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Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries
Author: Charles Finch
Publication Date: 06/26/2007
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?
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A Beautiful Blue Death is not a beautiful book. In fact, the book is so un-beautiful, that I couldn’t even finish it. Allow me to explain.
The book is set in the 1800s. That doesn’t bother me so much. It’s also set in London, again, not something that bothers me particularly. The main character, Charles Lenox is an amateur detective who just happens to be a boring sort of fellow. One of the other characters, George Barnard is such an obnoxious jerk, you can’t help but hate him. I suppose that’s a good thing, since there always seems to be at least one character the reader just can’t stand.
The main problem with this book is it moves far too slowly. I got to Chapter 19 and the investigation had barely begun. Lenox had only spoken to two or three suspects, had made a trip to a couple of apothecaries, and sent his butler to do some investigating for him. Other than that, he’s had quite a bit of tea and food.
This book has literally no action. There are no “uh oh” moments – at least not in the first 18 chapters. But if there isn’t any action by the 40% mark of a book, I can guess that action is not going to be forthcoming. I honestly wonder how it became an Agatha Award Nominee, considering I used to devour Agatha Christie books in a day and there was far more action in those books than in this one. They were much more interesting too.
One star for this book and that’s being generous.
I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.