Cheryl Bolen has brought together three of her stories of the Regent Mysteries together in a 'Boxed Set' which in digital form means three stories bundled as one. In the age of the cloud, we no longer can pull from our shelves these books that are all encased in a card board themed box.
The protagonists of these tales are Captain Jack Dryden and Lady Daphne Chalmers. Jack, an agent of the Earl of Wellington when the stories take place, has been seconded home to London at the request of HRH George, the Prince Regent. There is a serious problem that needs dealing with and George has decided he needs the 'best' so asks Lieutenant-General Wellesley to send him a man. Then, realizing the man is not rounded enough to deal with the Ton, the Prince asks that Lady Chalmers, a blue-stocking in the making that has everyone who meets her, forgive her for such antics, aid the hero.
That there are hints of a mystery that one can decipher the whodunit, as the only suspects we meet who are not historical by process of elimination have to be the culprits in each story, that leaves the love story. You must disregard the elements of the story to put this in that light. There are areas that have been well researched. Who the Prince Regent had affairs with and when, for instance.
There are parts that are not. Our Heroine decides to create characters, and give the hero a background, of diamond miners, fantastically wealthy diamond miners from South Africa. Where Diamonds and diamond mines are yet to be discovered and put into production. Further, Castlereagh and his agents, many of whom could interact easily with the Ton, would be closer to hand for the Prince Regent's needs.
So we have Daphne and Jack then, who through three mysteries, begin their courtship, their marriage and their honeymoon. With many improbables that we must put aside. Ms. Bolen seems to get inside the head of our blue-stocking and give her sense, reason, and the ability to think through situations like a chess match. Her hero, has those qualities of heroism that young ladies might idolize, but inside their own head, a man would little think of. But circumstance and events often have a way of making a match as well, and certainly that psychology works well here.
If you put aside the historic errors, and the jumps of logic that put these particular two into the mysteries that Ms. Bolen presents, then for a quick afternoon romp in the regency, you will find enjoyment. What we have is all a part of a series that is not fully mystery, not fully historical, not fully romance, but when mixed together each third makes for a pleasant whole.
At Amazon US or at Amazon UK
Reviewed by David