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The Heiress of Linn Hagh: The First Detective Lavender Mystery (The Detective Lavender Series) (Volume 1)
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The Heiress of Linn Hagh: The First Detective Lavender Mystery (The Detective Lavender Series)

(Detective Lavender Mysteries #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  7,407 Ratings  ·  469 Reviews
Northumberland, November 1809: A menacing figure stalks women through Hareshaw Woods and a beautiful, young heiress disappears from her locked bedchamber at Linn Hagh.

The townsfolk cry 'witchcraft' and the local constabulary are baffled.

Fearing for her safety, Helen Carnaby's worried uncle sends out for help from Bow Street magistrates' court in London. Detective Stephen
Paperback, 268 pages
Published February 20th 2014 by Famelton Publishing (first published 2012)
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Karen Charlton Hi Milla,

Author here. Sorry to be late to the party but I've only just spotted your question and thought I would explain myself.

Back in 2005, I made…more
Hi Milla,

Author here. Sorry to be late to the party but I've only just spotted your question and thought I would explain myself.

Back in 2005, I made two surprising discoveries while researching my husband’s ancestors. I learnt that he had a convicted felon, a Regency jail-bird, roosting in the branches of his family tree, called Jamie Charlton. Next, I discovered that a Bow Street principal officer (that was his correct title) called Stephen Lavender, had been involved in the investigation which sent our Jamie to trial. Nathanial Ogle, the wealthy owner of Kirkley Hall, had paid for Lavender to come up from London to solve the mystery of the burglary.

Like you, I had no idea that the Bow Street runners had evolved into such an effective and respected private detective agency and I set about doing more research. Particularly useful was: ‘A Certain Share of Low Cunning: A history of the Bow Street Runners 1792 – 1839’ written by David J. Cox.

From this book and other references, I learnt that by 1809, the year of my first novel in the series, the number of officers working out of Bow Street had dramatically increased and a horse patrol had been established to bring some law and order to the crime-infested outlying areas of London. Principal officers had various roles. Apart from supporting their colleagues in the capital, they were often sent out to help magistrates in the provinces with difficult cases. They also took part in undercover work in periods of insurrection, for example, during the Luddite riots in the Midlands and were available to hire by wealthy landowners like Nathanial Ogle.

The principal officers were a policing elite, famous throughout London (Stephen Lavender was frequently referred to as just 'Lavender' by The Times because most of their readers knew who he was) and the aristocracy loved them, especially the Prince Regent. They were the only policemen allowed into Buckingham House, the forerunner of the palace. They did security work for the Bank of England, were called in to assist with the investigation following the assassination of Prime Minister, Spencer Percevel (the subject of my next novel) and on occasions they were even sent abroad to help with crimes and criminals who had spilled out over our borders onto the continent.

Yes, I have taken a liberty styling Stephen Lavender a 'detective' but please be assured that the content of the novel accurately portrays the kind of role these principal officers undertook, that of a detective.

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Kylie D
A fun read that sees Detective Lavender and his offsider Constable Woods venture to the north of England, where an heiress has gone missing from a seemingly locked room. Honestly, the plot was transparent, but the writing and the beautiful setting made up for this. I did find the book enjoyable, but really there were no surprises in it.
This book was cheap or free on Amazon, and it sounded like everything I would enjoy: a nice British-style mystery set in 1809 featuring Bow Street runners and a locked room, with a whiff of the supernatural – perfect.

Except it was awful.

I've said, in some form or other, and will likely say again that when a writer whose work I enjoy says something that doesn't feel quite right, I will accept it – but when a writer whose work I dislike says something that doesn't feel right, I will get online a
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. I am currently working my way through the Sebastian St.. Cyr Regency series so my interest was piqued by a different series set in the time period. But also I read another book about the Bow Street runners recently and knew hardly anything about them so I found it fascinating. Lavender, our main investigator in this novel, is a Bow Street Runner too. So really the odds were stacked in my favour that I would enjoy it. The mystery was intriguing and well done.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story gave me characters that I loved to hate. Detective Lavender is a no nonsense, interesting fellow. When a girl disappears from a locked bedroom, how she did it and where she went is the mystery, but the deeper mystery that comes to light is why? Onto the next in the series.
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
The Heiress of Linn Hagh is a detective novel that has a gothic feel. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to more in the series. Detective Lavender is called in when an heiress goes missing from a locked bedchamber. As they investigate, they find lots of strange happenings and uncooperative attitudes in the community. They have to determine if someone kidnapped the heiress, or if she managed to escape her locked bedroom and flee on her own. This was a very intriguing mystery that kept me ...more
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a surprisingly good mystery! I love the 1800s time period and while I thought I had things figured out, there was a twist in the end. I enjoyed it!
A Regency era mystery with some Gothic overtones? 'nuff said! I wasn't familiar with this series, but I was glad for the opportunity to pick up book one and meet Lavender and Woods in a case that took this pair of Bow Street Runners far from London into the Northumberland countryside.

