Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hanover Square Affair” as Want to Read:
The Hanover Square Affair
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  4,014 Ratings  ·  401 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
Nook, Nook Edition, 262 pages
Published February 19th 2011 by Jennifer Ashley (first published January 1st 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Hanover Square Affair, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Susan Hrdlicka Yes. Absolutely zero sex scenes. A hint that a character had slept with someone, but no details.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details

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
Apr 05, 2016 Phrynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now this is why I like doing Challenges - I end up reading books I would never have normally come across. This time I had to read a book whose author's initial was g and I am so glad I did! The Hanover Square Affair turned out to be right up my alley - a clever and nicely written mystery set in Regency England. Better still it is the first in a series and I do love a good series:) This book had everything I need; an interesting and competent main character, a suitably cunning plot, lots of actio ...more
Written November 23, 2015

4 Stars - Perfect for my (moody dark autumn) feel these days. It was also great with a non-romantic story in between all my romances

Book #1

I just finished a Jennifer Ashley (this time published in her pen name Ashley Gardner) historical mystery series novel. There are already ten books about Captain Lacey solving crime and mystery cases and I looking forward for more.

 photo 57473c9561ff7cc04c2292cd692de502_zpse4540951.jpg

I really really enjoyed to listening to this (not a romance) audiobook mystery novel. Just the terrific
The morning Captain Gabriel Lacey came across a riot at 22 Hanover Square in London; and observed the frantic efforts of an elderly man to gain entrance of the dwelling, was one which set a chain of events in motion which saw him coming up against debauchery, corruption and murder. The sudden shooting of the man, a Mr Thornton, led him to involve himself in the disappearance of his daughter who had vanished without trace some weeks previously.

It was 1816 and Lacey’s career had ended on a sour no
Beanbag Love
Apr 29, 2014 Beanbag Love rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Richard Derus
Jun 30, 2014 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 06, 2011 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nicole 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
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
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
Shelly Wright
I have rounded this one up from 3.5. It is a good read---not a masterpiece, but worth a try. I liked it enough to give the next book in the series a try. Captain Lacey is intriguing (enigmatic and complicated), and Regency London is always interesting.
Sep 18, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite being set in the Regency period, this mystery is a long way removed from the worlds of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. It's closer to Sharpe or the TV series Garrow's Law, set amid the dark streets of London, with poor and desperate characters as well as rich and glamorous ones.

The story is told in the first person by the hero, Gabriel Lacey, a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars who has been left with both physical and mental scars - a bad leg and a tendency to "melancholia". After he relu
Sep 29, 2010 Keri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 26, 2015 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I just checked and this book is still free for Kindle. It's one of the better freebies I've picked up. Definitely worth the read.

I had seen and passed over this book because based on the cover (not the one featured here, but a more suggestive one) I thought it was a historical romance, emphasis on the romance. On GR, I noticed people kept mentioning this series as being good historical mysteries. So I decided to give the first book a try. Being it was free- what did I have to lose? I was surpris


Sooooooooooooooooooooooo booooooooooooooooooooooooring.

Jun 03, 2014 Dorian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-ebooks
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
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
Oct 11, 2016 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I greatly enjoyed this novel. Captain Gabriel Lacey, late of His Majesty's Army, is well-known for his detecting abilities -- far superior to those of the Bow Street Runners. So, he's asked to look for some missing young women ... one of whom is found locked in an armoire in a room with a murdered man lying on the carpet.

More missing women come to Gabriel's attention throughout the course of the book ... and soon he is working with some of the most important swells of the ton -- some of whom sta
I sat down at my desk and started surfing other's book blogs before I remembered that I hadn't quite written this book's review yet.  As much as I hate to say this, The Hanover Square Affair was not the most memorable book.  In fact, my reading experience was quite an uphill-downhill, and then up again and down again kind of experience.  Even while reading the book, I started getting sidetracked and forgetting what was going on.  And then after finishing the book, I even forgot to brainstorm thi ...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
I listened to this in less than 24 hours. The narrating was good and the story was easy to get lost in. I recommend it with reservations though - I feel like this is a series that could become good but right now there's a few major problems.

Our "hero" has had a depressing life and throughout the book we hear about every sad thing that has happened to him. It's a bit too much. It's like sitting next to a drunk in a bar and you just want to enjoy your time but there's a non-stop barrage about his
Aug 27, 2015 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, and loved the atmosphere in the novel. I find that even though Gabriel Lacey is poor, he's been taught that respect and dignity should be given to all people, no matter their class, though there might be times where he doesn't think before he says or does something, and also think that him and Janet Clarke belong together. Louisa Brandon seems to be a woman with a mind of her own, but it appears her husband has a lot of pride. Even though I haven't ever read Sherlock ...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
May 19, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2015
Set in 1816 London and featuring Captain Gabriel Lacey, a veteran of the Napoleonic wars now at loose ends as to what to do with the rest of his life, as protagonist, this was an entertaining and suspenseful beginning in what promises to be another very enjoyable historical mystery series. What begins with a missing girl evolves into a story of kidnapping, smuggling and murder. With a good pace and likable, interesting characters, this was a quick read and certainly not my last from this series.
Apr 04, 2012 Shelley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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
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)
May 07, 2016 edifanob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
This has nothing to do with all the Regency and romance stuff you can get.

It is a promising start of the series. Excellent story, great characters, and an awesome depiction of London in 1816.
I loved the book and it delivered all what I hoped to get.

I look forward to read the whole series.

I read this book as part of an omnibus. But I want to count it as a single book. Therefore I will enter book one and two of the omnibus as single books and the omnibus will present book three.
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....
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.
Jun 26, 2012 Scot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joanne Edwards
Jul 18, 2014 Joanne Edwards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Death on Beacon Hill (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, #3)
  • Where Serpents Sleep (Sebastian St. Cyr, #4)
  • Point of Honour (Sarah Tolerance, #1)
  • The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery #1)
  • The Mask of Night (Rannoch/Fraser Publication Order, #3)
  • Whom the Gods Love (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #3)
  • India Black (Madam of Espionage, #1)
  • The Thief-Taker (Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner #1)
  • Deadly Affair (Alec Halsey Mystery, #2)
  • A Dissection of Murder (Dr Dody McCleland, #1)
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...

Other Books in the Series

Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • A Regimental Murder (Captain Lacey, #2)
  • The Glass House (Captain Lacey, #3)
  • The Sudbury School Murders (Captain Lacey, #4)
  • A Body in Berkeley Square (Captain Lacey, #5)
  • A Covent Garden Mystery (Captain Lacey, #6)
  • A Death in Norfolk (Captain Lacey, #7)
  • A Disappearance in Drury Lane (Captain Lacey, #8)
  • Murder in Grosvenor Square (Captain Lacey, #9)
  • The Thames River Murders (Captain Lacey, #10)
  • The Alexandria Affair (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries, #11)

Share This Book

“You are right,” Josette said softly. “I am devoted” 0 likes
“Sometimes there is no comfort, only the knowledge that the worst has happened” 0 likes
More quotes…