Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Andrea Penrose and the Art of the Cozy Mystery

I am always thrilled to discover a talented author with a series I haven't yet read. I buy the back list and settle down for hours of enjoyable reading.

This year, I discovered Andrea Penrose and her two cozy mystery series set in Regency London. If you are fans of Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series, Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey series and Veronica Speedwell series, and Anna Lee Huber's Lady Darby series, you will love Andrea's books. I love the cast, the setting, and the plots. I forgive the few crutch words such as conundrum, dastard, and snick snick. Writers all have them. Mine changed with each book.

The first book I read was Murder on Black Swan Lane from Penrose's Wrexford and Sloane series. The cast is unique. The lady sleuth, artist Charlotte Sloane, secretly skewers popular society with her pointed lampoons. The Earl of Wrexford is a gentleman scientist. A creative crime-solving posse makes or breaks a cozy series in my opinion and this series has one of the most delightful. Charlotte has adopted two street rats, Hawk and Raven. Wrexford has worthy allies in his valet Tyler and housekeeper McClellan.Then there is Wrexford's friends Sheffield and Cordelia. Finally, there is Henning, the doctor who performs postmortems. Thanks to run-ins with  a Bow Street Runner, Mr. Griffin, they are never short of mysteries to solve. There are currently five titles in this series and I hope it continues long into the future.

When I finished the Wrexford and Sloane series, I embarked on the Lady Arianna Hadley series. Thanks to her disgraced aristocratic father, Arianna had quite the swashbuckling past. Removing them from the strictures of polite society makes her characters far more interesting. Arianna is a master of disguise with a talent for mathematics. She returns to England to get revenge. Her love of chocolate makes her a suspect in poisoning the Prince Regent which brings her into contact with the Earl of Saybrook, an expert on chocolate tasked to find the culprit. I love the extended cast in this series too. The couple becomes embroiled in many cases to save the fate of the country thanks to their spymaster frenemy, Lord Percival Grentham. Saybrook’s great aunt Constantina, the dowager Marchioness of Sterling, is a fun member of the sleuthing team too. They gather enemies and allies throughout the six book (hopefully continuing) series. My only complaint is that it makes me crave chocolate.

So grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage, be it tea or cocoa or coffee, and settle down for an enjoyable adventure in the story worlds of Andrea Penrose.

Hint: Books make great Christmas gifts.

Andrea Penrose Books on Amazon

Andrea Penrose on Facebook

Andrea Penrose on Twitter

Andrea's Website http://andreapenrose.com/

More reading:

Writing a Cozy Mystery is HARD

The Irresistible Miss Phryne Fisher

Do I Need to Understand Tropes to Write A Cozy Mystery

Cats and Cozy Mysteries Go Together

Some Great Tips from Mystery Author Betty Webb

Posted by Diana Hurwitz, author of Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict, Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers, and the YA adventure series Mythikas Island. Her weekly blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict explores how characters behave and misbehave. Visit DianaHurwitz.com for more information and free writing tools. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. I've been looking for something engaging to read when I'm neither writing nor editing. (TV is so boring.) You have provided me with some very tempting options. Thank you, Diana! It will be a good winter to curl up with a great cozy mystery. :-)

  2. Andrea Penrose is my new favorite cozy author. She has topped a few from the number one position. :)

  3. This is a new author for me as well. I love finding new series to read.

  4. Do you think they're cozy? Why? I see too much graphic reality in the lifestyles and murders.

  5. For anyone just starting these - five books in a row! #Heaven


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