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The Hanover Square Affair (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries #1)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,711 ratings  ·  198 reviews
London, 1816
Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic wars, burned out, fighting melancholia, his career ended. His interest is perked when he learns of a missing girl, possibly kidnapped by a prominent member of Parliament. Lacey's search for the girl leads to the discovery of murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underwo...more
ebook, Nook Edition, 262 pages
Published February 19th 2011 by Jennifer Ashley (first published December 2nd 2003)
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The first in a crime fiction series set in Regency London, which features as its narrator and hero an injured Peninsular Wars veteran, Captain Gabriel Lacey, this novel seemed like it would be a good read. Sadly, my expectations were not met.

The novel has a number of problems. One is the character of Captain Lacey. He is yet another detective (using the word in its broadest sense) with "issues", including his gammy leg, his impecuniousness, his conflict with an old friend and comrade, his messe...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: London, 1816
Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic wars, burned out, fighting melancholia, his career ended. His interest is piqued when he learns of a missing girl, possibly kidnapped by a prominent member of Parliament. Lacey's search for the girl leads to the discovery of murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. He deals with his own disorientation transitioning from a soldier's life to the civ...more
This is the first of the Captain Gabriel Lacey series and if you are looking for a mystery, but still want a historical setting then this series may be for you.

Captain Lacey, who was a cavalry officer of the 35th Light Dragoons is now out of the service with a limp, a chip on his shoulder and pockets to let. About all he as left is his honor and his sense of justice.

Unfortunately in England there is a lot that is wrong for the poorer citizens that live around him. When Lacey ends up on the bac...more
Jul 18, 2011 Callista rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Callista by: Jamina
A loan from a friend.
The plot of this was rather like Law & Order: SVU—Regency England. Definitely a look at the seedier side of early 19th century English life. The period detail was well-chosen and convincing, and the author’s attempts to capture the characters’ different, class-influenced speech patterns were quite good.
The pacing could have been better; the author kept trying to shoehorn the main character’s backstory into the plot. The backstory is important, because it helps the reade...more
The Hanover Square Affair is the first book in the Captain Lacey mystery series. Captain Gabriel Lacey returns from the Peninsular Wars crippled, embittered and struggling with melancholia. He no longer has a career and his social connections are limited to a rather tenuous relationship with his former commander and a mysterious friendship with a popular socialite. Despite poverty and limited prospects, Lacey maintains an uncompromising sense of honor, so when he stumbles onto a riot at Hanover...more
Lori McD
The Captain Lacey series takes place post-Waterloo, where Napoleon finally met his downfall. Lacey is a retired soldier; he wasn't at Waterloo, but he fought in the Peninsular wars on the Iberian peninsula in Spain. Lacey tends towards melancholia and has had a difficult life, both in and out of war. He's been abandoned by virtually every friend or acquaintance, except for Louisa Brandon.

Louisa is married to Lacey's former mentor and best friend. Brandon and Lacey had a falling out - to the poin...more
Crossing Hanover Square one day, Captain Robert Lacey sees a small riot, a small group of militia putting it down, and its ringleader shot in cold blood. He takes the elderly man home, treats his wound, and learns why he was shouting and throwing rocks at the particular house he was - he believes his daughter to have been abducted and kept prisoner there. Captain Lacey decides to find out what happened to the girl.

He begins his investigations, slightly hampered by the fact that gentlemen aren't...more
Beanbag Love
Ashley Gardner is also Jennifer Ashley, a favorite romance novelist of mine. But this is no romance. This is straight mystery and it's really very good. I don't mean to seem surprised because I'm committed to a couple of Jennifer Ashley's romance series, but I suppose I just expected this to be more romantic. It's got a few moments, but this is all about the mystery. Once I adjusted, I was very impressed at JA's facility with this different genre.

Captain Lacey, formerly of the King's army, has a...more
Milena Benini
I rather liked this -- to be completely honest, I should give it something like 3.5 stars. It's a well-researched historical, with people and attitudes mostly complying with their imagined time (the Regency period). It's also a well-constructed mystery, which managed to keep me guessing until almost the end, which is a rarity.

