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The September Society by Charles Finch
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The September Society (2008)

by Charles Finch

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Another visit with Charles Lennox, Lady Jane, Graham, Toto, McConnell and Edward. Very satisfying. Lady Annabelle's son has gone missing, and she asks Charles to investigate because she doesn't think the police will take her seriously. Listening to her story and seeing the son's rooms, Charles is intrigued enough to take the case, along with his nostalgia for Oxford.
Also, Charles spends the book trying to get up the nerve to ask Lady Jane to marry him, which got a bit tedious. He was a little wimpy and wishy-washy about it. But all's well that end's well.
On the whole an enjoyable addition to the series, and I look forward to reading more of them. ( )
  mitchma | May 31, 2014 |
the mystery was just ok, but the atmosphere is good. ( )
  MikeRhode | Feb 6, 2014 |
This second installment in the Charles Lennox series is as delightful as the first.

Charles Finch once again masterfully weaves impeccable historical research, full, rich characters and an intriguing mystery into an enveloping story that takes the reader back to Lenox's almer mater, Oxford.

Even better, it is Oxford in the fall, so Lenox doesn't mind too much when a student's mother frantically knocks on his door early one morning to report that her son is missing.

At first Lenox is confident the student will be found, until he reaches the room in which he finds, among other strange things, a white cat stabbed with a letter opener hiding a cryptic note underneath and a card simply stating "The Septemeber Society." It isn't long before it is clear that something old and dangerous has been stirring among the ghosts of Oxford's past.

With his faithful manservant's help, Lenox manages to investigate a mystery that takes him to the depths and heights of English society, and just about everywhere in between. Sharp, unafraid to take risks, but never hurried, Lenox solves mysteries in a calm, gentlemanly manner that nonetheless keeps the wire of suspense taut. ( )
  Shutzie27 | Feb 2, 2014 |
I had to look up where Charles Finch was as a student because this book has one of the warmest, most realistic accounts of what it feels like to study at Oxford that I've ever read. Sure enough, the author read English at Oxford (I'm guessing Balliol or Merton) and he currently resides in the city. I'll briefly mention that reading about a place you've lived and studied in is like coming home and nothing beats this feeling of comfort and move on to the plot and characters. I was first of all surprised that Charles decided very early on in the novel to propose to Lady Jane. While the first book made it clear those two loved each other, I wouldn't have said they were in love, and it's a little surprising to have their relationship change so quickly - after all, we are told repeatedly in the first book that their devoted friendship, however peculiar, is accepted as such by themselves and society at large. I liked that unconventional bond and didn't warm up to the idea of marriage straight away. Luckily, there are many books left ahead to convince me that it was a necessary turn of events. The end of the book is very lovely for Charles seeing as he has new career prospects, which I'm very curious to see enfold (how will that affect his detective work?). The characters are very well-drawn and frankly charming (I want to see more of Graham) and Charles' musings are smart and heartfelt, which makes him one of the most endearing characters I've met. The plot is uneven, I find - I guessed the motive straight away and it's frustrating to have to wait for the resolution to be told that one was right all along. On the other hand, I would never have guessed the various twists and turns the story took and the myriad vivid characters and clever clues that were scattered were deeply engaging and kept me riveted. This is a really good installment in the series and I felt a little sad to find out that the main detective has resolved many a murder since the first book which the author simply alludes to but doesn't develop. It felt very Sherlockian in this way and I can only hope that a book of stories is in the works for at least some of those cases. This is a really good series I plan to see through until the end (not too soon, pretty please, I'm enjoying it too much!) ( )
  RubyScarlett | Nov 11, 2013 |
Charles Lenox's latest case takes him back to Oxford, his alma mater. The only son of Lady Annabelle Payson has disappeared. He is a student at Lincoln College. One name keeps cropping up in Lenox's investigation: The September Society, a military organization with a select membership. What is the society's interest in George? Soon murder is added to Lenox's list of problems to be solved. The demands of the case leave Lenox little time to address the other matter weighing on his mind: his undeclared love for his dear friend and next door neighbor, Lady Jane Grey.

I've quickly grown fond of Charles and Lady Jane in the first two books in this series. They're intelligent, decent, and interesting people, and it's a pleasure to spend time with them. Charles is also an avid reader and it's always fun to see the titles on his current reading list. I've always loved working puzzles, and puzzles formed a part of the mystery in this installment. I’m not sure how I feel about the potential business partner introduced in this book. While he proved himself useful, I think Lenox's circle of friends is already large enough to provide aid when circumstances require it, including his valet, Graham, his friend, physician Tom McConnell, his brother Edward, a member of Parliament, and his acquaintance Jenkins in Scotland Yard. I'm not sure another assistant is necessary.

One of the characters introduced in the first book is a villain who is currently beyond justice. This individual was mentioned a few times in the second book. It looks like this subplot is a feature of the series, but right now it's not enough of a hook to draw me back to the series on its own strength. Lenox, Lady Jane, and the Victorian London setting are the characteristics of the series that will keep me coming back for more. ( )
  cbl_tn | May 19, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Finchprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lorenz, IsabellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Rosie, Julia, Henry, and Isabelle,
with a brother's deepest love
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The first murders were committed nineteen years before the second, on a dry and unremarkable day along the Sutlej Frontier in Punjab.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312564945, Paperback)

In the small hours of the morning one fall day in 1866, a frantic widow visits detective Charles Lenox. Lady Annabelle’s problem is simple: her beloved son, George, has vanished from his room at Oxford. When Lenox visits his alma mater to investigate he discovers a series of bizarre clues, including a murdered cat and a card cryptically referring to “The September Society.” Then, just as Lenox realizes that the case may be deeper than it appears, a student dies, the victim of foul play.

What could the September Society have to do with it?  What specter, returned from the past, is haunting gentle Oxford? Lenox, with the support of his devoted friends in London’s upper crust, must race to discover the truth before it comes searching for him, and dangerously close to home.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In the small hours of the morning one fall day in 1866, a frantic widow visits detective Charles Lenox. Lady Annabelle's problem is simple: her beloved son, George, has vanished from his room at Oxford. When Lenox visits his alma mater to investigate, he discovers a series of bizarre clues, including a murdered cat and a card cryptically referring to the September Society." "Then, just as Lenox realizes that the case may be deeper than it appears, a student dies, the victim of foul play." "What could the September Society have to do with it? What specter, returned from the past, is haunting gentle Oxford? Lenox, with the support of Lady Jane and his other devoted friends in London's upper crust, must race to discover the truth before it comes searching for him, and dangerously close to home."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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