I learned about Charles Finch’s A Beautiful Blue Death at Citizen Reader’s blog. Again her recommendation was spot on. Finch’s first novel, a mystery introduced me to amateur detective Charles Lennox. Lennox’s friend Lady Jane asks him to look into the death of her former maid Prudence Smith.
Lennox is very much cut from the same cloth as Sherlock Holmes, though he’s polished his social skill more than Benedict Cumberbach’s Sherlock. His right hand man is Dr. Mitchell, these amateur detectives are shrewd to have a close friend who can analyze poison, dead bodies and such. Graham is Lennox’s butler who’s willing to go to the ends of the earth for his boss.
Strong, fascinating female characters include
“Pru” is an interesting victim. She entrances me and as Lennox investigates he keeps learning of yet another lover. She appears to have been a strong woman who spoke up for herself and for what’s right, which is how she wound dead.
Following the Holmesian path, Lennox must deal with an inept Scotland Yard and that’s lead by Exeter, who’s about 5 steps behind Lennox vis-a-vis science and logic.
A Beautiful Blue Death has a smooth style and kept surprising me till the very last pages. Though Finch is American, his tone and style were very British. I’ll read more in this smart, delightful series.