Saturday Sleuthing: More Regency Mystery Series, A Tale of the Stuart Court and An Intriguing Story of A "Slip-Gibbet"

I'm very excited by yesterday's book hunt. Not only did I discover more Regency mystery series to follow, but two very interesting novels, one set after the death of Charles II, during the reign of William and Mary and the other based on the true story of a woman who escaped the gallows and was transported to Australia. All these authors are new to me and I'm looking forward to adding these books to my reading pile.

The Heiress of Linn Hagh by Karen Charlton

2013 Paperback cover
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 Lavender and Constable Woods now face their toughest and most dangerous case. The servants and the local gypsies won’t speak to them, Helen’s siblings are sly and uncooperative and the sullen local farmers are about to take the law into their own hands.

2015 Paperback cover
Isolated in this beautiful but remote community, Lavender and Woods find themselves trapped in the middle of a simmering feud and are alarmed to discover a sinister world of madness and violence lurking behind the heavy oak door of the ancient pele tower at Linn Hagh.

Helen Carnaby's disappearance is to prove one of the most perplexing mysteries of Lavender's career. Why did she flee on that wintry October night? How did she get out of her locked bed chamber? And where is she now?

This is the first in a series of Regency mysteries featuring detective Stephen Lavender and Constable Edward Woods. Originally published in 2013, a new paperback edition of this novel will available from June 9, 2015. The Heiress of Linn Hagh has also be released as The Missing Heiress.

A Moment of Silence by Anna Dean

UK edition
1805. An engagement party is taking place for Mr Richard Montague, son of wealthy landowner Sir Edgar Montague, and his fiancee Catherine. During a dance with his beloved, a strange thing happens: a man appears at Richard's shoulder and appears to communicate something to him without saying a word. Instantly breaking off the engagement, he rushes off to speak to his father, never to be seen again. Distraught with worry, Catherine sends for her spinster aunt, Miss Dido Kent, who has a penchant for solving mysteries. Catherine pleads with her to find her fiance and to discover the truth behind his disappearance. It's going to take a lot of logical thinking to untangle the complex threads of this multi-layered mystery, and Miss Dido Kent is just the woman to do it.

A Moment of Silence  is the first book in a series featuring Miss Dido Kent, a crime solving spinster. It has also been released as Bellfield Hall for the US market. Below are the covers for the rest of the series. I love them: so very Jane Austenesque in appearance.

The Hanover Square Affair by Ashley Gardner

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. At the same time, he faces his own disorientation transitioning from a soldier's life to the civilian world, redefining his role with his former commanding officer, and making new friends--from the top of society to the street girls of Covent Garden.

There are nine books in the series to-date. As well as writing historical mysteries as Ashley Gardner, she also writes historical and paranormal romance under the pseudonyms of  Allyson James and Jennifer Ashley

A Pledge of Better Times by Margaret Porter

A sweeping tale of ambition, treachery, and passion incorporating historical figures and events. For generations Lady Diana de Vere's family loyally served England's crown. But after King Charles II's untimely death, her father firmly opposes James II's tyranny. Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans-the late king's bastard son by actress Nell Gwyn-also rebels against his newly crowned uncle's manipulation. Secretly pledging to wed Diana, he departs for the Continent to become a soldier. Political and religious turmoil bring about revolution and yet another coronation before Charles returns to claim his promised bride. As companion to Queen Mary Stuart, Diana has followed her de Vere forbears into royal service. She expects Charles to abandon his military career after marriage, but he proves unwilling to join the ranks of the courtiers he despises and mistrusts. In palace corridors and within their own household the young duke and duchess confront betrayals, scandals, and tragedies that threaten to divide them. And neither the privileges of birth nor proximity to the throne can ensure their security, their advancement-or their happiness.

This is Margaret Porter's first mainstream historical novel and is due for release in April, 2015. She also writes historical romances as Margaret Evans Porter.

Scapegallows by Carol Birch

This is the story of Margaret Catchpole, born into a smugglers' world in Suffolk in the late 1700s. As the valued servant of a wealthy family and a friend of criminals, Margaret leads a double life that inevitably brings about her downfall, and she is sentenced to hang not once, but twice. But she escapes the gallows and is transported with other convicts to Australia. A wonderful adventure story, Scapegallows takes inspiration from the life of the real Margaret Catchpole. A woman who lived by her wits, she was a slip-gibbet, a scapegallows.

Carol Birch has written eleven novels. Scapegallows was the first of her novels to be set totally in the past. It is based on the true story of Margaret Catchpole.


  1. I love the Dido Kent mysteries - they're delightful and witty, and she's fun to spend time with. I hope there'll be more books in the series eventually.

    I have A Pledge of Better Times on my TBR also and will be reviewing it in early May.

    1. The Dido Kent mysteries look exactly as you described them. I can't wait to read them.

      I've not read any of Margaret Porter's novels, but this one grabbed my attention because of its historical setting. I've not ready many novels set during the Stuart era, but find I'm liking this historical period more and more. I look forward to reading your review.