Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hanover Square Affair (Captain Lacey, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Hanover Square Affair (Captain Lacey, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Hanover Square Affair

(Captain Lacey Mysteries #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  5,514 ratings  ·  539 reviews
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 young woman to murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. At the same time, he ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 262 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Berkley (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
Jacey It's not smutty, but there's consensual sex in it, and the crime that Lacey is investigating includes missing girls, procurement, rape, and grisly…moreIt's not smutty, but there's consensual sex in it, and the crime that Lacey is investigating includes missing girls, procurement, rape, and grisly murder/castration.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,514 ratings  ·  539 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Hanover Square Affair (Captain Lacey, #1)

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
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 ...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
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
Beanbag Love
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Richard Derus
Jun 30, 2014 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
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
RachelW (BamaGal)
3.5 Stars. This was a freebie that I picked up some time ago then put aside. After I became intrigued with the author's "Kat Holloway" Victorian murder mysteries (written as Jennifer Ashley), I decided to give this a read. This was written in 2003, before the author honed her writing talent; but I found it interesting, if a bit rambling. I certainly wouldn't be averse to reading more Captain Lacey mysteries.
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
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 03, 2014 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
Sep 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 18, 2016 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
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
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sbtbprev, mystery, own, f, regency
What a quick read! A bit dark, but very enjoyable.

I first read Gardner by reading the recently published Death Below Stairs (writing as Jennifer Ashley), set in Victorian London. Absolutely loved it, and decided to try some of her other books, to keep me until the next Kat Halloway book is available.

There are more than a few mysteries in this book, as well as some unresolved back story with Captain Lacey and other characters, and I look forward to continuing my acquaintance with them in the
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Regency mysteries are one of my favorite genres and I can be very picky when trying out a series. When I’m reading a Regency series, I expect consistency and thorough research because that was a historical era with set in stone social, class, and behavior rules. I also look for excellent character and plot development. In “The Hanover Affair” book one in the Captain Lacey mysteries, I found that author Ashley Gardner has created a very complex, intriguing hero in Captain Gabriel Lacey.

Christmas Carol ꧁꧂
I haven't put this on my Austen/Heyer shelf as while Gardner writes from roughly this era & uses some of Heyer's cant, this author appears to have her own voice. The book reminds me more of the Flashman series, even though Lacey isn't a rogue.

If it has any historical inaccuracies I don't care - this tale kept me entertained till the end.

So why only three stars? I feel that Gardner tried to put too much of Lacey's background into one book & she would have done better to let it come out
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.

A promising start for a new to me series. I enjoyed the mystery aspect and to hope learn more about Lacey as the series progresses.
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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....
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I...really liked this book. Like, REALLY liked it. Captain Lacey has a slew of issues, starting with his unmanageable temper. He also suffers from depression (understandably given both the fact he was engaged in a horrific war for a number of years followed by the circumstances of his retirement from service) and he has a noble streak a mile wide. Once he finds out about an injustice, he has a hard time looking away.

Getting involved in the disappearance of a young woman and her maid is something
Aly is so frigging bored
I don't care what happens in this book and to these characters
One more book that I thought I wouldn't like at the beginning : the wounded hero is so brooding, he has "melancholy" that sometimes keeps him to his bed. It's not hard to understand why, but I thought it would be kind of depressing at the end, especially with the way the book started (poor man !).
However, the affair is an opportunity for him to raise his head above the water, get some action, rub shoulders with the ton and even make an unexpected friend and deal with the treasons of his past ?
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 Affairwas 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 this ...more
3.5 stars

So, I've been in a mood for historical mysteries recently, and this book was listed among some recommendations I came across, so I thought I'd give it a go (I did read some of Jennifer Ashleys' romances, both paranormal and historicals; The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie being my favorite, so that also weighted in its favour).

So, my problem with this book (and the reason for decreased rating) are the characters. I just didn't find most of them likable, Lacey included. Louisa, Grenville
Milena Benini
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, historicals
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
Shannon Brown
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I must confess that if it hadn't been this month's pick for Trashy Book Club, I probably wouldn't have finished this one at all. It was competently written, don't get me wrong, but I'm pretty sure I was supposed to like the protagonist Captain Lacey and not find him an incomparable prig, and well -- that ship has sailed, my friend. When the dastardly evil smuggler is the most interesting character, and the aristocratic dandy the most sympathetic, I think it's safe to say that something has gone ...more
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Soupçon of Poison (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #0.5)
  • The Hidden Duchess
  • A Wedding Code (Code Breakers #5)
  • An Earl's Redemption (Brides of London)
  • A Case of Blackmail in Belgravia (Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures #1)
  • Murder in the Manor (An Ella Rose Cozy Mystery—Book 1)
  • By Eastern Windows (Macquarie, #1)
  • Death in Kew Gardens (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #3)
  • The Duke's Daughter (Ladies of Bath, Book 1)
  • Marriage Can Be Murder (Dr. Benjamin Bones Mysteries, #1)
  • Scandal Above Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #2)
  • Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #1)
  • In Milady's Chamber (John Pickett Mysteries, #1)
  • Her Muse, Lord Patrick
  • You and No Other (St. Briac, #1)
  • Highway Revenge (Revenge #1)
  • The Watanabe Name
  • The Murder at Sissingham Hall
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Captain Lacey Mysteries (1 - 10 of 14 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)
“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…