Sentence: Marianne Simmons came to me on a cold December
day when I was packing away my old life in order to begin
Captain Gabriel Lacey is preparing for his wedding to the
lovely Donata, his former neighbor, actress Marianne Simmons,
asks him to look for a fellow actress who is missing. This
is not a simple request, as there are very dangerous men involved,
as well as criminal James Denis, which whom Lacey has an uncomfortable
Gardner’s voice, both in dialogue and text, is reflective
of the period. The historical information incorporated within
the story brings it to life; i.e., that different theaters
were licensed for different types of performances; the spoken
word and dramas versus operas or musicals; and the slave trade
laws of the period. We also learn the schedule of staying
out late and not rising until noon that is the life of the
wealthy entitled. The descriptions put us right at Lacey’s
side…”A thin dusting of snow coated the ground
to either side of the wide, mile-long drive to Pembroke Court.
The drive ended in front of the large manor, it’s bricks
golden even n the weak winter sunshine.”
It is the characters, however, that really bring the book
to life. We gain insight into Lacey’s childhood and
life with his father, as well as an explanation as to why
he’s marrying Donata; a woman much higher in rank and
wealth. Donata is an excellent character. She is a widow,
with a son who is heir to a title and estate. She both emotionally
supports Lacey and stands up to him.
Lacey is surrounded by interesting characters. Marianne, who
once stole candles and food from his rooms, is now mistress
to his very wealthy friend. Felicity is a woman of mixed blood.
James Denis is very dangerous, yet fascinating. Lacey’s
daughter Gabriella, is someone of whom he only recently learned
A Disappearance in Drury Lane is a very good read
with things tied up in a way that is clever, yet not contrived.
It is a series I’m glad to have found, and to know that
it will continue.