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Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens

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The upcoming marriage of the Earl of Wrexford and Lady Charlotte Sloane promises to be a highlight of the season, if they can first untangle--and survive--a web of intrigue and murder involving the most brilliant scientific minds in Regency London... One advantage of being caught up in a whirl of dress fittings and decisions about flower arrangements and breakfast menu The upcoming marriage of the Earl of Wrexford and Lady Charlotte Sloane promises to be a highlight of the season, if they can first untangle--and survive--a web of intrigue and murder involving the most brilliant scientific minds in Regency London... One advantage of being caught up in a whirl of dress fittings and decisions about flower arrangements and breakfast menus is that Charlotte Sloane has little time for any pre-wedding qualms. Her love for Wrexford isn't in question. But will being a wife--and a Countess--make it difficult for her to maintain her independence--not to mention, her secret identity as famed satirical artist A.J. Quill? Despite those concerns, there are soon even more urgent matters to attend to during Charlotte and Wrexford's first public outing as an engaged couple. At a symposium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, a visiting botanist suffers a fatal collapse. The traces of white powder near his mouth reveal the dark truth--he was murdered. Drawn into the investigation, Charlotte and the Earl learn of the victim's involvement in a momentous medical discovery. With fame and immense fortune at stake, there's no shortage of suspects, including some whose ruthlessness is already known. But neither Charlotte nor her husband-to-be can realize how close the danger is about to get--or to what lengths this villain is prepared to go...


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The upcoming marriage of the Earl of Wrexford and Lady Charlotte Sloane promises to be a highlight of the season, if they can first untangle--and survive--a web of intrigue and murder involving the most brilliant scientific minds in Regency London... One advantage of being caught up in a whirl of dress fittings and decisions about flower arrangements and breakfast menu The upcoming marriage of the Earl of Wrexford and Lady Charlotte Sloane promises to be a highlight of the season, if they can first untangle--and survive--a web of intrigue and murder involving the most brilliant scientific minds in Regency London... One advantage of being caught up in a whirl of dress fittings and decisions about flower arrangements and breakfast menus is that Charlotte Sloane has little time for any pre-wedding qualms. Her love for Wrexford isn't in question. But will being a wife--and a Countess--make it difficult for her to maintain her independence--not to mention, her secret identity as famed satirical artist A.J. Quill? Despite those concerns, there are soon even more urgent matters to attend to during Charlotte and Wrexford's first public outing as an engaged couple. At a symposium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, a visiting botanist suffers a fatal collapse. The traces of white powder near his mouth reveal the dark truth--he was murdered. Drawn into the investigation, Charlotte and the Earl learn of the victim's involvement in a momentous medical discovery. With fame and immense fortune at stake, there's no shortage of suspects, including some whose ruthlessness is already known. But neither Charlotte nor her husband-to-be can realize how close the danger is about to get--or to what lengths this villain is prepared to go...

30 review for Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens

  1. 5 out of 5

    Juliet

    I'm really enjoying this series of romantic historical mysteries. In this novel the botanical details are in keeping with this author's meticulous research - a feature of the whole series. It's always fun to follow the adventures of these intriguing characters. I'm really enjoying this series of romantic historical mysteries. In this novel the botanical details are in keeping with this author's meticulous research - a feature of the whole series. It's always fun to follow the adventures of these intriguing characters.

  2. 5 out of 5

    fleurette

    Good historical mystery with a group of nice characters. We have quite a large group of interesting characters here. Starting with the main ones - Charlotte Sloane and her fiancé Wrexford. There are also Charlotte's wards as well as employees and friends of her and Wrexford. I really liked the relationship between all these characters, based on deep respect and love if not family ties. As you can see clearly in the case of Sloan and Wrexford, for example. I also think that the story has been well Good historical mystery with a group of nice characters. We have quite a large group of interesting characters here. Starting with the main ones - Charlotte Sloane and her fiancé Wrexford. There are also Charlotte's wards as well as employees and friends of her and Wrexford. I really liked the relationship between all these characters, based on deep respect and love if not family ties. As you can see clearly in the case of Sloan and Wrexford, for example. I also think that the story has been well spread between different characters, reflecting their skills and personalities. The plot was very interesting and nicely twisted. The entire book begins with a strong scene in which the body of a scientist who was about to present his groundbreaking discovery is found. Our main characters Sloane and Wrexford are soon drawn into a search for the murderer. The action is fast-paced, and the MCs show intelligence and insight. The ending is well thought out and original. This was my first encounter with these characters, and this is the fifth book in this series. But it was not the slightest problem. I quickly got to know all the characters and understood the relationships between them. I also have only minimal and necessary knowledge about the events in previous books, so if I decide to read them, I won't have everything spoiled. I like the characters and would love to meet them again in the next books in this series. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good entertainment in historical mystery, whether or not they have read any previous books in this series. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Randi Annie Framnes

    Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens is book 5 in the Wrexford and Sloan series by Andrea Penrose, published by Kensington. The story is set in London 1812 and continues the story of the Earl of Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane this time taking part in a symposium when a prominent botanist is found dead. The victim was about to make a huge medical invention public without planning to make a fortune off of it which might have enticed any present member of the symposium to commit the murder and steal Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens is book 5 in the Wrexford and Sloan series by Andrea Penrose, published by Kensington. The story is set in London 1812 and continues the story of the Earl of Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane this time taking part in a symposium when a prominent botanist is found dead. The victim was about to make a huge medical invention public without planning to make a fortune off of it which might have enticed any present member of the symposium to commit the murder and steal the needed papers to produce the medicine. Wedding planning is put on hold while the couple investigates and Charlotte is worrying about what marrying and becoming Countess of Wrexford might do to her independence and secret identity as satirical artist A.J.Quill. Main character is Lady Carlotte Sloan works as satirical artist A.J. Quill and the secrecy of this activity seems to have made her independent, but somewhat lonely. She takes care of two orphan street urchins, which shows she has a good heart. I find her relatable and my favorite character. Supporting main character Anthony, Earl of Wrexford, is the hot tempered scientist with connections which helps conjure up information which helps the investigation, but has a lethal tongue that frightens people who don’t know him. I find his character relatable in his own way as I have met quite a few similar personalities. I have feel quite familiar with the characters of this series as I have read several. Starting this story felt a bit like coming home to family with the housekeeper mothering Charlotte’s two orphan street urchins making sure they behaved well while Charlotte and Wrexford were off on their investigation. I enjoyed the continued storyline of the series and felt happy for Charlotte to have found her “Mr. Right”. I am excited to learn what the future might look like for them. I found the plot stood out as interesting and quite a novelty as I have not read any murder mysteries with a similar plot before and certainly not one set in a botanical garden. How a humble element like a medicinal plant might become the dramatic element in a murder mystery was something I have never considered before, but greed for money is a motive very well known. My favorite part of this story is how Charlotte is thinking about what changes marriage is going to make for her personal and professional life. I love that she considers more elements of her life than title and privilege. She is going to become Countess of Wrexford with a privileged, but more public lifestyle. Secrecy and anonymity needed to work as A.J. Quill might become more difficult. I find it easy as a woman to relate to this kind of thoughts. I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys murder mysteries and fans of the author’s previous works in particular. Similar authors to explore might be Dianne Freeman or Anna Lee Huber. Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for this opportunity to share my honest review. All opinions are completely my own. Conclusion: Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens continues the investigations of Wrexford and Sloan as they investigate the murder of a prominent botanist who has made a momentous medical discovery, but has no plans to make money from it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Plant secrets to kill for! The last thing you expect to come upon at an “ elegantly civilized…international symposium of botany scholars and wealthy patrons of science” with leading scientific minds at the Royal Botanic Gardens, is a body! Not just any body, but that of visiting scientist, Josiah Becton! And just as that poor man is in the conservatory breathing in the ambient, rich fragrances, “The essence of life.” Ironic! Here’s the thing. This is the first grand social event as Wrexham’s futur Plant secrets to kill for! The last thing you expect to come upon at an “ elegantly civilized…international symposium of botany scholars and wealthy patrons of science” with leading scientific minds at the Royal Botanic Gardens, is a body! Not just any body, but that of visiting scientist, Josiah Becton! And just as that poor man is in the conservatory breathing in the ambient, rich fragrances, “The essence of life.” Ironic! Here’s the thing. This is the first grand social event as Wrexham’s future countess, Lady Charlotte Sloane, already anxious, is slated to attend. A death might calm her nerves, but her involvement with it might not endear herself to high society, Although, as McLellan, that is Mac, their housekeeper cum lady’s maid points out, “ As a married lady—and one with a high-ranking title—you’ll merely be considered eccentric when you break the rules, not scandalous.” Scandalous or not, neither the Earl of Wrexford and Lady Charlotte (secretly, the famed satirist A.J. Quill) will hold back when they realise that what seems to be a heart attack, could be murder. Any investigation might endanger their family, including the weasels, and that a prime candidate for evil deeds Justinian DeVere is back in the country, attending this symposium. What they don’t realize they’ve stumbled upon is a matter that will affects nations. Add to this Charlotte’s reunion with her family, the arrival of an old friend from Rome, and the rumours of a possible amazing botanical medical breakthrough. This is a riveting read! Charlotte is attuned to Wrexford, is certain this is the step she wishes to take, but still questions around her future as A.J. Quill trouble her. The weasels, Raven and Hawk, are developing into interesting young men. The cool Wrexham is assuming more warmth, flagging to a dangerous heat when fears for his rather unusual bride-to-be. Including the ready made family he’s taking on, along of course with all his other friends that have mostly come his way since he and Charlotte (Charlie) first bumped shoulders. I love the Charlie side of Charlotte when she lets that persona rip. I do love the banter between Wrexham and the Bow street Runner Griffon, especially around eating. Atmospheric, believable and compelling! I couldn’t put this down! A Kensington Books ARC via NetGalley Please note: Quotes taken from an advanced reading copy maybe subject to change

  5. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. Wrexford and Sloane are trying to plan their wedding when a botanist is murdered at, you guessed it, the Royal Botanical Gardens. The duo reluctantly investigate. An old enemy shows up. Wrexford acts like Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. If he weren't a Lord, somebody would punch him in the face. Not bad, but perhaps I should have started this series at the beginning. I won this book in a goodreads drawing. Wrexford and Sloane are trying to plan their wedding when a botanist is murdered at, you guessed it, the Royal Botanical Gardens. The duo reluctantly investigate. An old enemy shows up. Wrexford acts like Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. If he weren't a Lord, somebody would punch him in the face. Not bad, but perhaps I should have started this series at the beginning.

