Amanda's Reviews > The Hanover Square Affair

The Hanover Square Affair by Ashley Gardner
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's review
Oct 07, 2009

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** Regency isn't my favorite period, generally, despite having the requisite female-English-major affection for Jane Austen. (You can opt out, if you want, but I used those points to opt out of all of American Lit., so I had to like Ms. Austen.) But Jenna is usually a good judge of what I'll like and she pressed this book into my hands.

So I read it. And I loved it!

Despite it's appearance, it's not a romance. There's some sex and some affection, but it's mostly a mystery. Not a really complex mystery, but the period atmosphere is worth the price of admission alone.

Unlike most Regency novels, this one is neither all sweetness and light nor does it wallow in the "dark underbelly" of Regency England. Yes, there are prostitutes and bad men, but they seem like part of the scenery rather than the sordid destination that we're reading this book just so we can glimpse them and tsk-tsk.

Our main character is a cashiered soldier with a little too much tragic back story (a secret scandal with your best friend/mentor/commander over matters of love and honor OR a missing wife and daughter OR an ex-lower who has coincidentally returned, OR a tendency to crippling bouts of "melancholia." Not all four, please.) He has, of course, a popular and wealthy patron, because you can't get around needing money and influence in the period. But since we spend at least some of the novel wondering if the mentor is the murderer (at least I did), he's not a deus ex machina.

The crime itself seems painfully relevant, with recent revelations of a girl kept prisoner for 18 years in Florida.

This is one of the best new mystery series I've started in a long time. I look forward to begging the rest off of Jenna.


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