Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Sudbury School Murders
Captain Gabriel Lacey #4

by Ashley Gardner

    Captain Gabriel Lacey is back for a fourth adventure, this time away from his gloomy but eventful life in London and off to honest employment at a boys' public school. Employed as a secretary to the irascible headmaster Everard Rutledge, things seem quiet enough until he sees somebody he recognizes working in the school's stables. Soon after, he is found murdered and one of his co-workers (who is conveniently a gypsy) is hauled off to answer for it. Lacey is sure he hasn't done it, and is also keen to get to the bottom of the increasingly dangerous pranks that somebody is playing. Grenville can hardly miss out on the opportunity of a case, so soon the two are once again embroiled in a murder case.

      In the first three books it seemed as though Lacey was caught up in a melancholy trap of his own making, and so it is good to see him elsewhere and with something to do. But one of the themes of this series is that nobody can escape himself (or herself) and this is just as true in this book. Amongst Gabriel's own gloomy words and encounters with his past there is a gripping tale, and a small cast of well-defined characters old and new. Regency England, town and country is shown in these books in a realistic light so there is as much to enjoy reading the author's descriptions of places and customs as there is in the story. Running through all these books is Lacey's own story, and finding out what will befall him and his friends (and enemies) next makes for compelling reading. Something of a page-turner.

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
June 2005
Historical Crime [1817, London & Berkshire]

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005