always looking for new books and have already bought the second of this series, hope it matches up to this one! If you are looking for something a bit different try this.
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on 15 October 2015
I liked this story and thought Captain Lacey an interesting hero. An injured veteran of the Napoleonic wars, he is suffering from, what is known today, as post traumatic stress. The author depicts this remarkably well and often in a very graphic way. The story flowed well and there were times I wanted to turn the page. I did wince at the term 'posh carriage', since the term posh didn't appear in the English language until the end of the Victorian era. I was pleased to see the references to Princess Charlotte's wedding to Leopold, but unfortunately, I didn't feel I was in Regency London. I think the American spelling might have had something to do with that.
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on 3 March 2015
Thought this book was very well-written and very well researched. I liked the main character and how determined he was in his search for justice. My only problem relates more to my own preferences than any fault with the story - in some ways the relationships were almost too realistic and I do prefer a little more escapism and romance. I also prefer a darker, more enigmatic hero who is less of a "good guy" (I did not think Captain Lacey's fits of depression helped in this regard either). However, I was pleased to find another excellent author of this genre and I would read more from her.
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on 5 February 2013
Found this author by chance and good value for money in kindle format which I bought. Read fairly quickly and held my attention throughout. Captain Lacey is struggling to adjust back into civilian life after a career in the army. He is witness to an incident in Hanover Square, which he decides to investigate off his own back, but with the help of a friend. Captain Lacey opens quite a can of worms and finds himself investigating anything from rape to murder.

Very good book. Would recommend.
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on 17 March 2015
As the central character is an ex British Army officer serving at the time of the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo the theme might seem a bit of a cliche these days but the character himself is far more realistic and believable than most and the picture of the realities of life for the lower classes in that era also seems very realistic. An historical thriller that has a compelling ring of truth regarding the realities of life in the era in which it is set. I liked it.
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