Happy Friday, time for some Reads N Reviews!
Last week I said I was reading this historical mystery based on a friend’s recommendation:
Author: Charles Finch
Rating: 4/5 Stars
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?
This was a solid read! I really enjoyed it. My friend’s recommendation streak continues!
What I Liked:
The main character. Charles Lennox was likable. He was quirky but not in an off putting kind of way.
The cast of characters. I find with historical mysteries, reoccurring secondary characters have to pique my interest or I won’t return for other readings. Finch struck a good balance of introducing us to some worthy characters . A couple of times I thought ‘I hope we learn more about this person in future books.’ Other mystery series that do this well are: Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache novels and Ashley Gardner’s Captain Lacey Mysteries– both of which I recommend. Charles Lennox’s brother was entertaining, Lennox’s butler and the private investigator he works were with are also good. Oh and so was Exeter and Lady Jane… well now I’m just naming everyone.
The romance truly took a backseat to the mystery. I love a good love story. But I like to get lost in a good mystery and you were able to do that here without getting distracted by romance… but the romance was sweet.
The mystery was complicated. A murder happens but the methodology was not straight forward and I liked that I had to think to understand it.
The Overall story arc. I do like mystery novels that have an overall story arc that covers multiple books. I really wanted to know what happened concerning a certain situation and was pleased to see it picked up in the preview of the next book.
What I Didn’t Like:
I think there may have been too many red herrings. I was a little annoyed by introduction of an obvious suspect and thinking why are we introducing this person? There are already enough suspects!
Definitely recommend this novel and looking forward to reading more in this series.
In fact I am probably going to either pick up: