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A Beautiful Blue Death: Charles Lenox Mysteries Series #1 | [Charles Finch]

A Beautiful Blue Death: Charles Lenox Mysteries Series #1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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?

©2007 Charles Finch (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (135 )
5 star
 (29)
4 star
 (52)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
3.6 (117 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (27)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (113 )
5 star
 (42)
4 star
 (43)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Sheryl 05-21-12
    Sheryl 05-21-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I like cozy"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Beautiful Blue Death to be better than the print version?

    N/A


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I wouldn't say on the edge of my seat, but I always wanted to see what would happen next.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I thinks the budding romance scenes. I enjoy the old fashioned purity where love is slow to be realized and strong emotional urges are held in check.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    People say its "cozy" like it's a bad thing. I truly enjoyed this book and I am about ready to download the next one.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Canarylampshade Providence, RI, USA 07-29-12
    Canarylampshade Providence, RI, USA 07-29-12 Member Since 2001

    lover of books, puzzles, and yarn

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    236
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story -- narration, not so much"

    This character driven mystery is charming; description of place and time are very good. The narrator, however, detracts from the story, particularly in the voice of Charles Lenox. He sounds supercilious, and flippant. I find this in contrast to the character's actual words. Nonetheless, I've bought the next 2.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 10-09-11
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 10-09-11

    trying to see the world with my ears

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3570
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1492
    397
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1514
    140
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very pedestrian cozy"

    passable plot, good ideas for characters and a series, but poorly executed with tedious dialogue and clunky exposition. Where was the book company's editor?

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Moose Bristol, VA USA 10-12-14
    A. Moose Bristol, VA USA 10-12-14 Member Since 2013

    WDW Moose

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The characters didn't ring true"
    Would you try another book from Charles Finch and/or James Langton?

    James Langton is fantastic. I actually found this book through his work in the Inspector Banks series. I love his work and will look for others by him.

    Mr. Finch, sorry but no. The story was very dull and none of the characters were all that interesting. The story is ridiculous from the beginning. A lowly maid apparently commits suicide, but her former employer, a very respectable Lady, insists on having her death investigated.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I just started Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith


    What does James Langton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He simply brings the characters to life and is true to their origins.


    Did A Beautiful Blue Death inspire you to do anything?

    Yes to go back and listen to several of Anne Perry's Inspector Pitt novels. That was regency mystery done right. The Upstairs/Downstairs mentality and the firm distinction in roles during that time period.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Churchill arlington, va, usa 12-01-12
    Churchill arlington, va, usa 12-01-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not so much"

    I felt it moved too slowly. Appropriate for the time portrayed, 19th century England. The formalities and speech patterns, dining habits and overall environment of a Britain poised before great change were pitch perfect. But at the end of the day, I was not very interested in either the story, (did not hold up) nor the characters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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