"She took an involuntary step back ....Wind-whipped hair, dark as coal, tangled around his face. At first, all Charlotte could make out was a prominent nose, long and with an arrogant flare to its tip. But as he took another stride closer, the rest of his features snapped into sharper focus. A sensuous mouth, high cheekbones, green eyes, darkened with an undertone of gunmetal grey. Ye god, surely it couldn't be...."
THE EARL OF WREXFORD. He may have a brilliant scientific mind, but he's also a bit arrogant and reckless, too, especially when it comes to his own reputation. He's also the main suspect in the recent murder of the Reverend Josiah Holworthy.
CHARLOTTE SLOANE. A young widow and artist, she earns her money drawing satirical cartoons and caricatures of the rich and famous under the nom de plume A.J. Quill. She knows more secrets than she should and the Earl of Wrexford is one of her favorite targets.
In order to clear his own name, Wrexford seeks out the notorious Quill, discovers Charlotte's true identity, and convinces her to share some of her secret sources and informants with him....for a price, of course. Together they form a reluctant partnership, determined to ferret out all the secrets surrounding the Reverend's death before the Bow Street runners come for him.
Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose is the first book in a series revolving around these two engaging and unique characters. It's set in Regency London, and it's fabulous. I loved everything about it, from Raven and Hawk, the two young street urchins who assist Charlotte in her work, to Wrexford's well-educated and acerbic valet, Tyler. Charlotte's and Wrexford's investigation even leads them down the strange path of alchemy and to a secret society. It's great. I can't wait to read Murder at Half Moon Gate, the next book in this entertaining mystery series.