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Publisher's Summary

In the small hours of the morning one fall day in 1866, a frantic widow visits detective Charles Lenox. Lady Annabelle's problem is simple: her beloved son, George, has vanished from his room at Oxford. When Lenox visits his alma mater to investigate, he discovers a series of bizarre clues, including a murdered cat and a card cryptically referring to "The September Society".

Then, just as Lenox realizes that the case may be deeper than it appears, a student dies, the victim of foul play. What could the September Society have to do with it? What specter, returned from the past, is haunting gentle Oxford? Lenox, with the support of his devoted friends in London's upper crust, must race to discover the truth before it comes searching for him, and dangerously close to home.

Investigate more mysterious doings with Charles Lennox.
©2008 Charles Finch (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Even the most astute reader will be guessing to the end. Another triumph." (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Likeable sleuth & friends...growing in depth!

I must say this series is growing on me! This book has the lightness and humor of the first book, but has an added depth which I enjoyed. Charles Lennox is more ruminative and we are let to know more about the painful emotions he experiences when the murder takes place, and one can see that his consistently light tone is a proper, class-appropriate Victorian cover for his deeper feelings.

I enjoyed his visit back to the haunts of his university days, and his reflections on youth, maturity and his change of perception of family and friends. I guessed most of the mystery, but not quite all! So, there was a bit of surprise at the end. However, I read mysteries more as good stories and character studies, so the complexity of the mystery is not an issue for me.

I was surprised to actually enjoy his description of Oxford, the buildings and the history. Fascinating. These mysteries are giving me a window to the Victorian past, and the author manages to draw parallels to our modern world without making me feel the characters themselves are leaping out of their time-frame to do it.

All in all, I highly recommend this author and this series of books.

Oh -- and by the way, the reading is really top-notch. A British actor who knows how to differentiate the characters without grating on the ear! Lovely. Enjoy!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Great audiobook

Where does The September Society rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the very best on audio--takes a bit to get used to narrator's slightly diffident tone, but a fascinating, well developed mystery, and a likeable aristocratic detective...in the mold of Wimsey and Campion but a real original. Highly recommend!

Any additional comments?

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Satisfactory historical mystery

The mystery was compelling, plenty of clues and twists and an interesting setting.
However the characters were not very engaging, I didn't care a jot for the main character's love interest and for some reason the narrator chose to give the main character a voice more suited to a simpleminded, aristocratic idler.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Ho Hum...zzzz

A little slow, a bit obvious, and the "friendship" between Charles and Jane! Even a Victorian romance couldn't move this slowly. There were interesting possibilities at every turn, but it took way too long to bring them to light and the excitement always fizzles out in the numerous trips from Oxford to London and back and the endless thinkin' that old Charles does. Weighs the story down and gets it nowhere. Meanwhile his assistants find out all manner of interesting things off-stage and merely report back to him. Maybe the narrator's rather flat delivery makes the story seem even stodgier than it is.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 12-08-15

Good murder mystery!

This is a worthwhile listen. It is English murder mystery in the 1860's set in Oxford and London.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy N
  • Long Beach, CA United States
  • 04-29-16

Enjoyable, human Victoriam detective story

I really enjoyed this book because I liked Charles Lennox. He's a kind man who makes mistakes and is mature enough to evaluate and regret them. He sacrifices position and relationships to serve humankind as a detective, seeing nobility in his calling. A *good* man. A human man without the cockiness or certitude of a Holmes or Poirot.

The pace is slow, with the clues unfolding gradually - not a good choice for readers who want a lot of action or an all-knowing detective. But it has heart. And there are a number of historical tidbits as a bonus, if one enjoys that sort of thing, as I do.

The narrator is wonderful, really differentiating the characters with different voicings and traits.

I'll definitely read more in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story

Love the narrator's voice. Great story and very likable characters. Will definitely read the next one in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very enjoyable and interesting

Would you consider the audio edition of The September Society to be better than the print version?

I like the reader's voice very much, but also enjoyed reading the book a while back.

What other book might you compare The September Society to and why?

Of course it matches to the other books of this series, as the books are strongly rooted in Charles Lennox' character and world view. Hearing his thoughts about life and the world is as pleasurable to me as the mystery.

What about James Langton’s performance did you like?

I like his reading style in general.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was touched and moved by many of Lennox's thoughts and musings and bookmarked a lot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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convoluted and pontificating

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

More convincing characters, better grounding in the time period, clearer story line and omitting copy-pastes from Oxford tour guide could have made it better. This book is an exceptional failure, in my view.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I did not mind the narrator one way or the other, the story, however, was week, to say the least.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The September Society?

I would definitely try to cut down on pontificating about Oxford and the Parliament a bit. It's better to "show" those things than to "explain" them.

Any additional comments?

After the first book which was so-so, I decided to give the series a try, and I feel sorry I did. That's it for me, personally!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Awesome Series!

Wonderful bookseries! I look forward to the moments I can listen to these books.
The awesome narrator makes the stories come alive. Its like being transported to Victorian England! If there were 10 stars to give I would!