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Andrea Penrose is an American USA Today bestselling author of Regency-era historical mystery and thriller books.

She also writes Regency-era romances under the pen names Andrea Pickens and Cara Elliott.

Passionate about writing as early as the age of five, Andrea Penrose first began by creating Western inspired works with crayons before being prompted later on to write about Regency-era England after reading Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Penrose, who holds a B.A. in Art and an M.F.A. in Graphic Design from Yale, has so far authored two series: Wrexford & Sloane Mystery Series, and Lady Arianna Hadley Mystery Series.

Her books, which have been published in ten languages and sold all over the world, have earned her two Daphne Du Maurier Awards for Historical Mystery and two Gold Leaf Awards.

Andrea Penrose currently lives in Connecticut.

You can find her on WordWenches.com, where she blogs with a community of historical fiction authors.

More about Andrea Penrose

Genres: Historical Mystery, Mystery, Thriller

United States

Website: http://andreapenrose.com/

Lady Arianna Hadley Mystery

  1. Sweet Revenge (2011)
  2. The Cocoa Conspiracy (2011)
  3. Recipe for Treason (2012)
  4. The Stolen Letters: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery Novella (2017)
  5. Smoke & Lies (2018)
  6. A Question of Numbers (2019)
  7. A Tangle of Serpents (2020)
  8. A Swirl of Shadows (2022)

Wrexford & Sloane Mystery

  1. Murder on Black Swan Lane (2017)
  2. Murder at Half Moon Gate (2018)
  3. Murder at Kensington Palace (2019)
  4. Murder at Queen's Landing (2020)
  5. Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens (2021)
  6. Murder at the Serpentine Bridge (2022)

Detailed book overview

Lady Arianna Hadley Mystery

Sweet Revenge

England, 1813: Lady Arianna Hadley’s desire to discover her father’s murderer has found her acting the part of a French chef in one of London’s aristocratic households. But when the Prince Regent is taken ill after consuming Arianna’s special chocolate dessert, she finds herself at the center of a dangerous scandal.

Because of his expertise in chocolate, the Earl of Saybrook, Alessandro De Quincy, is the ideal candidate to investigate this crime. When the Earl’s intuition leads to Arianna’s exposure, she convinces Saybrook to keep her secret in exchange for help in tracking down the real culprit.

As their search takes them from the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the slums of St. Giles, it becomes clear that someone is looking to plunge England into chaos—and Arianna and Saybrook to the bottom of the Thames…

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0451233035
Publisher: Signet Books
The Cocoa Conspiracy

Lady Arianna Hadley, now the Countess of Saybrook, is settling into married life with her new husband. To celebrate his birthday, she finds the perfect gift: a rare volume of botanical engravings on Theobroma cacao—or chocolate. But she is forced to fight off a stranger who tries to steal it away.

Arianna and Saybrook forget about the incident until they attend a gathering on a country estate, where her assailant reappears and turns out to be a Russian diplomat. Events grow more ominous when Arianna discovers sensitive government documents hidden in the book's binding—documents that suggest someone Saybrook and she hold dear is a traitor to King and country.

Murder. Treason. Money. Power. Once again, Arianna and Saybrook are drawn into a world of intrigue. To unmask the real villain, they journey to the Peace Congress in Vienna, where amid the seductive pomp and pageantry of Europe's royalty they must root out a cunning conspiracy—armed only with their wits and their expertise in chocolate...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0451235312
Publisher: Signet Books
Recipe for Treason

England, 1814. Lady Arianna Hadley and her husband, the Earl of Saybrook, want nothing more than to savor a quiet life embellished by the occasional cup of the finest chocolate. However, when they receive orders to travel to Scotland and capture an elusive traitor, they feel their duty to the Crown must come first.

In a laboratory in Scotland, they discover the corpse of a chemistry professor--and cryptic papers hinting at a dangerous new discovery now in enemy hands. Racing against time, Arianna and Saybrook pursue their most cunning and dangerous adversary yet through a complex network of intrigue involving exotic chocolates, daredevil aviators, a missing inventor, and a secret recipe that must be recovered at any cost...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B01MUE0QN4
The Stolen Letters: A Lady Arianna Regency Mystery Novella

With the hunt for a diabolical traitor finally over, Lady Arianna is looking for some peace and quiet in which to resolve lingering tensions with her husband over her daredevil exploits during the final chase. But an unexpected late night visit from The Dragon—Saybrook’s feisty and independent great aunt—puts her in the middle of a very difficult dilemma...