Another plus side is the characterization. The main character, Captain Lacey, is a retired soldier who managed to only just miss Waterloo. He comes with so much baggage it...more
i managed to finish it. otherwise, it had not much to recommend it, really. the characters remained flat and cardboardish and i really could not warm to the main protagonist. his background story was ok but then, except the one with the daughter it remained implausible and illogical. cpt. lacey is ... not of the time he's supposed to live in. neither is his mate grenville (or most other characters).
back to the main hero: i was constantly told how he felt but i could not fathom why - the anger s...more
May 05, 2014 Angela marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
5 May 2014: $0.00 FREE on Kindle - Ashley Gardner is also known as Jennifer Ashley (Highland Pleasures series - The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie - which I LOVED) and Allyson James (Stormwalker series - Stormwalker)
I wanted to like this book. The main character had a great backstory, there was a good degree of historical accuracy, and I liked the solid research that went into it -- but I just didn't really get into it. Too much backstory and too many characters trying to fit into one novel. (I had the sense that this was actually the second book the author may have written for this hero, and she was trying to put a wee bit too much of the first book into it.) Add to that the first person narration was just...more
When Captain Gabriel Lacey, an injured veteran of the Napoleonic War returns to Regency England and leaves the military, he struggles to find a new purpose in life. A man of honor and defender of the underdog, innocent victims, he manages to make an enemy of his one-time mentor and commander in the military while gaining the friendship of a much sought after society figure. When he learns that a man who was shot for causing a ruckus outside a house in a rich neighborhood had been there because h...more
3 1/2

This book took me by surprise. I bought it on a whim, it was free and I felt I was risking nothing, just a few hours. I didn't really plan to read it immediately either.
I know the author is famous for her historical romance, and this added to the cover and, yes, the title screamed romance to me. So, my idea was to TBR it. Then I started reading and had my first surprise, a first person POV from a male character. I did put more attention to the book, came to GR for more info, and realised i...more
3.5 stars. This started out really slow. So slow I almost DNFd it. I understand why since there was a whole cast of characters to introduce along with some hints of backstory and the mystery to be solved. But still. It was a LOT of telling instead of showing.

That being said, the last 30-35% made up for it. The mystery was well done and I wasn't able to predict what happened. Although take that with a grain of salt since I'm not good at figuring these things out.

You may not know but these books a...more
I've had this sitting on my kindle for ages and I'm glad that a challenge finally gave me the push to read it. I enjoy historical mysteries as a rule and this was no exception. Captain Gabriel Lacey is back from the war, out of the army and a bit adrift. One thing I loved about Lacey is that he has no money. Sounds like a strange thing to like about a character but in so many historicals it's a duke or other wealthy nobleman as the main character. It's refreshing to read one where he has to worr...more
Joanne Edwards
I decided to purchases this book as it was free for your kindle. I needed a book that I could pick up and put down when I wanted as I am no longer able to binge read at will, and The Hanover Square Affair served just that purpose, until chapter 6 when things got interesting!

The protagonist is Gabriel Lacey, is a very flawed ex captain of Napoleon 's army who is struggling to return to civilian life. He becomes interested in finding a missing girl, the family of whom believe she has been abducted...more
First volume in a new Regency mystery series, recommended by one of my sisters (who, I am lucky and pleased to report, all have excellent taste in literature, and in this historical mystery subgenre). I want any series I read in this category to be well researched; I want the settings, descriptions, and behaviors to be as true as possible to the time and place. This one does that well, while also introducing a range of interesting early 19th century characters.

Our hero, Captain Gabriel Lacey, is...more
Jacob Proffitt
Not a bad book, and a decent mystery, but there's not much to connect with (for me, at any rate). It's pretty grimdark in the background but the foreground story and activities are mostly gutter-fumbling without much consequence or tension. The most interesting character is Lacey's friend, Grenville, but I kept expecting that to turn either darker or lighter and it did neither (waste of an opportunity if you ask me).

