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Publisher's Summary

The Earl of Wrexford possesses a brilliant scientific mind, but boredom and pride lead him to reckless behavior. He does not suffer fools gladly. So when pompous, pious Reverend Josiah Holworthy publicly condemns him for debauchery, Wrexford unsheathes his rapier-sharp wit and strikes back. As their war of words escalates, London's most popular satirical cartoonist, A. J. Quill, skewers them both. But then the clergyman is found slain in a church - his face burned by chemicals, his throat slashed ear to ear - and Wrexford finds himself the chief suspect.

An artist in her own right, Charlotte Sloane has secretly slipped into the persona of her late husband, using his nom de plume, A. J. Quill. When Wrexford discovers her true identity, she fears it will be her undoing. But he has a proposal - use her sources to unveil the clergyman's clandestine involvement in questionable scientific practices and unmask the real murderer. Soon Lord Wrexford and the mysterious Mrs. Sloane plunge into a dangerous shadow world hidden among London's intellectual enclaves to trap a cunning adversary - before they fall victim to the next experiment in villainy.

©2017 Andrea DaRif (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Murder on Black Swan Lane

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Intriguing mystery with sub par characters

The best part of this book was the set up, up to the point where the main characters meet. After that, I felt as though the author was just parading her dark and moody aristocrat back and forth to prove how dark and moody he was.

I liked Charlotte a lot, but I think she was under used. It didn't seem she could do anything without it being validated by Wrexford. I did appreciate that she contributed, but at the end, it was the Wrexford show.

The conclusion of the book wasn't terribly satisfying and should have wrapped up an hour sooner, it was very slow going and didn't really add to the plot. As soon as Charlotte and Wrexford figured out who the culprit was, the book lost steam and tried to make up for it with overbearing sentimentality over characters.

I don't regret reading this book, but I do regret buying it.

Minor gripe: The Earl of Wrexford is never told Charlotte Sloane's first name, but refers to her as Charlotte in his head. This bothered me more than it should have lol

52 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great new series!

Fascinating incorporation of Regency scientific developments coupled with believable characters you'll love to root for. Steeped in the historical period, the story has the perfect balance of plot, action and suspense. Fans of Anne Perry, Will Thomas, and Victorian Thompson will be delighted, This is a must read.

71 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Needs to infuse the comedy

The narrator read the story dreadfully dead panned. The caricatures of the primary protags had a lot of satire, irony and wiliness that was not highlighted as it should have been. We know all these characters from other books but are willing to see them in a new light. But a little editing and a saucier narrator could make this book more compelling.

21 people found this helpful

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Fantastic English Mystery!

Excellent story. Mystery was tight and just the right pace for an old-fashioned English mystery. Loved the characters and their interactions. Romance was no more than a whisper of possibility. I so look forward to the next book by this author!

100 people found this helpful

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Gaslight thriller

Loved this book! Less than half way through I was looking to see if there were others by this author. I'm hoping this was the first of a series. Great characters and perfect narration. Thank you!

59 people found this helpful

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Wickedly Awesome

I had to Google quite a number of things, as my history books didn't contain all the rich data of this era. It's well written, and, by my Googling, seems well researched and accurate for the timeframe.

I learned quite a lot, simply by listening to this tale of murder, drama, deceit, & scandal.
Wonderful.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Tedious

I just could not warm to this book--especially the Earl of Wrexford, the main character. It began with a rather hard to follow prologue, but it did get better after that. For a while it was fairly engaging, till it began to sag in the middle. There are many books where the protagonist is not particularly likeable, yet they are interesting characters, which keeps me connected. I didn't feel that way about this one. I believe the author had some good ideas, and much of this book is a good listen, but I found myself with flagging attention too often, so I finally gave up about three quarters of the way through. I did try to like it, but guess it was simply not my personal cup of tea. Your taste may be different.

111 people found this helpful

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Dragged on

Another review nailed when they called this book “Tedious”, it really is! It dragged on to the point where I stopped listening and just paid attention to folding clothes! I never liked the Earl, I think the author made a mistake here in not giving him more redeeming value. I don’t know, maybe she did in the end, but I found folding clothes more interesting than finding out.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

A good story, a little long, and a little too predictable.

I enjoy a good historical thriller. This is a good solid thriller. It’s a little too long for my taste, and it’s a little too predictable. Anyone who’s read enough of these types of stories can see where the stories going from the very beginning. Overall because this is the first of what looks like a series, I think it was a very good first attempt. I definitely am going to read the follow up book due out in March

48 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Has potential

I wouldn’t say this is a fantastic novel, but I do like the concept. It is similar to other series (e.g. the Sebastian St. Clair series), but it is lacking some polish in terms of character development in particular. I would read another in the series to see whether it gets stronger.

22 people found this helpful