Constantina confesses that some very private personal letters, along with some sensitive diplomatic documents, have been stolen from her French paramour. She’s desperately hoping Arianna can help get them back, but says it must be discreetly and without anyone knowing—including Saybook.

Yes or No? The task is made even more daunting when Arianna discovers that the political intrigue may entangle her with some very dangerous old enemies...

Ah, but Arianna can’t resist a challenge, and when she learns that a diplomatic party will provide the perfect opportunity to steal the documents back, she and Constantina, along with their friend Sophia Kirtland, quickly devise a plan to prove the ladies can best the gentlemen at their own devious games...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2017
Ebook: B074FDVZVB
Smoke & Lies

Now that peace reigns in Europe and Napoleon has been exiled to the island of Elba, Lady Arianna and her husband, the Earl of Saybrook, are determined to put government sleuthing aside. But the head of British security has other ideas...

Rumors are rife that Napoleon may be plotting to take back the French throne and plunge the Continent into another war. So when Saybrook learns that his Spanish cousin has gone missing on the island under mysterious circumstances, he and Arianna feel they have no choice but to undertake a secret mission to Elba for the government and unravel the serpentine tangle of truth and lies.

Friend or Foe? From the start, they find themselves up against treachery and deceptions. And for Arianna, things become even more difficult when she encounters ghosts from her past, forcing her to make fundamental choices about love, loyalty, family and friendship. Once on Elba, she and Saybrook—along with some unexpected allies—must match wits with a deadly enemy and the great Napoleon himself. And with the clock ticking, all the last-minute machinations come down to a question of Luck...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2018
Ebook: B07C1JJL8Y
A Question of Numbers

With the threat of war looming over the Continent now that Napoleon has re-seized the throne of France, London is abuzz with intrigue as diplomats from the European powers gather to negotiate a military alliance against him. But Lady Arianna and her husband, the Earl of Saybrook, are intent on staying clear of the conflict, deciding it’s a battle for nations and armies to fight...

Until things turn very personal. When a Prussian diplomat is murdered, two items found in his pocket force Arianna and Saybrook to once again become reluctant allies with the shadowy head of British security and undertake a rescue mission to Brussels, where lies and deceptions swirl within the ballrooms of the British expatriate community as the armies of Wellington and Napoleon prepare to clash.

A friend, thought to have been killed in Elba, may in fact be alive and a French prisoner—putting his young daughter in danger of been kidnapped from her convent school and used to force her father into revealing critical military secrets. The mission is made even more complicated by yet another threat to Britain’s shaky military alliance...and the presence of an enigmatic Spanish beauty whose history with Saybrook is fraught with unsettling questions.

Love, friendship, loyalty. Trust will be tested as Arianna and Saybrook race against time to help defeat the advancing French army. And as Arianna finds herself matching wits with Napoleon, it will once again all come down to a matter of Luck...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2019
Ebook: B07N31LRJN
A Tangle of Serpents

With the epic victory at Waterloo behind them, Arianna and Saybrook are looking forward to a quiet summer of scholarship, far from the turmoil of war and politics. But little do they know that an even more dangerous battle is about to test their mettle.

The shocking news that Lord Grentham, the steely minister of state security, has been accused of treason and is on the run from arrest takes them and their close circle of friends by surprise. Arianna and Saybrook don’t want to believe it. Despite their fraught past with the minister, they’ve developed a grudging friendship...

Or has Grentham deceived them? They’re shown damning evidence that proves his guilt beyond question. And yet, their friend Sophia Kirtland refuses to accept it. Arianna can’t help but have her doubts, too—even when a midnight encounter with the fugitive minister tells her otherwise. Saybrook is less certain, but his sense of honor compels him to join their quest to prove him innocent . . .

The trail leads to Paris, a city now seething with international intrigue. Rumors are rife; loyalties are for sale as the European powers scheme against each other. Can they uncoil the tangle of serpents and find the truth? The challenges turn even more dangerous when Arianna is forced to confront an old Russian enemy...and a sin from her father’s past.

