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review 2019-01-13 19:21
A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch - My Thoughts
A Beautiful Blue Death - Charles Finch

This is the third book from my Christmas haul and again, I enjoyed my read. 

The book and the author were recommended by one of my most favourite authors, Louise Penny, the author of the Gamache series.  I just spent 20 minutes trying to find the reference and failed miserably  *LOL*.   Anyway, that's the reason I picked it up.

So, Charles Lenox is a Victorian gentleman who likes to solve mysteries. He has an interesting group of family and friends and he's a smart fellow.  I liked him.  I can see why Louise likes him as well - there's a faint Gamachian feel to the book and the characters which is fine by me. 

I like Finch's writing style, it's easy to read and while there are instances of what could be termed as info-dumping, they're handled well and not annoying.  He also does some easy back and forth banter between Lenox and his old friends that I found quite fun. 

The mystery worked for me, as did the wrapping up of the various plot-lines.  There was a question or two that didn't get answered, or if it did, I missed it, but that didn't impede my enjoyment of the book.

If I had one real problem with the book, it was that there was an awful lot of snowing going on in London for late December/early January.  I don't think it snows that much over there at all. 

Anyway, I enjoyed the book enough to add Book 2 to my wishlist.  :)

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review 2018-09-08 00:00
The Laws of Murder: A Charles Lenox Mystery
The Laws of Murder: A Charles Lenox Mystery - Charles Finch I very much enjoy Mr. Finch's work. Each book in this series is fresh, as if it still is a pleasure for him to share his protagonist, Charles Lenox, with readers. I've enjoyed watching Lenox progress from bachelorhood to married life, as well as his transition through his careers — and back, as this book describes. Finch gets the tone of London just right, in my opinion, and depicts class differences of the period accurately and sensitively. I also appreciate his evenhanded variety of female characters.

I look forward to the next installment in this series.
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review 2016-11-18 00:00
Home by Nightfall: A Charles Lenox Mystery (Charles Lenox Mysteries)
Home by Nightfall: A Charles Lenox Mystery (Charles Lenox Mysteries) - Charles Finch This series has been sort of like riding a roller coaster for me. It's had its ups & downs. When I first started reading it, I loved it. Then when Charles Lenox started working in the Parliament I didn't like it all. Now that he's left Parliament and has his own detective agency, I love it again. I'm extremely glad that the author decided to go that route so Charles can freely detect again because the whole Parliament thing was tedious and boring!!

In this book, Charles' brother Edward, goes through some major life changes so I'm curious to see what happens with him next. He's always enjoyed detecting with Charles so maybe he'll leave Parliament and start dabbling in detecting too. You never know... : )

*I received this ARC from Minotaur Books and Goodreads Firstreads in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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review 2015-10-26 00:00
The Laws of Murder: A Charles Lenox Mystery
The Laws of Murder: A Charles Lenox Mystery - Charles Finch The novel is set in London in 1876, a popular time to set a story in. Charles Lenox has quit his job in Parliament to start a private detective agency, the first of its kind. As the agency is going through growing pains, two related murders happen, one to a friend in Scotland Yard and another to a lord with a shady past. Despite obstacles in their course, namely the threat of physical violence against his family, Lenox analytically pursues the case trying to figure out how the convent across the street from a murder scene and luggage ticket on a ship tie everything together.

This was an enjoyable mystery in many ways. Lenox has a likeable personality and displays some sharp analysis. He comes off as being very British, a man of high birth, belonging to the upper class, but still willing to get his hands dirty and do some work. The story unfolded with tension and drama. Besides the mystery component, there are personal sub-plots at work involving the start and survival of the detective agency that Lenox and friends start. The murderer in the novel is a bit cliché but the ultimate motive for the murders was interesting.

Carl Alves – author of Blood Street
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review 2014-12-29 12:16
The Laws of Murder (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #8) by Charles Finch
The Laws of Murder: A Charles Lenox Mystery - Charles Finch

The year is 1876, and Charles Lenox is just out of the parliament with some bad men to catch. Seven baddies to be exact, all of whom has eluded justice. The book starts as he packs away the sixth, felling him to a trap which used the baddy’s greed to full potential. And thus Lenox contemplates the last. The meanest and the baddest of them all. But, he knows it is not easy to catch that guy, so he opens a detective agency, something unheard of in those days, with three colleagues. Bad press, and worse quotes from a supposed friend inside Scotland Yard follows, and the business goes off to a rocky start. The three partners start to bring cases and money except Lenox. He sits idle and contemplates his future as a case drops into his lap, involving the dropping dead of that same bad mouthing good friend within the Yard. Inspector Jenkins.

What worked for me???

1. Great humanist mind-set shown by the protagonist towards animals. The lines dedicated towards the horses of London, showed Lenox to be a man of great humanity and advanced thinking, coming from an Age, when his peers were still hanging and flogging us Indians in India. Lenox even doubts whether they will be able to hold on to India for long. An advanced yet sacrilegious though during that time.

2. Children are difficult to understand in real life, except maybe for their mothers. And they are more difficult to write about. Alan Bradley is doing a wonderful job of having a child as his sleuth, and portraying her as a well-developed character. Though not a main point in this book, Lenox draws up children pretty effectively. Georgina is a treat to read about even in those small paras dedicated to her. With proper timing she is a protagonist in the making.

3. The setting of late 1800s London. For a man who never set his foot outside India, Lenox did a commendable job of describing London from the very first page. From her rain soaked to days to the posture of her citizens which shows they are idling away their time, his descriptions were vivid.

4. Characters. Most of them were well developed. Right from the partner, to the competitor and the culprit, everyone was shown in multi-dimensional ways, which justified their acts. It never felt that “OK, we don’t know about this guy and his life or his character, but we just know that he is the culprit”.

5. Twists. The book was a crime novel, and so by default required twists. And Lenox provides them in abundance. From baddies to holy men and women, everyone was made to go through his twist machine.

What didn’t work for me?

1. The length of the novel could have been shorter. Somehow the length was a bit of a dampener for me. The plot on its own would have been tight and more enjoyable had the book been 50 odd pages shorter.

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