  6. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens by Andrea Penrose may be the fifth book in the series but the mysteries are always fresh. From the first page to the last I did not want to put the book down. A swiftly paced plot, diabolical villains, suspects that were from all social levels within England and Europe and deft twists and turns that kept me guessing as to who was behind the evil deeds. I loved how Ms. Penrose allowed me to see how Kit has turned his life around and the doubts that are now cloud Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens by Andrea Penrose may be the fifth book in the series but the mysteries are always fresh. From the first page to the last I did not want to put the book down. A swiftly paced plot, diabolical villains, suspects that were from all social levels within England and Europe and deft twists and turns that kept me guessing as to who was behind the evil deeds. I loved how Ms. Penrose allowed me to see how Kit has turned his life around and the doubts that are now clouding Charlotte's mind as the wedding looms closer. It was interesting to see how Wrex's devotion to Charlotte, Raven and Hawk has grown as they become his family. Murders, trust issues, friends, family and a touch of romance kept the story moving at just the perfect pace to the exciting rescue. I have read every book in this series and find that each one becomes my favorite until the next one comes out. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Barbara’s rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars Series: Wrexford & Sloane #5 Publication Date: 9/28/21 Period: Regency London Number of Pages: 304 I love this series because of the unique characters, their myriad backgrounds, how they came together, and how their relationships have developed – not to mention the great mysteries they solve. Your enjoyment of this book, and this series, would be enhanced, I believe, if you read at least the first book in the series first. Our characters have grown and evolved so much Barbara’s rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars Series: Wrexford & Sloane #5 Publication Date: 9/28/21 Period: Regency London Number of Pages: 304 I love this series because of the unique characters, their myriad backgrounds, how they came together, and how their relationships have developed – not to mention the great mysteries they solve. Your enjoyment of this book, and this series, would be enhanced, I believe, if you read at least the first book in the series first. Our characters have grown and evolved so much since that first book – and it would help you to know where they all began. I’ve read and loved each of the books in the series and I’ve loved how the characters have grown. The setup for the mystery and investigation takes a little while, and to some, it might seem to be a bit too slow-paced at first. However, I thought it was perfect because all of the characters had to be introduced, the crime had to occur, the background set, etc. so the investigation could really take off. This one was a real doozie – there were red herrings aplenty, co-conspirators within co-conspirators, and motives within motives. You’ll definitely not figure this one out until the end. There are clues, but picking them out and putting them together is best left to the experts – Wrexford and Sloane. Wrexford and Charlotte are looking forward to their wedding in less than a month and they are choosing their social engagements very carefully. The purpose of those social engagements is to ease Charlotte into the ton before she becomes a countess. Charlotte is already Lady Charlotte, but with her history, they’ll have to be very astute in how they answer questions and gain acceptance. That is doubly true when it comes to explaining the existence of the Weasels – Charlotte’s wards – Raven and Hawk. Since Wrexford is known for his cool scientific interests and logic, they have chosen a series of events sponsored by the botanists of the Royal Society at the Royal Botanic Gardens as their initial foray into society. How taxing can a series of lectures and dinners with a bunch of botanists be? Well, when Mr. Becton, one of America’s representatives at the event, is found dead and it wasn’t from natural causes, things get taxing indeed. According to Mr. Becton’s friend, Mr. Hosack, leader of the American delegation, Becton was set to make the keynote speech that evening and he was to announce a major scientific breakthrough that would save thousands of lives. No one knows what that breakthrough is, what the formula is, or where any of Becton’s papers are kept. Charlotte and Wrexford are ready to stay out of the investigation and let Bow Street handle it until an old enemy (from the last book) rears his ugly head and threatens the Weasels. As the investigation continues and the suspects are being narrowed down – more deaths occur – and motives blur – and suspects become allies – and – well, it is just very busy with suspects, crimes, motives, governments who aren’t on particularly friendly terms at the time – especially with the nuptials looming and neither Charlotte nor Wexford intend to put those off. The final revelation and resolution is exciting and dangerous and yet it wraps up the case nicely. You’ll be turning the pages faster and faster to see what happens next and how they manage to thwart the bad guys. I can definitely recommend this book and this series. I will say I got a little tired of Charlotte’s angst. It just seemed out of character for her. She’s usually much more pragmatic. She may have a nagging worry, but she decides on a course of action and moves straight forward. She did have a good bit to be angsty about – her re-entry into society after years away, her upcoming wedding, and her reconciliation with her brother and other members of her family. However, that angst could have been mentioned less often. Our Charlotte just didn’t seem quite like our normal Charlotte. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Andrea Penrose is a very good writer, but I lost the connection I had with her characters in the first three stories of this series. They were just weeks away from getting married, but neither Wrexford nor Lady Charlotte had evolved. By now, the chemistry and burn I was hoping for was lukewarm at best. The Weasels loved ginger biscuits. Aunt Allison wanted more family time. McClellan continued to act more like a mother than a housekeeper and I thought Tyler needed more page-time. Quotes in Latin Andrea Penrose is a very good writer, but I lost the connection I had with her characters in the first three stories of this series. They were just weeks away from getting married, but neither Wrexford nor Lady Charlotte had evolved. By now, the chemistry and burn I was hoping for was lukewarm at best. The Weasels loved ginger biscuits. Aunt Allison wanted more family time. McClellan continued to act more like a mother than a housekeeper and I thought Tyler needed more page-time. Quotes in Latin and historical facts were one of Ms. Penrose’s strong suits. Another strength was maintaining a creative atmosphere in the Regency era. There were multiple plots, twists and overall subterfuge, but it was over the halfway mark before the action kicked in. Before that, it was lots of telling, not showing. I thought the author got caught up trying to maintain numerous historical facts in connection with the mystery. My overall rating of three stars was because of the reasonable, but sober plot. The suspenseful resolution had a nice twist, but the MCs lacked the magical spark that would have made it really good. A big thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishers for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this story in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Patty Killion

    4 Stars First I must mention that this book is to released September 28, 2021. What a wonderful surprise to to win Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens written by Andrea Penrose. I won this ARC on Goodreads! Thank you Goodreads. What was so great about winning THIS book is that it is the fifth book in A Wexford and Sloane Historical Mystery Series. I have already read the first four books. In fact it is one of my most dearest series I have ever read. In this fifth installment we are able to peek ove 4 Stars First I must mention that this book is to released September 28, 2021. What a wonderful surprise to to win Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens written by Andrea Penrose. I won this ARC on Goodreads! Thank you Goodreads. What was so great about winning THIS book is that it is the fifth book in A Wexford and Sloane Historical Mystery Series. I have already read the first four books. In fact it is one of my most dearest series I have ever read. In this fifth installment we are able to peek over the shoulders of my most favorite cast of characters. You will root for Charlotte Sloane, the Earl of Wrexford and an adorable pair of street urchins (the Weasels) solving murders and mysteries during the early days of the industrial revolution in regency/science technology as a main element in the mystery. It highlights the upcoming marriage of the Earl of Wexford and Lady Charlotte Sloane that is...if they can stop tripping over dead bodies! What a better setting than Regency London, from the slums of St. Giles to the mansions of Mayfair. I could not recommend this series more! It is my utmost favorite! #MurderAtTheRoyalBotanicGardens

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Rice

    Another in the wonderful historical mystery series featuring Wrexford and Sloane, the earl and the satirical artist. In this one, the intrepid pair set out to find who murdered a scientist who had found a cure for malaria—and for the plant that might save millions. And they really need to solve this case before their wedding! The familiar cast of characters grows in depth and interest and are just as fascinating as the mystery.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    It was great to be back with Wrexford, Sloane and the Weasels plus all the recurring side characters. This story was a complicated one. There were two strands to it and at times it got a bit confusing. The plot was well done though and as usual the research was meticulous. There was quite a bit, in fact a lot about botany in it and it got tiresome at times. The romance between Wrexford and Sloane has always been understated but I had expected it to be more to the fore this time because of the we It was great to be back with Wrexford, Sloane and the Weasels plus all the recurring side characters. This story was a complicated one. There were two strands to it and at times it got a bit confusing. The plot was well done though and as usual the research was meticulous. There was quite a bit, in fact a lot about botany in it and it got tiresome at times. The romance between Wrexford and Sloane has always been understated but I had expected it to be more to the fore this time because of the wedding but other than being mentioned now and again it wasn't until the end it came more into the story. There were some great 'bad guys' and it was a darker story than she normally writes. It was very slow at the start and I was well into it before it picked up but the actual tie up of the mystery was brilliantly done. I would like to have seen more of Sheffield and Cordelia as they were great additions to the last book. Sheffield has been there from the start but hardly featured in this one. All in all very enjoyable and the descriptive writing was beautiful as usual. Grateful thanks to Kensington Books for the chance to read an early copy of this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)

    The Story: Josiah Becton, a visiting botanist is found dead at the Royal Botanic Gardens. White traces of powder was found near his mouth. Both Lady Charlotte and her fiancé, Earl of Wrexford inadvertently found themselves embroiled in this mystery. My thoughts: I have no idea that this is the fifth instalment in this series but the good thing is, it can totally be read as a standalone. There was just enough backstories that I did not feel that I miss out on anything at all! In fact, the The Story: Josiah Becton, a visiting botanist is found dead at the Royal Botanic Gardens. White traces of powder was found near his mouth. Both Lady Charlotte and her fiancé, Earl of Wrexford inadvertently found themselves embroiled in this mystery. My thoughts: I have no idea that this is the fifth instalment in this series but the good thing is, it can totally be read as a standalone. There was just enough backstories that I did not feel that I miss out on anything at all! In fact, the characters are so well-written that I could connect with them instantly! I find both Hawk and Raven (Charlotte's young ward) are such endearing characters. I liked how they played a role in the investigations too, working together with other street urchins. They remind me of Sherlock's Baker Street Irregulars. I loved it! The plot was a pretty complex one and did feel like a lot is going on but the investigations part make it interesting. I liked how each twist and clue slowly unravels the mystery that turned out to be so good! Overall, I enjoyed this book more than I expected! As always, I recommend reading the author's note. Some of the characters in this story were actually based on real life historical figures who had made significant contributions to botanical medicine during the Age of Enlightenment. Pub. Date: Sep 28, 2021 ***Thank you Kensington Books for this gifted copy to read and review. All opinions expressed are my own.***

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    Murder At The Royal Botanic Gardens is the fifth book in the Wrexford and Sloane series by Andrea Penrose. The wedding of Lady Charlotte and Earl of Wrexford is just weeks away, and there are last-minute tasks to be taken care of. But Wrexford has received an invitation from the Royal Society to attend a symposium they are sponsoring at the Royal Botanical Gardens. Heading the meeting will be Dr. Becton, an American scientist, presenting his paper on a medical breakthrough that may end up saving Murder At The Royal Botanic Gardens is the fifth book in the Wrexford and Sloane series by Andrea Penrose. The wedding of Lady Charlotte and Earl of Wrexford is just weeks away, and there are last-minute tasks to be taken care of. But Wrexford has received an invitation from the Royal Society to attend a symposium they are sponsoring at the Royal Botanical Gardens. Heading the meeting will be Dr. Becton, an American scientist, presenting his paper on a medical breakthrough that may end up saving lives all over the world. When Dr. Becton is found dead in one of the gardens, his friend Dr. Hosack asks Wrexford to check the body of Becton. The last thing Wrexford wants to do is get involved in an investigation that might interfere with his and Charlotte’s wedding. He reluctantly agrees when he finds a suspicious white powder on Becton’s lips. This decision is reinforced when Wrexford learns that Raven hid in some nearby plants in one of Charlotte’s wards. Plus, someone who nearly caused Charlotte’s death earlier has issued a threat on the lives of Raven and Hawk. Charlotte and Wrexford will be looking into several suspects. These involve an American Naval officer and a couple of unscrupulous shipping companies. Charlotte will have to don her street-urchin clothes, and Raven and Hawk will engage their friends to go undercover to find the killer. Even Charlotte’s housekeeper is involved in the thrilling ending. Besides her wedding and the investigation, Charlotte is looking forward with mixed emotions to meeting with her estranged brother. She hasn’t had contact with her family since her first marriage, except for Aunt Allison. This series is one of my favorite historical mysteries. The stories are well-written, and there were plenty of red herrings that kept me guessing until the end of the book as to who the killer was. The characters are all excellent and believable. I enjoy the banter between Charlotte and Wrexford when she feels that Wrexford is too protective. As always, Raven and Hawk are a delight. I also appreciated the Authors Notes which proved helpful in understanding the book’s setting. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in this informative and exciting series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    J Lewis

