Friday, January 22, 2016

Axel by Grace Burrowes ( Jaded Gentlemen Series)

Axel Belmont has been summoned from his warm and cozy greenhouse during a cold January evening because his neighbor has been murdered. He is the local magistrate and is required to investigate the case. Axel needs to ascertain if Colonel Stoneleigh committed suicide, if his death was an accident or if he was killed. After observing the body and crime scene in Colonel Stoneleigh’s study, Axel is certain that the colonel was murdered. However, he suspects that something is amiss with the colonel’s widow Abigail.

The first chapter of Axel outlines the story and provides insight into the main characters of Axel Belmont and Abigail Stoneleigh. Grace Burrowes does a fabulous job of weaving murder, mystery and romance in this novel. There are several concurrent minor plot threads in the novel which are effortlessly intertwined with the main characters actions. Axel has a different feel than the other books in the Jaded Gentlemen series because the element of suspense is felt throughout the entire book. As a reader, I needed to focus on each word in each scene so I would not miss a nuance or clue. Axel approached solving the murder using his observation skills and scientific knowledge. His expertise helped Axel sort out which clues would lead to the identity of Sir Gregory’s murderer. 

There are several villains in this suspenseful drama. Sir Gregory’s true nature is disclosed as Axel investigates his murder. The author does a fabulous job revealing Sir Gregory’s character and motivation as the investigation unfolds. Enjoyed the conversations between Nicholas Haddonfield, Matthew Belmont, Abigail and Axel which take place at the breakfast table and in the study. Matthew provides Axel with advice on how to approach interviewing the Stoneleigh servants. The discussions between Matthew and Axel provide the reader with insight into Axel’s first marriage, the importance of Axel’s work in his greenhouse and Axel’s desire for the Oxford fellowship. Nicholas (my favorite Grace Burrowes hero) flirts with Abigail. The banter between the two motivate Axel to come to terms with his feelings towards Abigail and allows the author to add the element of romance to the story. 

The attraction between the characters evolves as the murder investigation continues. Axel is one of the author’s longer novels. The longer length enabled the author to provide a story which perfectly blends the elements of romance, mystery and suspense. I enjoyed this book very much and am hoping the author will write another romantic suspense novel very soon! 

Reviewed By Susan Gorman 
Edited By Brian McGee 
Book purchased via Amazon

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