Let’s resolve crime in the Regency era in England, in company of a good man named Gabriel Lacey…

Who is Captain Gabriel Lacey?

The protagonist in a series of historical mystery novels by American author Ashley Gardner (also known as Jennifer Ashley), Captain Gabriel Lacey is a former cavalry officer, veteran of the Peninsular War in Regency era England. He comes home injured and prompt to melancholia.

Retired on half-pay following the end of his military’s career, Gabriel Lacey still doesn’t want anyone else to know injustice. He can’t help himself, he fights for those people so often ignored by others.

Captain Gabriel Lacey Books in Order:

   

  1. The Hanover Square Affair — 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.
  2. A Regimental Murder — Returning home through a sticky London night in July 1816, Captain Gabriel Lacey is surprised to see a well-dressed, elegant woman strides to the middle of an unfinished bridge. Lacey is on hand to rescue her from an attack and discovers that she is Lydia Westin, wife of Colonel Roehampton Westin, recently accused of murdering an English officer in Portugal and found dead in his own house. But Lydia Westin declares he was murdered and that she knows the culprits’ identities.
  3. The Glass House — On a cold January night in 1817, former cavalry officer Captain Gabriel Lacey is summoned to the banks of the Thames to identify the body of a young woman. When Lacey looks at the pretty, dead young woman, cut down too soon, he vows to find her murderer. Lacey’s search takes him to the Glass House, where he uncovers secrets from the highborn and the low and finds himself drawn deeper into the schemes of a crime lord.
  4. The Sudbury School Murders —  England, 1817. Captain Lacey takes a post as a secretary at the Sudbury School in Berkshire, a school for sons of the wealthiest merchants and bankers in England. Lacey discovers as soon as he arrives that he’s been hired for more than his letter-writing skills—a series of disturbing pranks have kept the school in an uproar, and the headmaster expects Lacey to discover the identity of the prankster. The problems intensify when a groom of the school’s stables turns up dead in a lock of the nearby canal.

   

  1. The Necklace Affair and Other Stories — This anthology brings together three short mysteries in the Captain Lacey series: the novella The Necklace Affair and the short stories The Gentleman’s Walking Stick and The Disappearance of Miss Sarah Oswald.
  2. A Body in Berkeley Square — A Bow Street Runner summons Captain Gabriel Lacey to a Berkeley Square ballroom where a young dandy was stabbed to death during a society ball. The prime suspect: Lacey’s former commander, Colonel Brandon. Lacey’s hunt for evidence to clear Brandon uncovers dark secrets that go back to the Peninsular Wars and involves the origins of Lacey and Brandon’s private battle.
  3. A Covent Garden Mystery — A Bow Street Runner and a man from the Thames River Police have asked Lacey to help them look into the disappearances of “game girls” from Covent Garden. But when the goings-on in Covent Garden put his daughter–in London his estranged wife and her paramour, a French officer– in grave danger, Lacey’s crusade turns personal. He will do anything, and call in any favor from anyone, in order to protect his own Gabriella.
  4. A Death in Norfolk — September 1817. Captain Gabriel Lacey travels with Lady Breckenridge to his boyhood home in northern Norfolk only to discover mysterious happenings in and around the Lacey estate. A young woman has gone missing, strange objects appear in Lacey’s ruined house, and the dark windmills on the marshes keep pulling Lacey to them. Soon enough, Lacey finds himself joining forces with the underworld criminal, James Denis to flush out a brutal killer and save the one person about whom Denis admits to caring.

   

  1. A Disappearance in Drury Lane — Winter 1818. As Captain Gabriel Lacey prepares to leave for his upcoming wedding, he’s interrupted by his former neighbor, Marianne Simmons, who is concerned about an actress friend who’s gone missing. The search for the actress takes Lacey from the assembly rooms of the upper-classes to behind the scenes at the Royal Theatre in Drury Lane, where he finds darkness in all corners.
  2. Murder in Grosvenor Square — Captain Gabriel Lacey begins spring 1818 preparing for a duel. But while he focuses on the affair of honor, darkness, greed, and death stalks the streets of London and bring tragedy to a family Lacey has grown close to. With the aid of Lucius Grenville, London’s most famous dandy, and Brewster, a ruffian employed by an underworld criminal, Lacey explores the world of molly houses and the double lives some men of society lead.
  3. The Thames River Murders — Captain Lacey is asked by Thompson of the Thames River Police to help him investigate a cold case–the murder of a woman found near the docks Thompson patrols. As he’s entering a part of society that is closed to outsiders, he must also deal with his daughter’s debut and more developments in his new domestic life.
  4. The Alexandria Affair — Lucius Grenville at last persuades Captain Lacey to join him in an expedition to Egypt, to visit various ancient sites. Lacey is excited to go, though torn about leaving his new family. He discovers, though, that the burgeoning market for antiquities has made Egypt’s ancient history open for plunder, bringing forth ruthless men who will not stop short of murder for the sake of a fortune.

 

  1. A Mystery at Carlton House — December 1818. Captain Lacey is drawn into affairs of the highest in the land when his friend Grenville is asked by the Prince Regent to look into odd happenings in his lavish abode of Carlton House. Objects of value have gone missing, paintings and sculptures have been moved, and some of the staff have reported strange sounds and movements in the shadows.
  2. Murder in St. Giles — London, 1819. When Brewster, Lacey’s bodyguard, comes to see him about a murder of a pugilist, the captain must hasten to St. Giles to find a killer before Brewster is arrested for the crime.
  3. Death at Brighton Pavilion — Captain Lacey must discover who killed a man at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, and it might have been Gabriel himself.