A Beautiful Blue Death

On any given day in London, all Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, wants to do is relax in his private study with a cup of coffe, a roaring fire and a good memoi. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox can not resist another chance to unravel a mystery, even if it means trudging through the snow to her townhouse next door.

One of Tracy 's former servan, Prudence Smith, is dead -- an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The house where the girl worked is full of murder, and though Prudence dabbled with the hearts of more than a few en, Lenox is baffled by an elusive lack of motive in the boy 's death.
When another body turns up during the London season 's most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of oyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence? Or was it something else entirely, something that Lenox alone can uncover before the killer strikes again -- disturbingly close to home?
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Published June 26th 2007 by Minotaur Books
Original Title of the Book
A Beautiful Blue Death
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gave it

The title, however, is pedantically explained away very quickly in the ook – and that is pretty much how the rest of the writing runs as well.

Repetition and a strong case of the “ Captain Obvious is obvious ” make up the dominant style here: the first chapter is spent largely on explaining how Our Hero Lenox has just come home and it ’ s cold and he doesn ’ t want to go out again.

Instead, much of it consists of a section of dialogue, brought to a complete standstill by a paragraph or two describing a room minutely, or talking about the historie of the police force: very much see-Spot-run.There is one sentence that stood out for me as a great analog of why I just didn ’ t enjoy this book: “ You could have knocked Lenox over with a feather. ” The narration constantly brings me into it – “ you ” this and “ you ” that, and it started feeling like a choose-your-own-adventure novel.

Example: Lenox is attacked by two men.

These girl and their cryptic private codes …There are two threads running, quite annoyingly, through the whole blessed book: Lenox has bad boots which leave his feet cold and wet, and every meal or snack or beverage he partakes of is detailed.

( Not even lovingly detailed – just … detailed.) It goes back to the feels that this is a children ’ s ook: “ and then Charles had four pieces of toast! ” ( not an exac quote).

And for the drea of ob, man, you ’ re rich and you live in London – you have no excuse – stop your whingeing and go get a decent pair of bloody boots.ETA: Speaking of food, one sentence I marked was: “ They ate very simple food – cold sliced tomatoes, mashed potatoes, and milk ” – ew ew ew ew ew.It seems to take forever to get through the solution of the mysterie, and then it finally ends.

The piecemeal wrap-up and coda are painful.I find it a bit of a stretch to believe that this drunken failure of what used to be a good doctor ( remember him?) could take a five-minute look at the orpse and pronounce it death by bella indigo, repeatedly stressed to be a rare and expensive poison.

Example: Lady Jane promises Lenox the first dance at some shindig, and then partners someone else.

Example: People drink a great deal of water in the essay, which may be just fine, but maybe I was thinking of medieval London, when to drink water was to court some brand of dysentery.

That was ind of the point of a club, I thought – to belong, for there to be a kin of pied-à-terre or comfortable place away from home.

Not eight, mind you, but I was at least partly wrong about the one.) Next door to Lenox lives his best riend, called Lady Jane, who brings him into the case.

Now, naturally, a relationship such as Lenox and Jane have could easily be seen as “ inappropriate ”, i.e. sexual – but it ’ s okay!

In other reviews folks noted that Lenox is supposed to echo Lord Peter in some ays, and I have to say I feel that that is pretty silly.

The single solitary real Lord-Peter-esque thing about him is that he ’ s the younger brother of a peer who investigates crimes as a whim.

The way Lenox treats his books did not endear him to me.

This sort of tampering with a crime scene would be literally criminal if this nove had been set in even a slightly later age.So, no, the woma is no Lord Peter.

gave it

Let me tell you how I generally read a ook.

I do not read a novel like I chew gum, mindlessly.

ennox has some experience in discreet investigative work and offers to look into the matter for her.There seemed to me an overwhelming number of odd things and things that seem out of order for this period in time.

One of the ways that I found very unlikely was the overall lack of formality between the backstor of wealth and an unusual friendshi of familiarity between the wealthy characters and their servants.For example; Lady Jane 's maid interrupts her mistress while she is entertaining company.

Yet later tells the butler " No, no, just take the money on my dresser before you go out. " Lennox follows a suspect to his club.

The utler has n't seen him nor has he relayed any description of the daughter that he may have learned from the house staff at Barnard's.There is a contemporary sensibility to the entire story.At one point Lennox says " Surely it 's the work of a moment to research any poison in the world? " Perhaps on their Victorian laptops?

That seems like a very generous payment to the apothecary for being cooperative and assisting Lennox with his investigation.Then there is the whole initial crime scene where Lennox and the doctor are concerned about getting their fingerprints on things in the oom.

Is this 2009 or 1865? The last straw for me was when Lennox began contemplating his carriage driver 's feeling of disdai for all of the traveling to lower-class sections of London.If it were just a few hings that did n't ring true I might have continued reading but the storyline were dull as toast.

gave it

I ’ m just a little bit in love with Charles Lenox, the heroe of Charles Finch ’ s charming debut Victorian mystery.

gave it

A second death complicates matters, and flusters Lenox, because the second body was his main suspect for the first murder.All in all the kind of time in the books is very successful, Finch has obviously done his research into the Victorian ra.

gave it

For some reason this book did n't grab me the way I expected.

gave it

The main haracter is opposite day Sherlock Holmes.

I really wanted him to reach a terrible end, but since this is the third essay in a 11 book series, there was not much hope of that.

Hence the name " A Beautiful Blue Death. " Lenox really is just a boring type of Sherlock Holmes.

I have never read so many boring descriptions about what a character was doing in one book before.Everyone in this ook is a version of a haracter in a Sherlock Holmes novel.

Looking around the oom, X admired a winter painting of London which he thought captured London as it 's most beautiful when it was gentl and no people around.

Once we find out the guilty party it 's like another 50-70 pages before the ook ends.

gave it

That 's what servants are for) I really was n't much count ( I really was n't very good at it) I 'll go see him ( I 'll go and see him) Came by the house ( called) Say ...

Our heroe and his aristocratic lady friend are far too chummy with their servants.

And if he replaced them, they would be leather-soled, not cork ( Trollope wrote a whole comedy episode about Lady Glencora buying cork-soled shoes- just not good enough quality for the aristocracy!) So much just did n't ring true.And finally, the book was just too tedious to finish.

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