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A beautiful blue death
Charles Finch
Adult Fiction FINCH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Set in England in 1865, Finch's impressive debut introduces an appealing gentleman sleuth, Charles Lenox. When Lady Jane Grey's former servant, Prue Smith, dies in an apparent suicide-by-poisoning, Lady Jane asks Lenox, her closest friend, to investigate. The attractive young maid had been working in the London house of George Barnard, the current director of the Royal Mint. Lenox quickly determines that Smith's death was a homicide, but both Barnard and Scotland Yard resist that conclusion, forcing him to work discreetly. Aided by his Bunter-like butler and friend, Graham, the detective soon identifies a main suspect, only to have that theory shattered by that man's murder. Finch laces his writing with some Wodehousian touches and devises a solution intricate enough to fool most readers. Lovers of quality historical whodunits will hope this is the first in a series. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

When wealthy Victorian gentleman Charles Lenox is asked by good friend Lady Jane to investigate the apparent suicide by poison of her former maid, he is soon embroiled in a complex case involving members of Parliament, wealthy Londoners, and people with special knowledge of botany and noxious plants. While the story is just a tad slow, the mystery keeps the reader guessing, and the real charm here comes from the finely drawn characters. The wide-ranging relationships that Lenox has forged over the years-from his butler to Lady Jane-make this a debut historical in the line of an Anne Perry or David Liss mystery to be savored slowly and with great pleasure. 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, this is recommended for all mystery collections. [A Minotaur First Edition Selection; see Prepub Mystery, LJ 3/1/07.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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