If the mystery is the thing, then I suppose the book does well enough to continu...more
First of a series of Regency-set historical mysteries featuring a Peninsular War veteran, Captain Gabriel Lacey. When Lacey is asked to investigate the disappearance of a young lady and her maid, he uses his friendship with a popular man about town to unearth the secrets of a man who can provide anyone with anything--but is he the villain? More interesting than the mystery--itself twisty and well-plotted--is Lacey's character (this is a first-person narration) and his social circle, including a...more
Ashley Gardner has created an interesting and likable hero in her protagonist Captain Gabriel Lacy. A complex and honorable man with a complex personal history. I liked his direct and often blunt approach to things. The author reveals her hero to us slowly and at the end of this particular mystery I found myself wanting to know more about Captain Lacy and his personal life.

The mystery was interesting, the period details well done, the characters realistic, the writing very good. I was pleased w...more
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I love mysteries, but this did not grab me. A lot of harping on the hero's paaaaiiiinnnn, physical, emotional, and financial. Bleh. Rather dull, ultimately.
Bronwen Evans
I'm sorry but couldn't read it as it's first person! I HATE 1st person - why do this to a historical....
Sheila Melo
First Person Narrative Draws Readers In

THE HANOVER SQUARE AFFAIR is the first in a series of Regecy Mysteries written by romance writer Jennifer Ashely under the name of Ashley Gardner. Told in the first person, the reader is drawn into the sad unhappy life of the main character as he tries to solve the disappearance of a gentlewoman.

THE STORY: Captain Gabriel Lacey has returned to London with an injured knee, no prospects and living in near poverty. He suffers from depression that often overwhe...more
Captain Gabriel Lacey ist verwundet aus den Napoleonischen Kriegen nach London zurückgekehrt. Im Jahr 1816 ohne großes Einkommen schlägt er sich eher schlecht als recht durch. Nur die Gönnerschaft des Lord Grenville verschafft ihm Zugang zu besseren Kreisen. Von einen Freund und Kriegskameraden schwerst enttäuscht, hadert Lacey mit sich selbst und seinem Schicksal. Eher zufällig gerät er in den Fall zweier verschwundener ehrbarer junger Frauen, von denen es scheint als seien sie einf...more
D.A. Bale
This strong start to a new series immediately propelled me into purchasing and reading the remaining available eight books. I'm looking forward to the ninth's release later this summer.

Captain Lacey is immediately a sympathetic character beaten down by injury and the loss of his wife and daughter years before. Forced to retire from military service while his impeccable career is still intact, Lacey suffers from a loss of purpose as he returns from the continent to wet, cold, and dreary London. T...more
Anne Odom
When I first started this book, I felt it moved slowly. I normally read books that are more "action-packed". If you also have "action-packed" tastes, you may be turned off by the pacing. I will tell you that it's worth slowing your own pace to match the book's, because Captain Lacey is someone you'll be glad you spent time with.

NOTE: The crimes committed in this book are pretty awful. While not described in detail, there may still be the potential for sexual abuse triggers.

Katie Kofemug
Jane Thornton, Aimee a maid, Charlotte Morrison, and Matilda, a kitchen maid all vanished, without a trace at about the same time. Whether this is coincidence or linked occurrences Lacey ends up entangled. Investigating their disappearances and wondering, "why civilized England was so much more dangerous for a young girl than the battlefields of the Peninsula had been for soldiers like me" Lacey struggles to find his place in life, at moments to even want to live. He conducts interviews, follows...more
The first in a series of Regency mysteries featuring Captain Lacey, battle-scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and a man whose dogged sense of honor just won't let him remain uninvolved when he sees innocent people in danger. Alive with period detail and the required unexpected plot twists, this is an entertaining read introducing some characters who will no doubt add drama, color, and spice to further installments. 3 1/4 stars

Mysteries are hard to write; they require intense plotting and som...more
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Ashley Gardner is the pseudonym for NY Times bestselling and award-winning author Jennifer Ashley and nationally bestselling and award-winning author Allyson James. Her award-winning Captain Lacey Regency mysteries have garnered top reviews and an enthusiastic following. These books are now available as digital editions. More about the series can be found at
More about Ashley Gardner...
A Regimental Murder (Captain Lacey, #2) The Glass House (Captain Lacey, #3) The Sudbury School Murders (Captain Lacey, #4) A Covent Garden Mystery (Captain Lacey, #6) A Body in Berkeley Square (Captain Lacey, #5)

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