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A Death in the Small Hours (Charles Lenox Mysteries) (edition 2012)

by Charles Finch

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1582375,572 (3.68)33
Member:winterlillies
Title:A Death in the Small Hours (Charles Lenox Mysteries)
Authors:Charles Finch
Info:Minotaur Books (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Blog Review, Mystery / Suspense / Thriller, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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A Death in the Small Hours by Charles Finch

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A return to form after the weakness of the previous book in the series. ( )
  MikeRhode | Feb 21, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In A Death in the Small Hours as in the others in the series, Finch conveys the atmosphere of Victorian England through richly detailed description, formal dialogue, deliberate pace and well researched historical detail. That said, I find Lenox to be much less interesting now that he’s become a doting father and a reluctant statesman. I prefer the mysteries of the previous books to the adoration of baby Sophia and the anxiety over Parliamentary duties in this book. Unfortunately, the mystery in this book was also lacking and not as complex or well plotted as usual. The supporting roles continue to be outstanding and I hope for more from Dallington. While this is not the strongest book in the series, it’s still worth reading for fans. ( )
  nabhill | Feb 16, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Charles Lenox is enjoying his job in parliament even though he had to cut down on his detective work. Luckily John Dallington is willing to take over this business. At times Dallington still has questions about his investigations, which allows Charles to still feel as though he still involved. But as a Member of Parliament, he feels that he has the ability to make a large difference for those in need. He is also excited with being a new father. (As a side note – it is very interesting to see how the Victorians’ raised their children as it very different from today.)

Charles goes to Plumley (near his uncle's estate) to write a speech in the laid back countryside but instead finds himself investigating vandalism and then murder. Sometimes the country is not as quiet and peaceful as one would imagine. With the help of Dallington, he is able to track the killer and try to prevent the next murder.

I must admit that I like the earlier books in this series better. I feel that the plots were a little bit more involved and Lenox was actually helping people with his investigations. Sometimes, reading about Parliament and the way people do business (etc.) drives me crazy as I feel it distracts from the plot.

That said I still really enjoy this series and look forward to each new release. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.
  bookworminc | Dec 6, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When a fictional detective announces he has solved the case barely halfway into the book, you know there must be a few surprises still to come. The problem with "A Death in the Small Hours" (Minotaur), the new Charles Finch paperback, is that there aren't nearly enough surprises. The second half of the novel, filled with details about a speech in Parliament, wedding plans and various domestic affairs, isn't nearly as interesting as the first half. What we have, essentially, is a 100-page denouement.

Ah, but that first half makes fine reading. Charles Lenox, Finch's Victorian gentleman hero, finds himself so busy after becoming a member of Parliament that he no longer has time for his first love, solving difficult criminal cases. He has a major speech to prepare for, so he flees London with his wife, Jane, and baby daughter, Sophia, to his uncle's country estate, where he thinks he can find enough isolation to finish writing the speech.

But the village of Plumbley has been plagued with a series of unusual cases of vandalism, and Charles is asked to look into the matter. When a young police officer is murdered, Charles really gets interested. He thinks the murder and vandalism are related.

Charles sorts things out with surprising quickness, wrapping up several crimes all at once. Yet he hasn't quite solved the entire mystery, and this loose end leads to yet another murder.

Charles Lenox fans will want to catch this installment in the series. Other mystery readers might want to give it a pass. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Nov 18, 2013 |
This is perhaps the least accomplished book of the series. The mystery isn't as engaging as usual, Charles ponders his career in politics but doesn't act upon it, very little happens with Lady Jane and frankly very little happens overall. I also don't care for children so all the doting over baby Sophia left me unimpressed. I sure hope the pace picks up again in the next book. I know it's foolish to expect constant quality from a series this size but it's such a shame for I remember glorious scenes and colourful characters, enticing intrigues and a type of writing ripe with possibilities. ( )
  RubyScarlett | Nov 11, 2013 |
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This book is dedicated with great love to three people:
Charles Baker,1920-1996
Angela Havens Finch,1920-2001
William Payson Finch, 1956-1999
   
until we die we will remember every
single thing, recall every word, love every

loss: then we will, as we must, leave it to
others to love, love that can grow brighter

and deeper till the very end, gaining strength
and getting more precious all the way
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Visiting his uncle's estate in Somerset for what he hopes will be a quiet working vacation, politician and new father Charles Lenox investigates a series of seemingly small acts of vandalism only to uncover a sinister plot by an adversary who may be targeting someone Lenox loves.… (more)

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Minotaur Books

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