    This was what I call a “Transformation” book in a series. Our characters are evolving more and more into a family. FINALLY! (Operatic Voice.) It's so exciting! Usually, for me, these types of books are scary tricky and can make or break you, but this is a joy to read. Not only does Miss Penrose do an excellent job, but she was able to balance the changes and still write a good mystery. The Weasels are still as cute as ever and two of my favorite characters in the series. They always make me laug This was what I call a “Transformation” book in a series. Our characters are evolving more and more into a family. FINALLY! (Operatic Voice.) It's so exciting! Usually, for me, these types of books are scary tricky and can make or break you, but this is a joy to read. Not only does Miss Penrose do an excellent job, but she was able to balance the changes and still write a good mystery. The Weasels are still as cute as ever and two of my favorite characters in the series. They always make me laugh because of the antics that they pull. Wrexford and Sloane are like Peanut Butter and Jelly now and so stinkin’ adorable it hurts! I love the lovey-doveyness. If this is any indication of how they’ll be as a married couple, I like. I like it a lot. The journey so far has been exciting and has kept me on the edge of my seat too many times to count. I love that feeling, and I’m stoked to see where Miss Penrose takes us in the coming books.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    3 1/2 stars. The coming wedding of the Earl of Wrexford and Lady Charlotte Sloane is threatened by a murder during a symposium at the Royal Botanic Gardens. That does not even hint at the mystery and plot twists in this story that is sure to please all fans of this series and newcomers alike. This is one of my favorite historical mystery series. It has more substance than most; the plots often involve scientific discoveries and technological innovations that took place during the Regency period. 3 1/2 stars. The coming wedding of the Earl of Wrexford and Lady Charlotte Sloane is threatened by a murder during a symposium at the Royal Botanic Gardens. That does not even hint at the mystery and plot twists in this story that is sure to please all fans of this series and newcomers alike. This is one of my favorite historical mystery series. It has more substance than most; the plots often involve scientific discoveries and technological innovations that took place during the Regency period. This book deals with botanical remedies for diseases that decimated populations and killed more troops than battle. The series also includes well-developed characters who evolve over time and in their relationships with each other. This extends to the side characters as well, such as the friendship that develops between Wrexford and a Bow Street runner and their banter that often centers around food. It is a delight to see the familial relationship that grows between the Weasels, two street urchins, and Charlotte and Wrexford. The action takes a little while to get going and I thought there would be a little more chemistry between Wrexford and Charlotte, particularly since their wedding is so close, but it is more than made up for at the end with some big surprises and action. I really like this series and this is a good addition to it. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Regency Era. Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Andrea Penrose’s Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens (Wrexford & Sloane Historical Mysteries, #5) begins as Lady Charlotte Sloane is entering the festivities at the Royal Botanic Gardens, but this is only one event for which she must compose herself. In two weeks she is to marry Lord Wrexford “ Any intelligent, independent woman would likely be wrestling with the ramifications of such a momentous decision. After all, it was , in effect, a surrender of s Regency Era. Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Andrea Penrose’s Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens (Wrexford & Sloane Historical Mysteries, #5) begins as Lady Charlotte Sloane is entering the festivities at the Royal Botanic Gardens, but this is only one event for which she must compose herself. In two weeks she is to marry Lord Wrexford “ Any intelligent, independent woman would likely be wrestling with the ramifications of such a momentous decision. After all, it was , in effect, a surrender of self”. (Please remember the time era.) Lady Charlotte will also be meeting her brother after many years when she bucked tradition and eloped with an artist. Plus her brother will be meeting Raven and Hawk, the ‘weasels’ who she took off the streets and gave a home. Lady Charlotte’s plate is very full! Alas, a body is found at the Royal Botanic Gardens who was to be the main speaker revealing a key discovery. This soon to be united group searches for justice and what has been stolen from the Royal Botanic Gardens to the slums of London back to the homes of ‘the ton’ at Mayfair and finally, to the dockyards on the Thames. Will all be in time? Highly recommended. 5 stars.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andree

    I do just love this series. I love the found family. I love the loyalty the characters show each other. I love all the relationship development (not just the romantic relationship - this has some solid friendships, parental, and other family relationships). The reunion between Lady Charlotte and her brother was particularly satisfying (he's adorably lovely). I wish there had been an extra scene or two between Wrexford and Charlotte, but I'll live. The identity of one of the villains was perhaps I do just love this series. I love the found family. I love the loyalty the characters show each other. I love all the relationship development (not just the romantic relationship - this has some solid friendships, parental, and other family relationships). The reunion between Lady Charlotte and her brother was particularly satisfying (he's adorably lovely). I wish there had been an extra scene or two between Wrexford and Charlotte, but I'll live. The identity of one of the villains was perhaps a little out of the blue, but it's a mystery novel and I'll give that a pass because plot twists are a thing. I dunno, I haven't been finding reading as easy lately, but this I just fell into easily. This series just feels full of old friends at this point. And I always enjoy visiting them.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Roslyn Stillman

