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A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch

A Beautiful Blue Death (2007)

by Charles Finch

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
This debut mystery by Charles Finch has a charming, if foppish detective, and an interesting setting among the upper class in 1865 Britain. I think it plays fair with the reader in terms of the puzzle, although the solution is a trifle far-fetched. The book also has a bit of light comedy in it. The only real weakness is how the author treats Lady Jane Grey, who seems more like a collection of attributes than a real person.

Nonetheless, I recommend this book to aficionados of British mystery, as it is in some ways a gloss on Sherlock Holmes. ( )
  barlow304 | Jul 18, 2015 |
Debut novel featuring Charles Lenox, a wealthy, kindly, and intelligent bachelor who is an amateur investigator in Victorian England. Jane Grey, his young widowed neighbor and childhood friend, asks him to learn the truth of Prudence Smith's death. He investigates with help of family and friends, especially from his butler / valet Graham.

A comfortable who-done-it with very likeable characters. ( )
  Bookish59 | May 6, 2015 |
A young servant is poisoned with a terribly expensive and unusual poison: bella indigo, the beautiful blue. Charles Lenox, a minor gentleman and amateur sleuth is on the case- a case that will bring him to some of the worst neighborhoods and the most opulent social events in London. Lenox's relationship with the police is not always the best, but with a brother in Parliament, Lenox has good connections.

I really enjoyed this book. The mystery is more complicated than many I have read in this genre. Finch's writing is quite good. There are a number of English gentleman detectives. Charles Lenox is a worthy inheritor of the traditions of Albert Campion and Lord Peter Wimsey. ( )
  lahochstetler | Apr 6, 2015 |
Charles Finch's first mystery to feature Charles Lenox moves a bit slowly from time to time, and the information he shares about such subjects as London gentlemen's clubs in the 1860s could be woven more smoothly into the narrative, but the positives far outweigh these two negatives.

A Beautiful Blue Death is filled to the rafters with memorable characters. Charles Lenox-- even if he's the "leftover" son and not heir to his family's title-- is a true gentleman in both his beliefs and in his dealings with people from all walks of life. In fact he believes so passionately in improving the lives of the poorer classes that he is thinking of becoming a member of Parliament. He's such a "good guy" that quite a varied lineup of people are willing to help him in his investigations.

One of the people who helps him most is his faithful butler, Graham. Graham not only keeps Lenox's household running smoothly, he's more than willing to do anything Lenox may require during these cases. Equally willing is Lenox's friend McConnell, a slightly disgraced doctor who comes in very handy for medical advice and telling post-mortem details.

Last but not least is Lenox's dear friend, the widowed Lady Jane. Lady Jane's husband died quite some time ago, and she's had offers, but she's discovered that she enjoys the freedom to be herself that widowhood allows her. Her reputation is such a strong one that everyone overlooks her occasional eccentricities. The friendship between these two is very deep. In fact, it's actually love, but only time will tell if they decide to act upon their feelings.

The mystery in A Beautiful Blue Death is two-pronged. I found one of the "prongs" to be easily guessed, but I forgot one of the major tenets of crime fiction and let the identity of the killer slip through my fingers. Oh well. That's what happens when I enjoy a cast of characters so much-- and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more books in this series! ( )
  cathyskye | Mar 26, 2015 |
I didn't read any more of the series after this one. It was just meh. I don't know why anyone would waste time on this with all the amazing mysteries out there. Re-read Agatha Christie or something. ( )
  JMlibrarian | Mar 3, 2015 |
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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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Average: (3.49)
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