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Murder at the Merton Library

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Member Reviews

Murder at the Merton Library by Andrea Penrose is the latest in the Wrexford & Sloane Mysteries.  Between the murders, one learns a lot about the trial development of ocean-going steamships and gets introduced to more extended family members.  These books are a good introduction to Regency England and both the upper classes and the lower group.  The family characters are all very likeable and the villians are suitably evil.
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An intrigue filled mystery. Highly entertaining and much recommended.  
Many thanks to Kensington and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Always a pleasure to delve into the world of A.J. Quill. 
Wrexham receives an urgent note to visit his late brother’s friend in Oxford, upon arrival he finds out that he is too late. Charlotte and the weasel delve into the world in the race of the first steam-powered ships to cross the Atlantic.
As always, things seem to disconnect and then there is lightbulb moment. Another great installment in the series
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A laboratory fire is more than it seems when it appears theft was the true crime. Another well researched book by Penrose, this time around the race to build ships that can cross the ocean under the power of steam, but the forward momentum of the story gets lost in minutia. My favorite parts of these books are the Weasels, which is why I continue to read this series.
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Book seven of the series but the first for me. Good historical murder mystery with good characters. Will be reading more from this series.
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Murder at the Merton Library, the latest installment in the Andrea Penrose series, is a solid mystery. The main characters have become more fleshed out as the has series matured, and their relationships have gained depth making the reading experience more engaging. Though the culprits were fairly obvious early on in the story, the historical information kept my interest. The pacing of the story tended towards slightly plodding; a brisker pace would not be unwelcome in future installments. Despite this, I will continue to read future books in this series and look forward to the continuing evolution of the characters.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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Andrea Penrose continue the Wrexford and Sloane Regency mysteries in Murder at the Merton Library.  The Earl of Wrexford hastened to Merton College, Oxford, at the request of the librarian who was a friend of his late brother only to discover the librarian murdered and a manuscript stolen.  As he pursues the murderer, his wife and friends are tracking who is unfairly trying to corner the market on an ocean going steamship.  Murder, mayhem and scholarship along with the dirt of London.  Great adventure and mystery.
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Book 7 in the series.  You don't have to have read any of the others to enjoy this one.  All of the characters and backstory are adequately described without slowing down the narrative.
The Earl of Wrexford, his wife Charlotte, and a cast of other family and friends get caught up in two separate mysteries that eventually come together over the scientific search for ocean steam propulsion. The murder at the Merton Library starts off the story but the mysteries go much deep than what happened in the library.  The steam propulsion mystery gets very technical which sometimes slowed down the narrative.
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This was a good mystery and I enjoy the series.  I read this one first even though it's last of the series.  It's a good mystery series
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Another wonderful read by this author. This book although part of a series can be read as a standalone story.  It is much better though to read the ones before to fully understand the relationship between the characters.  This is well written with lots of twists and turns, humor, suspense, mystery, and intrigue.  It is very hard to put down once you start.  I love the characters and the relationship and interaction between the adults and the children. There was so much research that went into this book. I was very intrigued about the way fast ocean ships were developed.  There is no sex or swearing in this book which for me makes it even more enjoyable.  I now look forward to the next one.  I received this as an ARC from NetGalley and freely give my review.
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It's always great to read a new mystery with Wrexford, Charlotte, and the weasels. This time it's two separate cases that bring them together. The head librarian at Oxford's Merton Library, and close friend to Wrexford's late brother has been murdered and material stolen, and Charlotte is trying to unravel whether a fire that destroyed a laboratory was arson in connection to competing organizations trying to build a new type of ship. With the two mysteries I felt it was well paced and came together very well. There were also technical aspects that I thought were well explained. 

The mystery is always fun to try to unravel, but it's really the cast of characters that make these books so great. I love how we see a little more of Hawk, Raven, and Peregrine. Great-aunt Alison is also pretty cool in this. It’s an intriguing murder mystery and we get to see a little more of Wrexford’s feelings. I think if you are already familiar with this world then you will enjoy this. 

Special thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for sharing this book with me in exchange for my honest review.
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Love this series it is one of my favorites! 

This one has Wrexford investigating the death of someone he knows and Charlotte was looking into something else but they both end up digging into the same things. 

I love the atmosphere of this series and the banter between the characters, from Wrexford and Charlotte to the street rats they have adopted.. 

The mystery is always very good and I don't even try and solve it I just immerse myself into the time period and into the characters lives and enjoy.
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Mr. Greeley, the head librarian at Oxford’s Merton Library, made a disturbing discovery and requested a meeting with the Earl of Wrexford.  By the time Wrexford arrived at Oxford Greeley had been murdered.  Greeley had served in the army with Wrexford’s late brother and he vows to find his murderer.  At home his wife Charlotte is involved with an investigation of her own.  Someone destroyed the laboratory of a prominent engineer.  Charlotte is a satirical artist, publishing under the name of A.J. Quill.  She uses her art to raise awareness of social issues and the arson that she witnessed raises questions.  The engineer was currently working on a marine propulsion system that would provide faster travel and relieve dependence on wind power for shipping.  Lord Taviot has been selling shares in a project that promises similar advances.  Another incident at a naval facility working on a similar project has Charlotte looking into Taviot’s project.  What Charlotte and her husband discover are ties between their respective investigations that put them in danger.  

