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.
trying to see the world with my ears
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 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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