The third book in the Charles Lenox series finds the gentleman detective trying to balance a heated race for Parliament with the investigation of the mysterious simultaneous deaths of two veteran reporters.
It's Christmas, 1866, and amateur sleuth Charles Lenox, recently engaged to his best friend, Lady Jane Grey, is happily celebrating the holiday in his Mayfair townhouse. Across London, however, two journalists have just met with violent deaths--one shot, one throttled. Lenox soon involves himself in the strange case, which proves only more complicated as he digs deeper. However, he must leave it behind to go north to Stirrington, where he is fulfilling a lifelong dream: running for a Parliamentary seat. Once there, he gets a further shock when Lady Jane sends him a letter whose contents might threaten their nuptials.
In London, the police apprehend two unlikely and unrelated murder suspects. From the start, Lenox has his doubts; the crimes, he is sure, are tied, but how? Racing back and forth between London and Stirrington, Lenox must negotiate the complexities of crime and politics, not to mention his imperiled engagement. As the case mounts, Lenox learns that the person behind the murders might be closer to him--and his beloved--than he knows.
The near simultaneous murders on Christmas night of two giants of Fleet Street\x97Daily Telegraph writer Winston Carruthers and Daily News editor Simon Pierce\x97rock 1866 London in Finch's absorbing third historical (after 2008's The September Society). These sensational crimes disturb holiday festivities at the Mayfair home of amateur detective Charles Lenox, who jumps at the chance to further his crime-solving career. In the meantime, Lenox's restless fianc e, Lady Jane Grey, may delay their impending nuptials while Lenox is also off running for Parliament in distant Stirrington, where he learns the seamy underside of British politics. The multifaceted case includes a coded letter, wartime espionage, a gang slaying, bribery and eavesdropping, making it \x93all fearfully complicated\x94 in the words of Inspector Jenkins of Scotland Yard. An exciting boat chase on the Thames leads to a slightly incongruous happy ending.