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review 2018-08-23 12:11
"Murder At Half Moon Gate - Wrexford and Sloane #2" by Andrea Penrose - zestful Regency mystery
Murder at Half Moon Gate - Andrea Penrose

The first few pages of "Murder At Half Moon Gate" provoked, Ant, my inner pedant, into a rant about misused words, fluffy or impossible descriptions and misquoted sayings. You can see his points here


With most books that would have been enough to push them onto my DNF pile. "Murder At Half Moon Gate" I not only persisted with but thoroughly enjoyed.


The things that so irritated Ant faded into the background like canned-laughter on a comedy or comically over-the-top spooky music in a horror film.


What came to the foreground was energetic fun.  


This is a tale of mystery, action and deeply constrained romance in a pantomime version of Regency London that verges on SteamPunk, that is told with so much zest and brio that I wanted to applaud. This is a world where pluck matters, where the right thing is clear, where the baddies are damned black-souled cads and the goodies are charismatic in a stiff-lipped, tightly-buttoned-up-but-with-the-buttons-under-strain kind of way.


This time the plot revolves around discovering the murderer of an altruistic inventor of a better steam engine, found slain in the stews of London. We have themes around the industrial revolution, the painful disruption caused by change, the constraints placed on women and the newly emerged idea of patents.


Our two main protagonists; Lord Wrexford, the flinty, irascible aristocrat with an interest in science and Mrs Sloane, widow and outcast with a secret identity as Quill a much-feared satirical cartoonist continue to bounce off one another and to change one another. Secrets are disclosed, trust built, lives risked and saved and beneath it all, that essential ingredient: unresolved sexual tension - of the polite but intense Regency kind.


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review 2018-04-11 09:36
Murder at Half Moon Gate (Wrexford & Sloane Mystery, #2)
Murder at Half Moon Gate - Andrea Penrose

I like these books; the first one had some plotting problems towards the end, but this one offered a much tighter and surprising story.  The author does an excellent job with atmosphere and setting too, although I can't comment on historical anachronisms.  Penrose does include an author note at the end discussing the backdrop of the story and offering some non-fiction titles for further reading.


There's a stronger element of romance to these books than there were in the previous historical mysteries by Penrose, but it's not at all overbearing, and the characters are much more sympathetic.  I was worried the author was going to drag Charlotte's big dreaded secret out even longer into a 3rd book, but she pulled it out right at the end (and spoiler - it's not even a little shocking).  I continue to like the two waifs Charlotte has taken under her wing too; I generally don't like kids in my mysteries much, but they work here and they're never purposefully cute or cloying.  


I'd put this series in just about the same class as the Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber - so if you like those, you might enjoy these.

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review 2018-03-13 02:15
Half Moon Chambers (Audiobook) - DNF
Half Moon Chambers - Harper Fox

I should've read the blurb. And I should've followed my gut when this started with a sex scene. But it's Harper Fox, right? Nope. Unprofessional professional. Cop sleeps with a witness. DNF. :(


Narrator was okay.

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review 2018-02-11 18:20
Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford - My Thoughts
Fish Stick Fridays - Rhys Ford

Bless Rhys Ford.  Whenever I need a go-to book because the one I've just finished has been awful and enraged me or managed to rip my heart out and leave me with a book hangover, I know I can go to a Rhys book and sink into an adventurous love story that hits most, if not all, of my sweetspots. 

I loved the two main characters of this book right off.  Rough and tumble Deke and the more reticent and maybe even proper, Lang.  And Deke's niece, Zig, well, she's just a special creature unto herself!  And these three were exactly what I needed after the dark and dreary of the book I had just finished. 

It's Rhys, so there had to be at least one dead body.  :)  But the main thing was that Deke and Lang met, they connected and they fell in love.  I thought they complimented each other perfectly and their banter... Oh, Rhys was definitely 'on' when she wrote this one.  I laughed out loud on more than one occasion.  But there is darkness.  After all, Deke and Zig have had pretty shitty lives up until they arrive in Half Moon Bay. 

So, Rhys does what Rhys does and soothes my mind with a terrific romance and I'm very pleased that I still have a few unread Rhys novels in my TBR.  

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review 2018-01-29 12:55
Half Moon Bay by BenLMoore
Half Moon Bay - BenLMoore

A dark fic in which Sam comes back from death changed. 

'Sam was bright-eyed and alert. He'd never shut up this long since he started to talk. (First word the same as his last: "Dean")
This thing wearing Sam’s face was silent as a bone.'

N.B. Ignore the fly, nothing to do with Sam's transformation.

Source: archiveofourown.org/works/12838650
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