The story opens with the introduction of the main pair of detectives and then drops back a little into the past and introduces the people and situation where the disappearance took place. It ends up going back and f
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Jul 27, 2018 marked it as looked-into-decided-against  ·  review of another edition
Tracey's review was warning enough for me.
NOTE: Received as an ARC from Netgalley.

Interesting Regency mystery with a family as dysfunctional as that in Wuthering Heights, if Jane Eyre's nasty cousin John Reed and Mr. Rochester's wife lived there too. Anna is far and away the best character (she reminds me of Daisy in Downton Abbey). It started off a little slow for me, but then I got hooked. I look forward to future books in the series.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-stars, mystery
I don't really have much to say about this book. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it. It was just kind of midway for me. I honestly think it may have been the characters that put me off so much. Detective Lavender is sort of disagreeable, yet at times he breaks out of his shell a bit. His story with Magdallena drove me absolutely insane. It was really an unnecessary plot line that didn't do much for the story overall. It just added some sexual tension that made me feel a bit uncomfortabl ...more
2.5 stars. The Heiress of Linn Hagh had appealing features for a lazy summertime read: a locked-room mystery, a missing, possibly abducted heiress, her miserably mean siblings, a 19th century northern England setting, a castle, hints of the supernatural, and the lean, cerebral detective called up from London to solve the case. I enjoyed the premise, and the novel sustained my curiosity, for the most part. Several of the minor characters, like Constable Woods and the maid Anna, were well-develop ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, mystery
I loved this book. The writing was excellent, the plot was good, and the characters came to life and made me want to know more about them. I'm looking forward to reading the upcoming books.
Detective Lavender and his friend, Constable Woods, are dispatched to Linn Hagh to investigate the disappearance of Helen (a young heiress), who disappeared from her locked room one night. As the two men get deeper into the investigation, they learn that the Carnaby family has some dark secrets. Secrets that undoubtedly made Helen fear for her life and try to run away.

I listened to the audio version of this story and enjoyed it. It was a decent mystery which unfolded at a good pace and was logic
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good historical mystery......although I had it figured out pretty early on.

Jessica Andersen
The Heiress of Linn Hagh by Karen Charlton was a fun gothic mystery set in Regency England. Detective Lavender bears striking resemblance to Sherlock Holmes, but with a little more humanity to him. And Constable Wood is an admirable sidekick and Watson stand-in. The basic mystery here is how a young heiress disappeared from her locked bedroom in the middle of the night, leaving no trace.

I read another person's very nitpicky one-star review, and will admit that I have read books that hit me the
It started as a locked room mystery but soon became so much more. In a way it's almost more gothic than traditional historical mystery, including a missing heiress, gypsies, a madwoman, a beautiful Spanish woman and family secrets.

Anna was probably the most well-drawn of the non-police characters, and although this did include enough details to keep me interested I felt it lacked most of the depth that authors like Anne Perry offer, and the references to previous events made it feel like a mid-s
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
A gothic novel where we meet Inspector Lavender and Constable Wood, officers of Bow Street. They are traveling to northern England to investigate the disappearance of Helen, a heiress from a locked room. Her brothers and sister are not helpful. Gypsies roam the woods. There many twists and turns that will hold your attention. There is slang language used that some might find offence. If you like Victoria Holt you will enjoy the book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy from Amazon Publishing for a
Persis Menon
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my! The book was astonishing. I just wish there were like 10 in this series so I can just read one after another and be lost in them. I enjoy regency mysteries and this series is in my top 5 list.
Elaine Tomasso
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has taken me a while to get to The Heiress of Linn Hagh but it is worth the wait as it is an entertaing read.

Inspector Lavender and Constable Wood travel to Northumberland in October 1809 to look into the disappearance from a locked room of the eponymous heiress, Helen Carbury. They encounter a fiendish plot which takes some unravelling.

I'm not sure of the terminology but the novel strikes me as being, before its time setting, a bit of a Victorian melodrama with wicked family members, a damse
Entertaining historical British whodunnit.

Kindle Unlimited read & listen "free."
J. Dorothy
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing plot with realistic characters and authentic setting. A great read.

Thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this story. The writing is authentic to the time and adds to the overall atmosphere, making it feel like you are actually living the events in the early 1800's in the North English countryside.
Detective Lavender and his partner, Woods, are great characters, that you trust immediately and are drawn into their world, as they work to solve the mystery of the missing heiress and in the pr
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure at the outset that I would like this book, set in England in 1809. The author's use of the common vernacular of the time put me off initially, but I came to appreciate her efforts to be realistic. London detective, Stephen Lavender, and his constable, Ned Woods, have accepted an assignment to search for a missing heiress in northern England. What a cast of characters they encounter along the way as they travel by coach and four, and when they arrive at their destination. This book ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I'll say this: Ms. Charlton certainly knows her way around an adjective. Or six. Or sixteen. To wit: "Occasionally, they saw a derelict, roofless stone farmhouse or a mournful flock of bleating sheep dotting the barren hilltops. Stunted alder and oak trees stretched out their bare limbs, silhouetted against the frozen sun like sentinels of the last outpost." Yep. Just like that. For 264 pages. Including, I kid you not, an instance of "frustration burning in his stirring manhood." Thin on p ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This poor little reads like a high school essay and a spoof of detective novels all at once. I finished it, but it was painful.
Aug 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first two chapters were full of nope.
First, let me say...yay! First book I've finished in months! This is a solid 3.5 stars. Definitely itely worth the trouble, but nothing that knocked my socks off. Also, I listened to the audio and I think I may have had a hard time getting into had I not been reading the Audible because of the way she wrote the dialogue (and my unfamiliarity with that accent).

This is a regency mystery complete with deadly intrigue, wealthy upper class, gypsies, interesting cultural tidbits, and a competent, comm
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the most amazing mystery. I loved the setting and feel to it. And if you like audiobooks, try the audio of it, the narrator is the best I've ever listened to. I even looked up his other work and plan on listening to it. He has an amazing voice and does the accents wonderfully. He really brought the story to life. This book reminded me a lot of the tv show Murdoch Mysteries. I loved it!
Gary B Frink
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the quant historical context and looking up old(er) English words. The story line was well presented and complex enough to be engaging. The occasional slips were easy to overlooked.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in a series set England at the beginning of the 19th century. Detective Lavendar and Constable Woods are reminiscent of Holmes and Watson. Well-done locked room mystery. Already have the second in the series on my Kindle.
Linda Romer
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
An enjoyable historical mystery with great characters. I liked The Detective Lavender mysteries and I'm looking forward to reading more of this series. The Carnaby family has many secrets for detective Lavender and his side kick Constable woods to deduce.

I give The Heiress of Linn Hagh 4 stars for it's enjoyable historical mystery with fascinating characters.
I would recommend this book to historical mystery fans.
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Historical Fictio...: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Missing Heiress - Karen Charlton 10 65 Dec 08, 2012 09:35AM  
  • Death in the Dark Walk (John Rawlings, #1)
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  • The Thief-Taker (Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner #1)
  • Season of the Raven (Servant of the Crown Mystery, #1)
  • A Death in the Family (Euphemia Martins Mystery #1)
  • The King's Evil (Christopher Redmayne, #1)
  • A Dissection of Murder (Dr Dody McCleland, #1)
  • The Nightingale Gallery (Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan, #1)
  • A Fete Worse Than Death (Jack Haldean Murder Mystery #1)
  • Murder in Grosvenor Square (Captain Lacey, #9)
  • The Companion (Lizzie Martin, #1)
  • The Butchered Man (Northminster Mysteries, #1)
  • The Keeper of Secrets (Tobias Campion, #1)
  • Get Out or Die (Aurelia Marcella, #1)
  • Death Comes to the Village (Kurland St. Mary Mystery, #1)
  • Shadow of the Serpent (Inspector McLevy, #1)
  • Killer Twist (Ghostwriter Mystery #1)
  • A Lady in the Smoke: A Victorian Mystery
Karen Charlton writes historical mystery and is also the author of a nonfiction genealogy book, 'Seeking Our Eagle,' and the joint author of the cosy chicklit series, 'The Silver Sex Kittens'. She has published short stories and numerous articles and reviews in newspapers and magazines. An English graduate and ex-teacher,
Karen has led writing workshops and has spoken at a series of literary events

Other books in the series

Detective Lavender Mysteries (5 books)
  • The Sans Pareil Mystery (Detective Lavender Mysteries, #2)
  • The Sculthorpe Murder (Detective Lavender Mysteries #3)
  • Plague Pits & River Bones (Detective Lavender Mysteries #4)
  • The Piccadilly Pickpocket: A Detective Lavender Short Story
“But what about you? How do you speak my language so well, sir?’ ‘I’m self-taught—but I’ve been several times to Spain in a professional capacity. Hopefully, these experiences took the edge off my appalling accent.’ ‘Indeed—your accent is good. You would pass for a native.” 0 likes
“carriage and seemed to be pondering for a moment. Lavender” 0 likes
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