by Andrea Penrose
Series: Wrexford & Sloane #4
Publication Date: September 21, 2020
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Mystery
The murder of a shipping clerk…the strange disappearance of trusted friends…rumors of corruption within the powerful East India Company…all add up to a thrillingly dark mystery…
When Lady Cordelia, a brilliant mathematician, and her brother, Lord Woodbridge, disappear from London, rumors swirl concerning fraudulent bank loans and a secret consortium engaged in an illicit—and highly profitable—trading scheme that threatens the entire British economy. The incriminating evidence mounts, but for Charlotte and Wrexford, it’s a question of loyalty and friendship. And so they begin a new investigation to clear the siblings’ names, uncover their whereabouts, and unravel the truth behind the whispers.
As they delve into the murky world of banking and international arbitrage, Charlotte and Wrexford also struggle to navigate their increasingly complex feelings for each other. But the clock is ticking—a cunning mastermind has emerged . . . along with some unexpected allies—and Charlotte and Wrexford must race to prevent disasters both economic and personal as they are forced into a dangerous match of wits in an attempt to beat the enemy at his own game.
I’ve really enjoyed the first three books in this series, and though I enjoyed this one too it was a bit heavy on the sentimentality.
Penrose crafts her plots around fictionalised versions of real historic events, and this time around it’s mathematical machines and financial shenanigans that may or may not involve the East India Company. Her historical knowledge always adds an extra depth to the story, and a well plotted mystery makes it even better.
Charlotte has built quite a scooby gang around her and Wexford, and the characters are fully fleshed and they’re easy to care about and cheer for. But the dynamic between Wexford and Charlotte has become increasingly sentimental to the point of down right syrupy. The sentiments are lovely, but just a little too much for my tastes. I was also getting aggravated at the overuse of the word ‘dastards’.
I’m still a fan, but I’m hoping the next book will regain a little of the edge the first couple had.