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The Glass House
Captain Gabriel Lacey #3

By Ashley Gardner

      Captain Gabriel Lacey left the army under a cloud and now lives alone, sad and penniless in Regency London. He has a wealthy benefactor in the shape of Lucius Grenville, who stumps up the money in return for being able to participate in detection. Not far away, Lacey has his former superior officer and ex-best friend (now his enemy) and his beautiful wife Louisa. When he finds a woman's body being fished out of the river one evening, he is determined to find out who killed her and why. This will lead him and Grenville to the Glass House, London's most decadent and exclusive brothel and beyond.

      If you were a fan of Kate Ross, then this is another series of Regency whodunits, but nothing like Ross' work at all. Downbeat and rather gritty, The Glass House stresses the half-lives of those born to be gentlefolk but without means or the prospect of lucrative work. It exposes the seamy underbelly of London, where vice and abject poverty are side by side with wealth and fashion. Told in Gabriel's own words, this is a compelling tale that mixes social commentary with detection. It offers a fairly small cast of well defined characters who are shown warts and all. If you like realism rather than cozy, then this ought to suit.

Other reviews in this series

The Hanover Square Affair #1 [amazon]
A Regimental Murder # 2 [review]
The Glass House #3 [review]
The Sudbury School Murders #4 [review]
A Body in Berkeley Square #5 [review]
A Covent Garden Mystery #6 [review]
Death in Norfolk #7 [review]
A Disappearance in Drury Lane [review]

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Group USA)
December 2004
Historical Crime [1817, London]

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005