    This is the first book by this author that I have read and found it to be a very enjoyable read. Although it is a part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. I found the mystery very engaging and I like the fact the murder happened in the first few pages setting up the story and the mystery. There is a long underlying story that I would have liked to have read before this but is not necessary for you to understand the relationships and background. There was a lot of characters but they wer This is the first book by this author that I have read and found it to be a very enjoyable read. Although it is a part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. I found the mystery very engaging and I like the fact the murder happened in the first few pages setting up the story and the mystery. There is a long underlying story that I would have liked to have read before this but is not necessary for you to understand the relationships and background. There was a lot of characters but they were well written and you didn’t get lost with who was who. There were a few twists that kept you guessing. I will now look forward to going back and reading the books before. I received this an ARC and freely give my review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This is another superb instalment in this wonderful series which kept me enthralled throughout! The characters feel like old friends that I enjoy spending time with, and for each story the reader becomes more deeply embroiled in their lives. The story is fiendishly well plotted, with lots of twists and turns that keep you guessing and I was on tenterhooks, turning the pages to find out how it all fitted together. Alongside the crime solving are the relationships between the various characters wh This is another superb instalment in this wonderful series which kept me enthralled throughout! The characters feel like old friends that I enjoy spending time with, and for each story the reader becomes more deeply embroiled in their lives. The story is fiendishly well plotted, with lots of twists and turns that keep you guessing and I was on tenterhooks, turning the pages to find out how it all fitted together. Alongside the crime solving are the relationships between the various characters which are lovely to follow and give the books such an emotionally satisfying edge. All in all, absolutely loved it and can’t wait for the next one!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This was the fifth and perhaps final installment to this series. I have always found the relationship between Charlotte and Wexford interesting. While the mystery was okay, it felt like nothing new or interesting occurred. It was almost like this series has stalled. I enjoyed the ending and will never regret my time in this world. Thank you to Kensington Publishing Corporation and NetGalley for my review copy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kitty McIntosh

    I really enjoyed ‘Murder At The Royal Botanic Gardens’ by Andrea Penrose. This is the first in the series I’ve read, but I had no problem following the various threads. Charlotte is a very unusual woman for her time. As well as becoming embroiled in murders and proving adept at solving them, she leads a secret life as an acerbic society illustrator. With the help of her fiancé Wrexford, her servants and her wards, she is once again in the middle of a mystery. The death of a renowned botanist is I really enjoyed ‘Murder At The Royal Botanic Gardens’ by Andrea Penrose. This is the first in the series I’ve read, but I had no problem following the various threads. Charlotte is a very unusual woman for her time. As well as becoming embroiled in murders and proving adept at solving them, she leads a secret life as an acerbic society illustrator. With the help of her fiancé Wrexford, her servants and her wards, she is once again in the middle of a mystery. The death of a renowned botanist is not all it seems. As she delves into the story it turns in a totally unexpected direction. Lady Charlotte intrigued me. I liked that she was so independent and had a secret life as an illustrator. She could say things and hint at things without outing herself as such. The time period was interesting too. The Regency period isn’t one I immediately think of for murder mysteries. But it works. There were twists and turns I didn’t see coming at all. It was a wonderful way to while away a few hours in a beautifully imagined London of the past. I was given this ARC for review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shifra ♕

    Partners in Love & Murder Solving in the Regency Era. Synopsis: Josiah Becton, an expert botanist on the precipice of sharing a cure for malaria that promises to bring him professional acclamation, is poisoned by a glass of sparkling wine. A fate that could have been prevented if Becton did not succumb to drinking peer pressure; don’t become a statistic kids, just say no! This has been a P.S.A. Lord Wexford's reputation as a sardonic dabbling chemist, and murder investigator precede him, and thu Partners in Love & Murder Solving in the Regency Era. Synopsis: Josiah Becton, an expert botanist on the precipice of sharing a cure for malaria that promises to bring him professional acclamation, is poisoned by a glass of sparkling wine. A fate that could have been prevented if Becton did not succumb to drinking peer pressure; don’t become a statistic kids, just say no! This has been a P.S.A. Lord Wexford's reputation as a sardonic dabbling chemist, and murder investigator precede him, and thus he is brought into the fray early on by Dr Hosack who knows this was no accident. Wexford, together with his fiancée and partner in solving crime, Lady Charlotte Sloane- creator of satirical comics, that shed light on social injustice under a pen name- will have to ferret out the culprit before they are wed. What Charmed: ♡ The Weasels. ♡Lady Charlotte has an interesting backstory and her qualms about marriage after being independent and rejoining the 'beau monde' after her long absence I found refreshing in a HR heroine. ♡The villain and motive. What Marred: ✗ I never connected to the characters, I felt they lacked chemistry. ✗ I wasn't overly enthralled with the story, I had to focus to finish. The Brass Tacks: ➭It is perfectly suitable for any fan of historical fiction and whodunnits, and although I count myself in that camp, and found the writing up to par, it never managed to capture my focus or heart. It crawled in the first half and although the second half was more exciting, and even at times thrilling, by then the lot of it could be categorized in my mind as sluggish. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    Andrea Penrose's Wrexford and Sloane series is composed of what I would call "Historical Cozies." There are villains, people (at least one per book) die, but the novels don't contain anything graphic—and the point of these novels is as much to give readers time as observers of an unusual and deeply connected group of amateur detectives as to provide a puzzle to be solved. There's lord Wrexford, known as a short-tempered man who doesn't suffer fools gladly (and who sees a great many people around Andrea Penrose's Wrexford and Sloane series is composed of what I would call "Historical Cozies." There are villains, people (at least one per book) die, but the novels don't contain anything graphic—and the point of these novels is as much to give readers time as observers of an unusual and deeply connected group of amateur detectives as to provide a puzzle to be solved. There's lord Wrexford, known as a short-tempered man who doesn't suffer fools gladly (and who sees a great many people around him as being foolish). There's Lady Charlotte, rejected by her family and earning a living producing satirical political drawings. We also have "the weasels" and their many friends—Raven and Hawk have been adopted by Lady Charlotte, but remain in contact with their guttersnipe friends, several of whom have found a place to live at Wrexford's country estate. There's a remarkable valet who's also an expert in chemistry and a lady's maid/cook/sharp-shooter. And a dowager who wields a dangerous cane. Who wouldn't want to spend time with this crowd? The mystery around which Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens is built is satisfyingly complex, with several threads that are gradually pulled closer and closer together and that include a botanical convention, a possible cure for malaria, the illegal slave trade, and tensions between Britain and the U.S. Penrose does a nice job of slipping in backstory at appropriate moments, so you can easily read this volume even if you aren't familiar with the series. If you like your mysteries a) historical and b) cozy, you have a treat in store if you pick up Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens. I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley; the opinions are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Hart

