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
"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)
I wouldn't say on the edge of my seat, but I always wanted to see what would happen next.
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.
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.
lover of books, puzzles, and yarn
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.
Narrative makes the world go round.
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?
I am a working mom who loves to squeeze in listening to books while walking, doing chores or commuting.
No, but I completed it. There were so many characters in the book and I had trouble keeping them straight in an audio format.
I do not recall any previous books.
James Langton did a very fine job with this British story. There was no problem with the narration.
May a BBC version for PBS, at best. The story is flat.
I was glad it was over.
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.
I just started Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith
He simply brings the characters to life and is true to their origins.
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.
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.
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