And so begin a wild ride through the high and lows of Paris, where tempting pleasures can turn lethal at any moment. For at every turn lies a cunning enemy who’ll stop at nothing to win the battle of wits...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2020
Ebook: B0848QLX37
A Swirl of Shadows

A traumatic personal crisis has left Lady Arianna bedeviled by guilt and questioning whether she has lost her nerve. Saybrook and her circle of friends can’t seem to help rekindle her fire. Even a challenge from Lord Grentham, Britain’s shadowy head spymaster, to undertake a vital mission to Russia in aid of her old friend, Tsar Alexander, fails to spark any interest...Until Grentham mentions that Arianna’s half-brother has gone in her place and may be in mortal danger.

Arianna is furious. She only recently discovered that she had a sibling when her father’s illegitimate son was recruited to play a small role in their previous mission. Resentful of the minister’s attempt to manipulate her emotions, she still refuses to be drawn back into the fray.

But when the murder of a mysterious Russian baroness in London entangles her friend Sophia in the byzantine intrigue surrounding a stolen Imperial medallion and a legendary curse that may topple the Tsar from his throne if it’s not recovered, Arianna finds she can’t turn her back on family and friends—especially as the tensions within her closeknit circle are threatening to fray the bonds of all she holds dear.

And so Arianna and Saybrook—along with Sophia—head off to St. Petersburg, where dangerous deceptions and duplicity swirl beneath the sumptuous splendor of the Imperial Court. An American adventuress, an old nemesis, a possible traitor within their own allies...Suspects abound—treachery is everywhere, and when her brother goes missing, Arianna know that for her and Saybrook to have any hope catching the cunning conspirators, she’ll have to learn to trust herself again. But the clock is ticking...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B09MY8P6MW

Wrexford & Sloane Mystery

Murder on Black Swan Lane

"In Regency London, an unconventional scientist and a fearless female artist form an unlikely alliance to expose a cold-hearted killer."

The Earl of Wrexford possesses a brilliant scientific mind, but boredom and pride lead him to reckless behavior. So when pompous, pious Reverend Josiah Holworthy publicly condemns him for debauchery, Wrexford unsheathes his rapier-sharp wit and strikes back. As their war of words escalates, London’s most popular satirical cartoonist, A.J. Quill, skewers them both. But then the clergyman is found slain in a church—his face burned by chemicals, his throat slashed ear to ear—and Wrexford finds himself the chief suspect. 

An artist in her own right, Charlotte Sloane has secretly slipped into the persona of her late husband, using his nom de plume A.J. Quill. When Wrexford discovers her true identity, she fears it will be her undoing. But he has a proposal—use her sources to unveil the clergyman’s clandestine involvement in questionable scientific practices, and unmask the real murderer.

Soon Lord Wrexford and the mysterious Mrs. Sloane plunge into a dangerous shadow world hidden among London’s intellectual enclaves to trap a cunning adversary—before they fall victim to the next experiment in villainy...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1496713346
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Half Moon Gate

"A wealthy lord who happens to be a brilliant scientist...an enigmatic young widow who secretly pens satirical cartoons...a violent killing disguised as a robbery...Nothing is as it seems in Regency London, especially when the Earl of Wrexford and Charlotte Sloane join forces to solve a shocking murder."

When Lord Wrexford discovers the body of a gifted inventor in a dark London alley, he promptly alerts the watchman and lets the authorities handle the matter. But Wrexford soon finds himself drawn into the murder investigation when the inventor’s widow begs for his assistance, claiming the crime was not a random robbery. It seems her husband’s designs for a revolutionary steam-powered engine went missing the night of his death. The plans could be worth a fortune...and very dangerous in the wrong hands.

Joining Wrexford in his investigation is Charlotte Sloane, who uses the pseudonym A. J. Quill to publish her scathing political cartoons. Her extensive network of informants is critical for her work, but she doesn’t mind tapping that same web of spies to track down an elusive killer. Each suspect—from ambitious assistants to rich investors, and even the inventor’s widow—is entwined in a maze of secrets and lies that leads Wrexford and Sloane down London’s most perilous stews and darkest alleyways.