    5 stars Excellent story. In this book the romance between Lady Charlotte and Wrexford moves on. We see all the other characters from the series, Raven, Hawk, Mac, Tyler, Cordelia & Sheffield. You could jump in at this stage but I think you would enjoy it more knowing the back stories. In this episode a botanist dies at the gardens. It was the first occasion of Charlotte and Wrexford going out into society as a couple and it obviously didn't work out quite as planned. There are lots of potential v 5 stars Excellent story. In this book the romance between Lady Charlotte and Wrexford moves on. We see all the other characters from the series, Raven, Hawk, Mac, Tyler, Cordelia & Sheffield. You could jump in at this stage but I think you would enjoy it more knowing the back stories. In this episode a botanist dies at the gardens. It was the first occasion of Charlotte and Wrexford going out into society as a couple and it obviously didn't work out quite as planned. There are lots of potential villains but the actual one was a surprise to me. There's only kisses in the romance as the mystery is the main attraction. I think you would enjoy it and heartily recommend this book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    When I randomly picked up the first book in this series a few years ago, I knew I was reading something special. While not necessarily and earth shattering read or even something ‘new and different’ in the saturated genre of historical mysteries, there is something about Lord Wrexford that just makes me swoon and I just love him! Charlotte and Wrex have been solving murders and falling in love for the last five books and finally here we are just as they are planning their nuptials and Charlotte’s When I randomly picked up the first book in this series a few years ago, I knew I was reading something special. While not necessarily and earth shattering read or even something ‘new and different’ in the saturated genre of historical mysteries, there is something about Lord Wrexford that just makes me swoon and I just love him! Charlotte and Wrex have been solving murders and falling in love for the last five books and finally here we are just as they are planning their nuptials and Charlotte’s reentrance into society when another body pops up! This time Charlotte and Wrex don’t really have a reason to investigate this murder but some how they end up getting pulled into the investigation and as expected, readers are treated to another fun filled mystery! This book is the fifth in the series and while not 100% necessary with some of the books in the series, for this one I recommend reading at least the book before this one as there is some carry over from the previous book. And to be honest, these books are so fun and it would be silly to miss out on all the wonderful sleuthing in this series by starting here so do yourself a favor and go back and read the other books because it will help you to fully appreciate all these characters. While I love the series overall, this book was just ok for me. I think readers were primed for more to happen between Wrex and Charlotte. This reentrance into society is a big step in their relationship and the books but in this one, it felt like it lost some of its significance. Wrex and Charlotte didn’t really grow much in this one—as a couple or independently. Charlotte spent a lot of time perseverating on her future but she never really included Wrex in her confidence which I found surprising. One of the biggest things I love about their characters was how well they communicate and their time discussing and listening to one another but in this book it felt like Charlotte was alone in her fears. The murder mystery was well done, but nothing special. I had hoped that the carry over plot from the previous book (no spoilers!) would be more impactful. I was hoping that the character making a reappearance would take on a bigger role in this book and frankly the overall series. He was a great menacing villain and to not have him play a larger role in this book and the larger series felt a little disappointing to me. But the murder mystery itself was interesting and thought out and as always fun to read I just had hoped for the potential for something more sinister to come in later books. This book was good, not great but good. I wouldn’t call it my fav in the series but it was a good read and I enjoyed the familiar characters and getting a little more of the larger story but frankly I hoped for more. I wanted more character growth and a little more chemistry between Wrex and Charlotte. In many ways they felt like strangers to one another and up until this point, they were anything but! I don’t really know what happened with this one. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t great either. I love this series and am happy to continue reading the series but I am hoping that the next book has more of the old Wrex and Charlotte and less worrying about things that haven’t happened. Also I need more McClellan and Tyler—especially more Tyler! I really like his character and I need to know more! See my full review here

  26. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Kensington Publishing for this opportunity to review Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens. All opinions are my own. Josiah Becton, famous American botanist, is dispatched in the prologue. Luckily, the friend that attends the body recognizes murder when he sees it. Thus begins Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens, the latest in the Lady Charlotte Sloan/Earl of Wrexford series of historical mysteries. Charlotte and the Earl are just about to embark on marit Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Kensington Publishing for this opportunity to review Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens. All opinions are my own. Josiah Becton, famous American botanist, is dispatched in the prologue. Luckily, the friend that attends the body recognizes murder when he sees it. Thus begins Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens, the latest in the Lady Charlotte Sloan/Earl of Wrexford series of historical mysteries. Charlotte and the Earl are just about to embark on marital bliss. This is going to create quite the dilemma, for Charlotte is also the satirical artist A.J. Quill, whose barbs at the upper class are part and parcel of her character. How will this upcoming marriage change her? Any reader of the time period (Regency London) knows that women had very little status; any reader of these books also knows that Charlotte Sloan will never be happy without her independence. Our author, Andrea Penrose has written of this dilemma for five books now, showing us how Charlotte deals with the world she has become a part of (again). She’s always done it well. The murdered man was to announce “a potion that will save countless lives,” according to the narrative. One that he was going to offer up free of charge. This would not set well with people that like to make money off things like this, so someone has killed to get these secrets. Other bodies turn up, and Charlotte’s family is soon involved. And there is a hint of international intrigue that involves America. There’s a lot going on in this book besides the initial murder, including the usual thrilling action and “in harm’s way” that Charlotte and Wrexford and all of their associates like to indulge in. It’s always a little over the top. Finally, as Charlotte says, “we use our imagination and intuition” to bring about an end to the affair, and to bring justice to all. And we get a wedding. At last. An author’s note explains the emphasis on botany in this book; the series always has as part of the plot a concentration on science and/or some form of technology. Real scientists like Alexander von Humboldt and David Hosack are mentioned in the text, and the importance of research gardens as a means of furthering knowledge is explained. Readers of Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens will come away with some interesting facts while becoming engrossed in in a thought-provoking murder, and that’s all to the good.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lorena