Wrexford and Charlotte are no strangers to investigations and they have a mutual respect for each other’s abilities.  They are raising two orphans who call themselves Raven and Hawk.  After living on the streets they are familiar with less affluent areas of the city.  With their friend Peregrine, they are  Wrexford’s own Baker Street Irregulars.  Murder, fraud, sabotage and characters to love make this a most enjoyable mystery.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing this book for my review.
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Two lines of concern intersect to reveal treachery. The Earl of Wrexford responds to a desperate plea from a friend, only to discover the murder of a reclusive librarian and a missing rare manuscript in Oxford. Meanwhile, a suspicious laboratory fire with potential ties to a race between consortiums to develop steam-powered ships, draws Charlotte’s attention. To protect their band of friends and family, Wrexford and Charlotte unravel a sinister conspiracy that endangers everything they cherish unless they can piece together the puzzle in time.

My favorite earl and artist are back once again! I was surprised how emotional this story became. The past comes back to haunt the present, with details of how Wrexford’s brother was killed. This brings an urgency to his determination to uncover the identity of a murderer, to also bring justice for his brother.

As before, I enjoyed how the story plays with the idea of early inventions. The importance of them influences many decisions, but they are not quite where they need to be to succeed.

Overall, this was a well-paced and enjoyable read. I highly recommend it to readers who have been following the series and enjoy historical mysteries.
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I am so glad I took a chance on this series as I have really enjoyed it and it has gotten better with each book; thankfully this continues in this book as well. 

A well-thought out [and researched - I was flabbergasted when I learned some of the things I learned in this book and *DID* spend a good part of my reading time on several days looking information up and then getting lost in all of that. It was a glorious thing] book and mystery, I love how this small team of friends work together to bring the "baddies" to justice [though I wasn't sure they'd all get full satisfaction by the end of this one - such a slippery eel this one was] and having "Peregrine" [I don't even think of him by his given name anymore; he is fully a "weasel" now] still a part of the story [and the addition to Horatio/"Osprey" was just brilliant - no doubt he will become a full-fledged "weasel" as time passes [and also because of his heroics in this book]. The love and respect that they all have for each other is so evident and may we all have a group of friends that support and care for us as this fictional group does for each other. 
Aunt Alison [the Dragon, as Henning so affectionately calls her] plays a VERY big part of this story and is a great lesson on just why you should never ever underestimate a person of a particular age. ;-)

One of the coolest parts [for the complete geek in me] was the note from the author at the end. While I didn't understand all of it [having never even gotten close to studying physics], it was a fascinating deeper dive into what happened in the story and was a cool addition to the whole book. 

I certainly hope there is a book 8 - I could read this series for forever. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Andrea Penrose, and Kensington Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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When a troubled friend is found murdered at the Merton Library at Oxford, Lord Wrexford is determined to find the killer. Meanwhile Charlotte is trying to determine if a fire in one of the warehouse labs is arson or accident. Two competing consortiums are trying to create a new kind of propulsion for long distance shipping. As their cases overlap, Wrex and Charlotte find themselves involved in a deeply troubling situation and a high stakes competition for the security of their country. This series gets better and better with each book.
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A solidly plotted historical mystery despite highly disappointing use (or lack of use) of setting.

This is my first read in this series and I found it to be well-plotted and paced. But I picked it up because of the Oxford setting and library setting, and both are a complete nonfactor in the story, which lessened my enjoyment of the book.

The characters are fine and I enjoyed some of the ancillary content about shipbuilding, but it bugs me to see a book advertising itself as rooted in an Oxford setting that could have been set pretty much anywhere during this era and come out exactly the same.

If you read historical mysteries primarily for plot rather than setting or atmosphere then this probably won’t bother you the way it did me, but if sense of place matters significantly to you as a reader, this one falls a bit short.
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Murder at the Merton Library by Andrea Penrose
Wrexford and Sloane Series Book 7
I have enjoyed this series from the beginning but this was not really a favorite. Maybe there was just too much technical information or the plot was kind of convoluted or too many extraneous characters or a combination of all the above but it just didn’t grab me. I do like that Wrexford is developing more family feeling and realizing how precious that is to him. I will read the next book but this one was not fabulous as some of the earlier books in the series were.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Kensington Books and the author for an advanced reader’s copy of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I’ve listened to a few of the Wrexford & Sloane books in the past and have enjoyed them, so I was all in for volume #7, Murder at the Merton Library. This is one series where it is helpful to have read at least one of the previous books for background.

I really enjoyed the latest entry in the series, which is a mix of upper crust society people interacting with the lower classes. It was a little slower than some of the other stories, but maybe because I was so anxious to solve the mystery. Wrex’s backstory gets filled in a bit more, including his relationship with his dear departed brother. There’s also some interesting info regarding Mac’s backstory because her history starts to get involved with the case Wrex and Charlotte are investigating.

The scientific aspect of this book that is delved into is the race to develop the steam engine and how important that would be for trade and the military. To be honest, as much as I normally geek out on the science in the Wrexford & Sloane books, this time around, it didn’t grab me like it normally would. However, I love a good info dump in a book that’s entertaining as well as educational, just like a Nancy Drew book, so I at least appreciate the effort.

The best thing about this book is the atmosphere. You really get a feeling for the time period. And I loved the surprise ending–totally didn’t see it coming! Another job well done by the author in this delightful series. Four stars!
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I had problems connecting with the characters.  I could also not develop any interest in the mystery.  I struggled to get through this one.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.  My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.
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