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Cover image for A beautiful blue death
Format:
Title:
A beautiful blue death
ISBN:
9780312359775

9780312386078
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2007.
Physical Description:
309 pages ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Summary:
When a servant girl is found dead, a supposed suicide, Victorian gentleman and amateur sleuth Charles Lenox is called in by his old friend, Lady Jane, to investigate and begins to suspect that the girl has fallen victim to a rare and deadly poison.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
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Finch, C.
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MYSTERY - FINCH
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M FINCH, C.
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FIC (M) FINCH 2007
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MYSTERY FINCH
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MYS FINCH
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M FINCH
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On Order

Summary

Summary

On any given day in London, all Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, wants to do is 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 another chance to unravel a mystery, even if it means trudging through the snow to her townhouse next door.
One of Jane's former servants, Prudence Smith, is dead -- an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prudence dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by an elusive lack of motive in 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? Or was it something else entirely, something that Lenox alone can uncover before the killer strikes again -- disturbingly close to home?


Author Notes

Charles Finch is a graduate of Yale and Oxford, and has worked in politics. This is his first novel.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

This installment in Finch's mystery series about Victorian gentleman and amateur detective Charles Lenox is devoted to the sleuth's first case, in which-at the request of neighbor Lady Jane Grey-Lenox looks into the presumed suicide of a maid. As his investigation progresses, a second fatality-this one an obvious homicide-occurs at a fancy dress ball. James Langton's vocal interpretation of Lenox adds a layer of humanity to the reserved detective. Through subtle but playful rendering of dialogue, Langton brings to life Lenox's romantic feelings for Lady Jane, and hers for him. Additionally, Lenox's relationship with his butler, which is rather stiff in print, is infused with warmth as well as the requisite feudal spirit. Langton gives each of the book's prominent characters a distinctive voice, but his main success is the vocal personality he provides Lenox. A St. Martin's Minotaur paperback. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Old-fashioned ratiocination, done up with all the Victorian bells and whistles. When Lady Jane's former upstairs maid Prue dies, presumably by her own hand, the gentlewoman calls on her good friend, Charles Lenox--an amateur sleuth who's also a Roman antiquities scholar and a lover of maps, a good pipe and a decent cup of tea--to investigate. Searching the gel's digs at the Barnard household, Lenox discovers several clues: a bottle of rare and expensive blue indigo poison, a forged suicide note, a leaf, a candle and diverse suspicious guests in residence, including two politicians, two nephews, one financier, Prue's footman fianc and of course Barnard himself, a Director of the Royal Mint, who was safeguarding crates of the nation's gold in a locked room. Dumb Inspector Exeter of the Yard is called in, but makes little headway, so Lenox sends his man Graham, his brother Edmund et al. to reconnoiter. Another fatality is scheduled for the season's main event, Barnard's ball. Untangling the ties between the deaths solves the case in time for Lenox and Lady Jane to contemplate more congenial companions. Finch's rudimentary writing skills are enlivened now and then by bits of London history. On the whole, though, most Sherlockians can skip this unengaging debut without risk. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

Gentleman Charles Lenox aids a lady friend to discover the secrets behind her former servant's death in this debut set in Victorian England. A Minotaur First Edition Selection. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.