A Beautiful Blue Death

A Beautiful Blue Death

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
15
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Baker & Taylor
When a servant girl is found dead, a supposed suicide, Victorian gentleman and amateur sleuth Charles Lenox is called in by his old friend, Lady Jane, to investigate and begins to suspect that the girl has fallen victim to a rare and deadly poison, in a case complicated by the discovery of a second body in the middle of London's most fashionable ball. A first novel. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave

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?



Baker
& Taylor

When a servant girl is found dead, a supposed suicide, Victorian gentleman and amateur sleuth Charles Lenox is called in by his old friend, Lady Jane, to investigate and begins to suspect that the girl has fallen victim to a rare and deadly poison.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312386078
9780312359775
0312359772
Characteristics: 309 p. ; 22 cm

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cmlibrary_jrobinson Jul 05, 2016

Finch's debut novel (an Agatha Award nominee) is ideal for historical mystery lovers and many readers will not sift out the complete truth until the end.

agkersh Dec 26, 2015

A Beautiful Blue Death is the first book in the new Charles Lenox mysteries series by Charles Finch. It is set in 1865 London and has the main character of Charles Lenox, who is the second son in an aristocratic family. He loves the comforts of his life, reads everything and solves mysteries. He is the most fleshed out of the characters, but he is a stereotype and the others are even more so.
The mystery in this book was entertaining, but not new, which led to slow plot movement and no real surprises. I feel that the period details were sloppy. I was hoping for more of an Anne Perry or Arthur Canon Doyle atmosphere, but it was more of a present day atmosphere with old idioms or facts thrown in which stood out even more for being incorrect. Congratulations to the author for being published and even continuing on in this series, but it was not a book I would continue to follow or recommend to my friends.

f
FerndaleAdultSRC
Jul 28, 2015

These well written mysteries provide a nicely-detailed look at Victorian England, class differences, upper class family interactions.

j
julia_sedai
Feb 05, 2015

This book is so great. I'm glad I found it. The main character is a gentleman but also a detective. I loved reading about upper class English society (sort of like it was some Jane Austen book) but then having the mystery of the crime as well. Charles Lenox pretends that all he wants to do is sit and read by the fire, or go travelling, but he really just loves solving mysteries. I liked the relationship between Charles and Lady Jane and want to read the rest of the series and see what happens. I recommend it for older teens, young adults, and adults. I don't usually read mystery books, but this one was way more along the style of books that I like.

2
2jane2
Oct 08, 2014

This is a wonderful series. It makes me want to drink tea, in my grandmother's fine china cups. My Sherlock mug won't do. I serenely slide through elegant London or other locations in the Empire as I follow Mr. Lenox's investigation. I get so caught up in them I want to say, "Barrymore! Do have Mrs. Barrymore bring tea to the sitting room."

e
Eosos
Jun 06, 2014

It is impossible not to compare Charles Lenox to Lord Peter Wimsey. They are both amateur gentleman detectives with a quiet and calm way of solving crime.

When Lady Jane asks long-time friend and neighbour, Charles Lenox, to look into the death of a former maid, he immediately leaves the comfort of his fire and heads to the girls place of death. While investigating the murder, Charles finds himself involved in affairs of state and with his brothers help he unravels a web of deceit and greed.

I quite liked this story. It slowly unfolded in a staid and quiet manner and yet there was no time I thought that the tale got boring or the descriptions were overpowering the story. It was peaceful and clever, Charles was interesting and the mystery had a great ending.

j
JackieFC13
Jan 15, 2014

I love old English mysteries!

m
MissEavis
May 27, 2013

I dunno, I liked the book on a whole. Good murder mystery all around, but I found that sometime the dialog was super annoying between the charecters. I've read a lot of victoiran literature and this is the first time I've thought that about a book....

d
DeltaQueen50
May 07, 2013

A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch is the first in his series about Charles Lennox, a Victorian gentleman who enjoys playing the sleuth occasionally when cases are presented to him. This particular case is brought to him by his childhood friend and close neighbour Lady Jane . A former maid of hers has been found dead of an apparent suicide, but it isn’t long before Lennox knows the young woman is a victim of foul play.

The mystery itself moves along at a quick pace and has Lennox visiting both the grandest places in London and some of it’s lowest as well. Lennox himself is a likeable, slightly eccentric character that is fun to read about. There were a few other characters that I am hoping will reappear in future episodes. Overall an enjoyable, light read that held my interest and gave me a few giggles along the way.

hgeng63 Aug 13, 2011

Somewhat slow pacing for this 1st in the series. Don't worry; it gets better!

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