A Beautiful Blue Death
The First Charles Lenox Mystery
Equal parts Sherlock Holmes and P.G. Wodehouse, Charles Finch's debut mystery A Beautiful Blue Death introduces a wonderfully appealing gentleman detective in Victorian London who investigates crime as a diversion from his life of leisure.
Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, likes nothing more than to relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist the chance to unravel a mystery.
Prudence Smith, one of Jane's former servants, is dead of an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The grand house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prue had dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by the motive for the girl's death.
When another body turns up during the London season's most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence Smith? Or was it something else entirely? And can Lenox find the answer before the killer strikes again—this time, disturbingly close to home?
Set in England in 1865, Finch's impressive debut introduces an appealing gentleman sleuth, Charles Lenox. When Lady Jane Grey's former servant, Prue Smith, dies in an apparent suicide-by-poisoning, Lady Jane asks Lenox, her closest friend, to investigate. The attractive young maid had been working in the London house of George Barnard, the current director of the Royal Mint. Lenox quickly determines that Smith's death was a homicide, but both Barnard and Scotland Yard resist that conclusion, forcing him to work discreetly. Aided by his Bunter-like butler and friend, Graham, the detective soon identifies a main suspect, only to have that theory shattered by that man's murder. Finch laces his writing with some Wodehousian touches and devises a solution intricate enough to fool most readers. Lovers of quality historical whodunits will hope this is the first in a series.
Finch has created an interesting character in Lennox and an entertaining mystery story for most mystery lovers to enjoy. A fun read!...EAF
Loved every single one of the books in this series! Fantastic! A bit predictable sometimes but fun and entertaining none the less! Can't wait for the next one
A perfect beginning
What a marvelous book! It had everything I like — history, mystery, and interesting characters — in an understated, intelligent, well-written story. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationships between Lennox and Graham, and Lennox and Lady Jane. Now, on to reading the next in the series and continuing my acquaintance with Charles Lennox, et al. (And, Mr. Finch, you had me as a fan after I read your Introduction from the Author.)