Monday, November 28, 2005

Book release and signings

The next book in the Lacey mystery series, A Body in Berkeley Square, will be out Dec. 6. I'll be signing copies at Poisoned Pen mystery bookstore on Dec. 10.

Book 6 of the series has been turned in and accepted, and will be out in June of 2006.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

excerpt posted

I updated my moved website and put up an excerpt of A Body in Berkeley Square. Go to and click "Read the Excerpt" near the book cover, or click "Excerpts" on the menu at the bottom of the page.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Web site fix

Finally, my Web site is back up and running. I will be making some updates to reflect the two new books in the series coming up, and post some more excerpts and reviews.

Meanwhile, I have written a historical novel about Anne Boleyn as part of a series for Berkley, under the name Laurien Gardner. The beautiful cover for that book is on my romance blog (

Ashley Gardner

Monday, October 17, 2005

Class on Crime in Regency England

I will be teaching a class on Crime and Crime Detection in Regency England through the Regency Academe, sponsored by the Beau Monde Chapter of RWA. This is an online class--I believe you have to be a member of Beau Monde to take it.

The class will start Nov. 10, and will cover the various police agencies (Bow Street Runners, Thames River Police), and the process by which a suspect was arrested, bound over, tried, and convicted. I'll also cover the role of the Runner or other detective in finding evidence and prosecuting, and what the suspect's rights were. I'll discuss all kinds of interesting stuff pertaining to crime and trials in Regency England.

I am still in the process of transferring my Web site. It will be inactive for a while, but all the information on my books is here on this blog. Feel free to email me at with any questions.

Ashley Gardner

Thursday, September 01, 2005

disaster relief

A lot of readers and authors want to help out the hurricane victims of New Orleans and the Mississippi/Alabama coast. Below is a link with several options for giving. There are other efforts going on: RWA chapters are raising money to send to RWA chapters in beleaguered areas (in the New Orleans chapter, 2/3 of its members have lost their homes). All About Romance is going to start a book auction, to which I will be donating some of my books--I'll post the link to it whenever they get started.

The link below will take you to places such the Red Cross, Mercy Corps, and others.

My heart goes out to all who have lost loved ones, homes, and a sense of peace. You are in my prayers.

Ashley Gardner

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

site changes

My site will be moving to a new host (same name) gradually, so it will not be updated for a while. I'll be posting any updates, excerpts, announcements, new book news, etc. here so that the file transfer to the new site will be easier.

One reason I like the Regency period is--no Internet! Of course, they had their share of quirks. In the Regency, books were purchased unbound; a gentleman would send his books to a bookbinder to be bound in hardback. If the books were in volumes (e.g., Richardson's Clarissa, published in the mid-1700s, was published in volumes, not the huge tome we buy from Penguin), then the gentleman could collect all the volumes and bind them together. So a wealthy man could have a library of beautifully bound books. A poor man who liked to read would have to try to keep his paper copies nice.

The cover of A Body in Berkeley Square is posted below. I think Berkley did a nice job.

Ashley Gardner

Monday, August 29, 2005


I set up this blog, then went and lost the password (BG). See my Jennifer Ashely blog ( to also see what I'm up to.

A Covent Garden Mystery went to my editor last month, and I am awaiting her feedback (she's on vacation at the moment, lucky woman).

A Body in Berkley Square is proofread and back at the publisher and probably is heading to the printers. That will be out in December.

Please feel free to email me ( or post here if you have any questions about the series, the characters, the Regency, or what have you.

Take care,

Ashley Gardner

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London bombings July 7 2005

I want to express my heartfelt sympathy to the people of London for their tragedy today. I love London, I write about London, at times I feel like I am there even thousands of miles away. I pray for the lost and their families and the survivors as well. Londoners are among the best and bravest people in the world. Please accept this American's sympathies on this day.

Ashley Gardner

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

divorce in the Regency

I'm going to try to keep a writer's journal here to outline the process of writing this book. Difficult when I'm writing 20 pages a day to finish the rough draft.

The story revolves around the main character, Captain Lacey, trying to divorce his estranged wife. Before 1857 when divorce was more or less reformed in England, only the man could divorce, although the woman could get a separation for abandonment or cruelty (but it had to be blatant cruelty/abuse).

It is popular in historical novels and historical movies to throw around annulment like it was very easy to dissolve an undesirable marriage. Annulment, however, could only be granted in certain cases: insanity (had to be proved), impotence for three years by the man (had to be proved), the husband and wife being too closely related (ok for first cousins but not for brother-in-law/sister-in-law to marry), or one of the party being married beforehand.

You could not get an annulment simply because the marriage wasn't consummated. You could not get it because you changed your mind. Marriage was pretty much sealed in cement. Actually, a betrothal was a contract, and even breaking a betrothal could result in a lawsuit from the other party, for breach of contract.

Note too that a man was considered to be related to his brother's wife. They were brother and sister "in law" and therefore, a man could not marry his brother's widow, without special dispensation. (Henry VIII had to get special dispensation to marry Catherine of Aragon, because she had been married to his brother, Arthur. When Henry wanted to divorce Catherine, he argued that his marriage to her was illegal, because she'd been married to his brother, and that the dispensation should not have been granted. He liked to play both sides of the fence, didn't he?)

I could go on here, because marriage/divorce in the Regency is complicated. Many of the older medieval laws existed; reforms did not happen until the 1830s and later in the Victorian age.

Will talk later about what legal separation meant and the many steps a man had to go through to be granted a divorce. No one married lightly!

Ashley Gardner

Friday, June 24, 2005


To the blog of Ashley Gardner, writer of the Captain Lacey Regency Mystery series.

Book 4 The Sudbury School Murders is currently in the stores. See my sidebar for information on the first three books in the series, as well as future titles.

I'll chat here about the series, the Regency, Captain Lacey, my research, writing the books, and other things.

Please stay tuned while I get the site up to speed. I am working on building a new one, which should be done shortly, but you can visit the old at

Please enjoy as Captain Lacey solves crimes committed in the glittering ballrooms and dark back streets of Regency London.