Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Book Review

A Beautiful Blue Death, the debut novel of Charles Finch, at first read like a cut-rate Sherlock Holmes. But as I read more, I began to really like the characters. Charles Lenox, the second son of a rich landowner, enjoys a comfortable life of books and amateur sleuthing in 1865 London. When a former maid of his dear childhood friend and neighbor, Lady Jane Grey, dies suspiciously, Lady Jane asks for his help in solving the case.

I enjoyed all of the relationships Lenox has with his inner circle, which includes his longtime butler, Graham, his brother, Edmund, a member of the House of Lords and Thomas McConnell, trusted friend and doctor. Lady Jane is obviously the object of his desire but being a widow and also being set in the Victorian era, at least in this first book their friendship is platonic.

While chasing down clues, Lenox crisscrosses London, from Piccadilly Circus to the Rookery to the halls of Parliament. Anyone interested in Victorian England will enjoy this London tour and all the historical and political details embroidered throughout the story. The mystery itself is well done and not easily solved.

Well written, with likable characters. You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy this tale of intrigue, betrayal and greed. I usually prefer cozies with female leads but was swayed by a good review of A Beautiful Blue Death. And that title certainly promised something special. I’m hoping to pick up the next in this series when the library opens on Monday!

Do What You Love!

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