It's 1876, and Charles Lenox, once London's leading private investigator, has just given up his seat in Parliament after six years, primed to return to his first love, detection. With high hopes he and three colleagues start a new detective agency, the first of its kind. But as the months pass, and he is the only detective who cannot find work, Lenox begins to question whether he can still play the game as he once did.
Then comes a chance to redeem himself, though at a terrible price: a friend, a member of Scotland Yard, is shot near Regent's Park. As Lenox begins to parse the peculiar details of the death – an unlaced boot, a days-old wound, an untraceable luggage ticket – he realizes that the incident may lead him into grave personal danger, beyond which lies a terrible truth.
With all the humanity, glamor, and mystery that readers have come to love, the latest Lenox novel is a shining new confirmation of the enduring popularity of Charles Finch's Victorian series.
At the end of 2013's An Old Betrayal, former private investigator Charles Lenox abandoned a promising career in politics to set up a detective agency with three partners. Now, in Finch's solid eighth Victorian era whodunit, the new agency is hampered by a series of hostile newspaper articles, which include negative quotes from a Scotland Yarder Lenox considered a friend, Insp. Thomas Jenkins. Lenox lags behind his colleagues in bringing in business, a deficiency that raises tensions. When someone fatally shoots Jenkins and leaves his body in front of the London home of the marquess of Wakefield a suspected criminal Lenox has long sought to bring to book the detective gets a chance to redeem himself. The Yard hires Lenox to help solve the shocking crime, and the investigation takes some surprising turns. Finch succeeds again in combining an intriguing story line with a lead that both newcomers and series regulars will find engaging.