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Murder at the Merton Library

Murder at the Merton Library, October 2023
A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery #7
by Andrea Penrose

Kensington
Featuring: Wrexford; Charlotte
304 pages
ISBN: 1496739930
EAN: 9781496739933
Kindle: B0BRDLJHQL
Hardcover / e-Book
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"A Complex, Sophisticated, and Highly Entertaining Regency Era Mystery"

Fresh Fiction Review

Murder at the Merton Library
Andrea Penrose

Reviewed by Sandra Martin
Posted September 27, 2023

Mystery Historical | Mystery Amateur Sleuth

The Earl of Wrexford travels to Oxford University to meet with the University Librarian, Neville Greeley, who has some alarming information to share with the Earl. Yet, before the two can meet, Greeley is brutally murdered in his office in a MURDER AT THE MERTON LIBRARY, the seventh book in the Wrexford & Sloane Mystery series by Andrea Penrose.

Wrexford is shocked to hear of Greeley’s death, especially when he hears his own name was mentioned in an argument before the man’s demise. What did Greeley want to share with him?  When it becomes known that a rare manuscript has gone missing, Wrexford wonders what the manuscript contained that would lead to murder. 

Meanwhile, Countess Charlotte, also known as the satirical artist A.J. Quill, starts investigating a fire at Henry Maudslay’s research lab. Henry was working on a new scientific discovery involving an ocean marine propulsion system. There is a competing consortium in town trying to attract investors to their new discovery which is touted as revolutionizing ocean travel, military operations, and world commerce.  Did this consortium, led by the unscrupulous Lord Taviot, have something to do with destroying Henry’s lab? 

As Charlotte’s and Wrexford’s investigations intertwine, they realize they are up against a vicious man who is not only engaged in fraud, murder, and arson, but he is also a traitor to his country and played a part in Wrexford’s brother’s death during the Peninsular War. As Charlotte, Wrexford, Sheffield, Lady Cordelia, Alison, and the Weasels join forces to expose the corruption and evil deeds of this heinous villain, Charlotte and Alison are kidnapped and the cat-and-mouse game becomes even more deadly. 

MURDER AT THE MERTON LIBRARY is another complex, sophisticated, and entertaining mystery in the Wrexford & Sloane Mystery series.  Books in this series always include a scientific invention during the Regency era. Not only does this mystery contain fascinating information about propeller-based propulsion systems, and the need for a marine propulsion system to cross the oceans, but it intertwines the historical information into a backdrop of London Regency society and Charlotte's and Wrex’s complicated and unconventional lives. The details of a de Vinci manuscript, as well as the investment habits of the aristocracy and the upper hand of entrepreneurs of the time, are so enlightening and interesting. The plot is intricately woven and the charm and emotion in the story come from the makeshift family Wrex and Charlotte have created for themselves. Raven and Hawk, former street urchins, know how to travel the dark alleyways and find the secrets hidden in London society. Their new young friend, Peregrine, has an inventor’s mind and an eye for details. As the mystery concludes, there is a nicely done scene where Alison uses the skills she learned from the young boys, with good results.

Overall, MURDER AT MERTON LIBRARY by Andrea Penrose is a fascinating and educational journey into the Regency era filled with new inventions, ruthless villains, greedy aristocrats, and the power of family. Check out the author’s website to see pictures of the beautiful Merton Library at Oxford.

Learn more about Murder at the Merton Library

SUMMARY

For fans of Miss Scarlet and the Duke and Bridgerton—a masterfully plotted mystery that combines engaging protagonists with rich historical detail and “an unusually rich look at Regency life,” (Publishers Weekly), plus a touch of romance that readers of Amanda Quick and Deanna Raybourn will savor.

Responding to an urgent plea from a troubled family friend, the Earl of Wrexford journeys to Oxford only to find the reclusive university librarian has been murdered and a rare manuscript has gone missing. The only clue is that someone overheard an argument in which Wrexford’s name was mentioned.
 
At the same time, Charlotte—working under her pen name, A. J. Quill—must determine whether a laboratory fire was arson and if it’s connected to the race between competing consortiums to build a new type of ship—one that can cross the ocean powered by steam rather than sails—with the potential to revolutionize military power and world commerce. That the race involves new innovations in finance and entrepreneurship only adds to the high stakes—especially as their good friend Kit Sheffield may be an investor in one of the competitors.
 
As they delve deeper into the baffling clues, Wrexford and Charlotte begin to realize that things are not what they seem. An evil conspiracy is lurking in the shadows and threatens all they hold dear—unless they can tie the loose threads together before it’s too late . . .


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