Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Disappearance in Drury Lane (A Captain Lacey Regency Mystery #8) by Ashley Gardner

Historical Mystery
What Amazon says (Goodreads did not have a complete tease for the book):

A Disappearance in Drury Lane (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries, #8)"Winter 1818
As Captain Gabriel Lacey prepares to leave for his upcoming wedding, he's interrupted by his former neighbor, Marianne Simmons, concerned about an actress friend of hers who's gone missing. Lacey agrees to help look for the actress, little realizing that the search will bring him up against dangerous men who think nothing of abduction and blackmail, or indeed of sending incendiary devices to the innocent.

Lacey's compassion tells him to help the actress who is in true danger, but his personal life is changing, and his time for investigation is frequently and frustratingly interrupted. He is also commanded to assist Bow Street in bringing down James Denis, a criminal with whom Lacey now has complicated ties, or risk hanging with him.

The search for the actress takes Lacey from the assembly rooms of the upper classes to behind the scenes at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, where he finds darkness in all corners. Lacey's life and honor are constantly challenged as his circumstances change, and he realizes he can follow no code but his own."

I have followed Captain Lacey since Ashley Gardner (pen name for Jennifer Ashley) received the rights back and published the first book on the web as ebooks.  She has since added both full-length novels and short stories to the series.  A Disappearance in Drury Lane is the latest in the series.  I have been recommending the series since it first came out as ebooks.  I am still a big fan.

All of the main characters are back. Marianne Simmons, Lacey’s old neighbor asked for help just as Lacey is getting ready to leave for his wedding to Donata, Lady Breckenridge.  Lucius Grenville is back as is Bartholomew, Lacey’s valet.  Gabriells, Lacey’s daughter, is back for a visit and to attend his wedding.  Of course no book is complete without Dennis, the sometimes villain.  The center of the story is Abigail Collins, but at first we only know her name as she is the one missing.

The plot takes some really unexpected twists and turns.  While it seems a very simple case, find the missing woman, it turns out there is more to it than expected. Lacey travels outside of London only return when he has been accused of murder.  People are trying to kill him and they even threaten Donota.  That really spells their doom.  

Lacey does not miss his wedding but he is beaten before he leaves London.   The danger does not diminish as the story unfolds.  I loved the plot and the way one clue lead to another.  The picture painted of life in the theater felt very real. 

Each of the characters plays an important part in the story adding to their development.  That added to my investment in each and my enjoyment of the story.  I particularly loved seeing how Captain Lacey changed from the early books.  While he still suffers from depression the bouts are much fewer and he is a much happier person.. 

A Disappearance in Drury Lane is a great addition to the Captain Lacey series.  If can be read as a stand-alone but get the entire series.  You will not be sorry. The first book is only .99 and the rest are 2.99 or less.  You get a lot of book for your money.

JA/AG Publishing released A Disappearance in Drury Lane by Ashley Gardner in 2012.
To read my reviews on previous books in the series do a search on Captain Lacey.

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