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A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
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A Beautiful Blue Death (2007)

by Charles Finch

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries (1)

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948819,163 (3.46)188
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Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the characters in the story, but found the writing and the mystery lacking. I probably liked the characters because they were similar to Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey. We had the 2nd son in a titled family with nothing much to do with his time other then solve puzzles", a butler much like a friend who helps solve the mysteries, and friends who buck the traditional rules of society (the Scottish doctor and the BFF who is a woman). However I didn't find the writing or the mystery as interesting as Sayers' prose. The storylines dragged on at points and I kind of got sick of hearing about the boots. I also didn't like how Finch skipped back and forth in time to reveal the ending to the mystery. However, I liked the characters enough to read at least one more book in the series to give the author another chance to establish his writing style in this series." ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
I'm loving this book - the setting is ideal - London, in the mid-1800's, Christmas time, in the affluent society circle - the main character's favourite place is his library, with the fireplace and tons of books with tea. Aaah, now that is my nirvana.

Hope that there are many more by Charles Finch to come. ( )
  anglophile65 | Mar 8, 2016 |
Charles Lenox is an armchair sleuth, so when a servant is found dead (suicide? Murder?) and a bottle of poison discovered nearby, he has to get involved.

I rather wish he hadn't.

While I like the Victorian setting, the story on a whole just bored me. I didn't feel empathy for the characters, didn't especially like or dislike any of them. The murder mystery didn't draw me in. Lots of talk and speculation, little action. Ho-hum.

However, I did learn a great deal about what Charles ate, when he ate what he ate, and with whom he ate what he ate. He is a rather prissy character, but not even prissy enough to be interesting.

I have the next book in this series, and will probably listen to it, but unless it is a good deal better than this book, I'm done with the series.

I listened to the Audible version, and the narration was quite good. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Feb 11, 2016 |
Lady Jane Grey's former maid, Prudence Smith (who has changed households to be w/ her Fiancee), had been found poisoned. There was a suicide note addressed to her Fiancee James.... However it was soon brought to light that Pru only ever called James, Jem, and Pru was illiterate, so she never could have written the note. Also coming to light was the fact that although there was Arsenic in a bottle next to the glass, there was only arsenic on the rim of the glass, not in it. Also odd was an absence of finger prints on the glass and another very rare type of poison that actually killed Pru.

Pru was working for a rather gruff man, George Barnard in charge of the mint. The mint had recently been under attack as there was a large amount of new gold coinage soon to be released to the public, and Barnard was set to guard it. The gold coinage was secretly stored in Barnard's house until such a time when it was to be released. Staying in Barnard's house were his two nephews and two men from Parliament (who were also guarding the gold coinage).

I do like Charles Lennox..... He is so different a person from the prescribed Gentlemen of the times. He was intelligent, curious, and interested in humanity. He's not stuffy, erudite, nor arrogant. I also like his relationship with; his childhood friend & neighbor Lady Jane Grey, his butler Graham, his brother Edmund, friend Thomas, the semi-incompetent Scotland Yard Inspector Exeter, as well as the local merchants & workers.

I am taking this down 1 star because of the way the conclusion was written. Basically the conclusion jumped ahead ten years for Claude Barnard and then went back to the present time to conclude for his uncle George Barnard. I believe the book would have been so much better had the author stuck to the time line rather than follow the characters' individual stories. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Book 1 of the Charles Lenox Mystery series
3.5 Stars

Charles Lenox is a well-to-do Victorian gentlemen living in London in the 1860s. His wealth gives him the ability to engage in amateur sleuthing. When his close friend and neighbor, Lady Jane Grey, learns that her former maid Prue has died under suspicious circumstances at her new employer’s home, Lady Jane asks Charles to make an inquiry.

Charles agrees to do some investigating and goes to the Barnard home where Prue has been working. The director of the Royal Mint, George Barnard is eager to see his maid's death ruled a suicide. When Charles learns that Prue died from bella indigo, an extremely rare and expensive poison known as "beautiful blue", evidence points to a killer with money and connections. He soon discovers nothing is as it seems in the household. Before long Charles discovers a plot that could shake the foundations of the British economy if the killer isn't apprehended.

I liked the main characters, especially Charles, Lady Jane and Charles' butler, Graham, as well as the time period the story is set in. I was slightly disappointed in the first book of this series. I thought parts of this mystery were a bit uneven and dragged in spots. I did like the characters and think the series has a lot of potential. I plan to read the second book in the series, September Society, to see if the author can capitalize on the positive elements in this series.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Finchprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gurova, Irina GavrilovnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sohns, MarionTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mother
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The fateful note came just as Lenox was settling into his armchair after a long, tiresome day in the city.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312386079, Paperback)

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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help in solving the apparent suicide of one of Jane's former servants,Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer Charles Lenox is on the case. When another body turns up during the London season's most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities.… (more)

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