The Thames River Murders by Ashley Gardner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Intriguing, Great Combination of Characters and Mystery
"I was unfortunately drawn to intrigue, especially when it involved a poor individual who couldn't fight back, or who had lost against a stronger opponent."
FINAL DECISION: One of the better books in the series, this book deftly combines the elements of mystery and romance along with characters that are well-drawn and intriguing. The new overarching story that begins here is especially good. Can't wait until the next book.
THE STORY: Captain Lacey, settling into his happy marriage with his combined family, is asked to investigate a cold case. A young woman's body was found in the river ten years ago and her identity and murder were never solved. Lacey also has to deal with his daughter's debut which is rattling him and with a blackmailer who is threatening him.
OPINION: This is one of the best integrated Lacey books. The mystery is neatly balanced with Lacey's relationship with his wife, his concerns about this daughter's debut, his budding relationship with his stepson and a new overarching mystery concerning attempted blackmail. The best part of these books to me is learning more about Lacey and his friends and family and seeing how his life progresses. This book is rich regarding those stories. Any fears that a happy home life might make Lacey dull can be dismissed. It is quite amusing to see Lacey be a grumpy father trying to scare off his daughter's suitors.
The mystery of the book is also a good one that brings Lacey in contact with both old favorite characters and some intriguing new ones. Lacey also steps into a new world -- that of the Jews living in London and both Lacey and the reader learn about that group of people living in London. One of Lacey's best qualities is his ability to cross social, cultural, and ethnic boundaries in his investigations and this book continues that tradition.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book ends on a high note with a new very intriguing mystery concerning who is trying to blackmail Lacey.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE THAMES RIVER MURDERS is the tenth book in the Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries series. This book, like each in the series, has a self contained mystery and thus can be read as a standalone. For me, however, the best part in the series is the continuing story of Lacey and his friends and family. These stories continue from book to book. Indeed, this book starts are new overarching mystery concerning Lacey and the blackmailer.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
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