A Body in Berkeley Square
A member of the ton is found stabbed to death at an elegant ball at a mansion in Berkeley Square. Captain Lacey, late of the Peninsular Wars and with a very good nose for detection, is contacted immediately. The prime suspect, who has been taken to Bow Street to be queried by a magistrate, is his former commanding officer, Lord Brandon. Lord Brandon’s knife was used to kill the victim, and Brandon infuriatingly refuses to provide Lacey with any answers or assistance. However, Lacey is determined to find out what really happened. He doesn’t believe Lord Brandon committed the murder, and his deep regard for Brandon’s wife Louisa also spurs him on.
This fifth entry is a fine addition to Gardner’s Regency-set series. While the mores of the ton provide the historical setting, Lacey moves fluidly between upper society (with thanks to several of his friends) and the lower class, providing interest and energy. I recommend reading this series in order. Understanding Lacey’s developing relationships with a number of key characters provides depth and richness to the events connected to the murder. Previous entries in the series are: The Hanover Square Affair, A Regimental Murder, The Glass House, and The Sudbury School Murders.