With danger lurking at every turn, the potent combination of Wrexford’s analytical mind and Sloane’s exacting intuition begins to unravel the twisted motivations behind the inventor’s death. But they are up against a cunning and deadly foe—a killer ready to strike again before they can recover the inventor’s priceless designs...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1496722416
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Kensington Palace

Wrexford and Sloane must unravel secrets within secrets—including a few that entangle their own hearts—when they reunite to solve a string of shocking murders that have horrified Regency London...

Though Charlotte Sloane’s secret identity as the controversial satirical cartoonist A.J. Quill is safe with the Earl of Wrexford, she’s ill prepared for the rippling effects sharing the truth about her background has cast over their relationship. She thought a bit of space might improve the situation. But when her cousin is murdered and his twin brother is accused of the gruesome crime, Charlotte immediately turns to Wrexford for help in proving the young man’s innocence. Though she finds the brooding scientist just as enigmatic and intense as ever, their partnership is now marked by an unfamiliar tension that seems to complicate every encounter.

Despite this newfound complexity, Wrexford and Charlotte are determined to track down the real killer. Their investigation leads them on a dangerous chase through Mayfair’s glittering ballrooms and opulent drawing rooms, where gossip and rumors swirl to confuse the facts. Was her cousin murdered over a romantic rivalry...or staggering gambling debts? Or could the motive be far darker and involve the clandestine scientific society that claimed both brothers as members? The more Charlotte and Wrexford try to unknot the truth, the more tangled it becomes. But they must solve the case soon, before the killer’s madness seizes another victim...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1496722829
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at Queen's Landing

"A wealthy lord (who also happens to be a brilliant scientist) and a young widow (who secretly pens satirical political cartoons) in Regency London team up to chase down rumors of corruption within the powerful East India Company and the mysterious disappearance of friends in Andrea Penrose’s fourth Wrexford & Sloane Mystery—perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander, and Amanda Quick."

The many strands of a dark mystery entangle Lady Charlotte Sloane and the Earl of Wrexford in a dangerous web of secrets and lies that will call into question how much they really know about the people they hold dear--and about each other...

When Lady Cordelia, a brilliant mathematician, and her brother, Lord Woodbridge, disappear from London, rumors swirl concerning fraudulent bank loans and a secret consortium engaged in an illicit--and highly profitable--trading scheme that threatens the entire British economy. The incriminating evidence mounts, but for Charlotte and Wrexford, it's a question of loyalty and friendship. And so they begin a new investigation to clear the siblings' names, uncover their whereabouts, and unravel the truth behind the whispers.

Charlotte and Wrexford also struggle to navigate their increasingly complex feelings for each other. But the clock is ticking--a cunning mastermind has emerged...along with some unexpected allies--and Charlotte and Wrexford must race to prevent myriad disasters as they are forced into a dangerous game of wits in an attempt to beat the enemy at his own game.

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1496722850
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at the Royal Botanic Gardens

"In the fifth installment of Andrea Penrose’s acclaimed, atmospheric mystery series, 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...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1496732514
Publisher: Kensington
Murder at the Serpentine Bridge

"Beyond the glittering ballrooms and salons of Regency London there are mysteries to untangle and murders to solve—and the newlywed duo of Lady Charlotte and the Earl of Wrexford once again find themselves matching wits with a cunning enemy..."

Charlotte, now the Countess of Wrexford, would like nothing more than a summer of peace and quiet with her new husband and their unconventional family and friends. Still, some social obligations must be honored, especially with the grand Peace Celebrations unfolding throughout London to honor victory over Napoleon.

But when Wrexford and their two young wards, Raven and Hawk, discover a body floating in Hyde Park’s famous lake, that newfound peace looks to be at risk. The late Jeremiah Willis was the engineering genius behind a new design for a top-secret weapon, and the prototype is missing from the Royal Armory’s laboratory. Wrexford is tasked with retrieving it before it falls into the wrong hands. But there are unsettling complications to the case—including a family connection.

Soon, old secrets are tangling with new betrayals, and as Charlotte and Wrexford spin through a web of international intrigue and sumptuous parties, they must race against time to save their loved ones from harm—and keep the weapon from igniting a new war...

Author: Andrea Penrose
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B09PJ2LTTW
Publisher: Kensington