A Beautiful Blue Death: The First Charles Lenox Mystery (Charles Lenox Mysteries #1) (Paperback)

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This is the first in
a series set in England circa 1865.  Gentleman
Charles Lenox likes solving puzzles; he is aided in his sleuthing by his butler
Graham.  Lady Jane, Charles’ good friend
and neighbor, asks him to look into the death of her former servant, Prue.  The young woman found employment in the house
of wealthy George Barnard to be near her fiancée.   She was found dead in her room.  While Barnard loudly proclaims the girl
committed suicide, Lady Jane fears foul play. 
Charles grabs his good friend Dr. McConnell and pops round to the scene
of the crime.  There are suspects
aplenty.  But Charles has to tread
lightly; Barnard is a very powerful man. 
Meanwhile Graham chats up the servants to see what they might know.  Anticipate a good story and a likeable new

— Deon Stonehouse


Equal parts Sherlock Holmes and P.G. Wodehouse, Charles Finch's debut mystery A Beautiful Blue Death introduces a wonderfully appealing gentleman detective in Victorian London who investigates crime as a diversion from his life of leisure.

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?

About the Author

Charles Finch is the USA Today bestselling author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, including The Vanishing Man. His first contemporary novel, The Last Enchantments, is also available from St. Martin's Press. Finch received the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. His essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Washington Post, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For…

“Vividly capturing the essence of Victorian England, Finch presents us with a unique sleuth who combines the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes with the people skills of Thomas Pitt. A sparkling achievement.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“A fine specimen of the genre…. Particularly good is [Finch's] delineation of Lenox's cozy-but-proper relationship with Lady Jane.” —The Washington Post

“The best sort of historical mystery--clever, charming, full of period detail, and a delight to read.” —David Liss, author of The Whiskey Rebels

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312386078
ISBN-10: 0312386079
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: July 22nd, 2008
Pages: 336
Language: English
Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries