Saturday, July 30, 2016

Quick Thoughts: The Hanover Square Affair

The Hanover Square Affair

by Ashley Gardner
Book 1 of Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.0 Stars

London, 1816
Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic wars, burned out, fighting melancholia, his career ended. His interest is perked when he learns of a missing girl, possibly kidnapped by a prominent member of Parliament. Lacey's search for the girl leads to the discovery of murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. He faces his own disorientation transitioning from a soldier's life to the civilian world at the same time, redefining his role with his former commanding officer and making new friends--from the top of society to the street girls of Covent Garden.

I sat down at my desk and started surfing other's book blogs before I remembered that I hadn't quite written this book's review yet.  As much as I hate to say this, The Hanover Square Affair was not the most memorable book.  In fact, my reading experience was quite an uphill-downhill, and then up again and down again kind of experience.  Even while reading the book, I started getting sidetracked and forgetting what was going on.  And then after finishing the book, I even forgot to brainstorm this review.

So, to be short and brief on this one--for real this time, since my "short and brief" reviews always end in rambling sessions--The Hanover Square Affair was enjoyable during the reading of it.  There was excitement and I DID find myself sort of caught up in Captain Gabriel Lacey's curious investigation.  The mystery was quite serviceable.  But a lot of other moments seemed to run in side tangent, or drag on and become almost boring--these scenes I tended to forget about after a while and had to work to recall events that were brought up at later times in the book.

More than anything, I had no rapport with the characters; and when I feel detached from the characters, I tend to stop caring about what happens to them.  Maybe the good Captain Lacey was the only character I really did find myself caring about, but I also found his passionate behavior a little extreme and hot-headed.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing--he's a uniquely created main character and I like that he comes off different than other main male heroes I often see in many other books.  To be honest, I really don't have much to complain about Captain Lacey at all, and if I were to pick up the next book in this series, it would be because of him.

As it is, I really DID enjoy following Captain Lacey's narration a lot.

But I still stand that I found the rest of the characters in the book to be like mere background noise.  Even Grenville, who's eccentric and intriguing personality would merit some interest on my behalf didn't quite sit well with me.  I liked him just fine.  I also kind of liked that he's fairly honest to Captain Lacey about his motives.  I just maybe think that, since you don't get to see much in his perspective (since this book is written in first person from Lacey's POV), that you don't really get to know Grenville as more than just a bored, wealthy benefactor to Captain Lacey without much else going for him aside from his biographical eccentricities.

I would love to see more from Grenville's point of view, to be honest.

The rest of the characters had their own characterizations.  But those characterizations felt flat and boring.


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
Reading Assignment Challenge
Bookish Resolutions Challenge
Mount TBR Challenge

COYER Summer Vacation 2016 -- Bingo Board One | Square E9 -- Mystery


  1. If I can't connect with the characters I tend to not enjoy the book as much so I get that. Glad you were able to enjoy it but sorry it wasn't better or more memorable!

    1. I have the same problem. I love characters and if they're not fleshed out, it tends to jar me out of the story. I might still try to read more in this series and hope the characters become more relatable.

  2. Character connection is a big thing for me, sometimes if the story is really good I will stick around but it's all about the characters. Sorry this wasn't better for you! Great review!

    1. Thanks! I'm big on character connection as well. And yes, I'm the same way in that, if the book is good, I'll stick around, but I may not enjoy the book as much if the characters aren't created well.

  3. Oh this is a bummer as I have this book and thought it sounded really good. If I ever get to it I hope I like it. :)

    1. I would still give it a read when you get a chance. It's not a bad book, I just couldn't connect with it or the characters. Maybe you'll have a better experience than me? :)

  4. Sorry it wasn't that memorable, but it does sound like it had some good parts as well and like the mystery kept your attention. Sounds like there were too many side plots and tangents in this one. And if you don't feel a connection with the characters it's more difficult to enjoy the book usually. Glad to hear there was still one character you did like.

    1. Captain Lacey, the main character, was the best written character, so at least that's a plus. It'd be quite disappointing if the main character was difficult to connect with. But yea, I was really looking forward to this book because I'd read a lot of good reviews about it. I just couldn't really get into it and my mind kept wandering.