    Wrexford and Sloane are now engaged, and must navigate the social whirl of London with Lady Charlotte now under extra scrutiny as Wrexford's fiancée. Or at least, that's the idea. In practice, they don't do much mingling and dealing with society, because as usual, they are on the track of a murderer. These are pleasant enough books, and I do enjoy the development of The Weasels, but there is quite a bit of repetition. For a run-away lady who eloped with her art teacher in her youth and lived abr Wrexford and Sloane are now engaged, and must navigate the social whirl of London with Lady Charlotte now under extra scrutiny as Wrexford's fiancée. Or at least, that's the idea. In practice, they don't do much mingling and dealing with society, because as usual, they are on the track of a murderer. These are pleasant enough books, and I do enjoy the development of The Weasels, but there is quite a bit of repetition. For a run-away lady who eloped with her art teacher in her youth and lived abroad before returning to London to live by her wits in the worst areas of town and adopted 2 street children to raise, Charlotte seems awfully...timid. She is constantly worrying about her new place in society (although it has done her nothing but good, as far as anyone can see), she doesn't seem like she really cares that much about the opinions of society except as they may interfere with her work or her husband's reputation, and she ought to have the experience to use it for what she wants and ignore it the rest of the time, especially with the support of her fearsome aunt. And yet it's nothing but worry, worry, worry all the time. Not only the worries repeated over and over, the exact same language is used to describe them, as well as other thoughts the characters have in the stories. For example, a character will get an impression that another character is "driven by hubris and ambition," only to describe them to another character 2 pages later as "driven by hubris and ambition." (I'm paraphrasing here, it's usually a longer phrase, but the point remains that it is odd to have characters constantly repeating an exact phrase...it makes them seem more sock puppets on the hands of the author, driving home a description, than real people.) In the end, this series is similar in tone to, but not as accomplished as, say, the Captain Lacey series by Ashley Gardner, or the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas, or the Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    Josiah Becton is an American botanist and is attending a symposium sponsored by the Royal Society of the Royal Botanic Gardens. He is preparing to discuss his new discovery that will also save lives. Before heading inside, he is offered a glass of champagne. He sips it and falls dead. Now, his new discovery has been stolen. Lady Charlotte Sloane and her fiancé, the Earl of Wrexford, are attending the symposium as he is also a botanist. When Josiah’s body is found, Wrexford is called in to view th Josiah Becton is an American botanist and is attending a symposium sponsored by the Royal Society of the Royal Botanic Gardens. He is preparing to discuss his new discovery that will also save lives. Before heading inside, he is offered a glass of champagne. He sips it and falls dead. Now, his new discovery has been stolen. Lady Charlotte Sloane and her fiancé, the Earl of Wrexford, are attending the symposium as he is also a botanist. When Josiah’s body is found, Wrexford is called in to view the body as it is suspected that the man had been poisoned. Lady Charlotte is a well-known satirical artist in London who writes under the pseudonym, A. T. Quill. Few people know her true identity. She writes about scandals of high society. As I read more of this book, I became more and more confused. The beginning of the books seemed promising and then there were all kinds of characters thrown out that make no sense at all to me. I guess that one has to be a follower of this author to know what is going on in her books. This is the first time I have read one of her books so I guess that explains my confusion. Sorry, not for me. Copy provided by the NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    I had real hopes for this one. Started well, and I found that though I’d not read any of the previous books in the series I wasn’t lost or hampered by not knowing the backstory. The characters and the premise behind their relationships peaked my interest immediately. But then the wheels started to come off for me. We were never made to feel any empathy toward the victim, Wrexford and Sloane constantly hesitating over whether they should even become involved in the investigation, and there are nu I had real hopes for this one. Started well, and I found that though I’d not read any of the previous books in the series I wasn’t lost or hampered by not knowing the backstory. The characters and the premise behind their relationships peaked my interest immediately. But then the wheels started to come off for me. We were never made to feel any empathy toward the victim, Wrexford and Sloane constantly hesitating over whether they should even become involved in the investigation, and there are numerous issues with constant repetition—Charlotte’s worry that her marriage to Wrexford will force her to compromise her principles, Charlotte’s worry about her upcoming reunion with he estranged family, etc. The mystery and investigation would start to grab my attention, only to have it diverted by emotional dithering. The first half of the book simply dragged. And by the time I got to the second half I found it difficult to remain interested. A mildly entertaining read, but not one that I would wildly recommend. Source: Review copy (Kensington Books via NetGalley)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)

    Murder at the Royal Botanic Garden is the 5th book in the Wrexford and Sloane series and one of my favorite series! Lots of things have happened since the first book in the series! Charlotte Sloane is trying to get more comfortable in her new roll (though it's not really new, but I can't say why) and she is really hoping that there will be no more murders but such is not her luck when a botanist that had a medical cure is killed for greed. Many think it was just his heart giving out but Wrexford Murder at the Royal Botanic Garden is the 5th book in the Wrexford and Sloane series and one of my favorite series! Lots of things have happened since the first book in the series! Charlotte Sloane is trying to get more comfortable in her new roll (though it's not really new, but I can't say why) and she is really hoping that there will be no more murders but such is not her luck when a botanist that had a medical cure is killed for greed. Many think it was just his heart giving out but Wrexford and Sloane no it's not, they try staying out of things but their since of justice was to strong to ignore. Getting themselves in to trouble a few times as well as Tyler, Lord Wrexford's butler and so there was a few minutes of holding my breathe as I read in hopes that all would be well! Really really enjoyed this one!! Now this had a wrap up to the series feel but I really hope it wasn't!!! Highly recommend this series to historical mystery lovers!

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