This week we are featuring the letter F.
Once again I'm going for the double whammy. F is for Finch, Charles Finch. And also for The Fleet Street Murders, the third installment in Finch's Victorian era mysteries. Charles Finch is one of my more recent finds. He is a graduate of Yale and Oxford and has made his debut in the mystery world with a quite lovely Victorian series. His protagonist is Charles Lenox, a gentleman of the upper crust as well as amateur sleuth. His first novel, A Beautiful Blue Death. was nominated for an Agatha Award and was soon followed by his second, The September Society.
Synopsis for A Beautiful Blue Death: Set in England in 1865, Finch's impressive debut introduces an appealing gentleman sleuth, Charles Lenox. When Lady Jane Grey's former servant, Prue Smith, dies in an apparent suicide-by-poisoning, Lady Jane asks Lenox, her closest friend, to investigate. The attractive young maid had been working in the London house of George Barnard, the current director of the Royal Mint. Lenox quickly determines that Smith's death was a homicide, but both Barnard and Scotland Yard resist that conclusion, forcing him to work discreetly. (from Publisher's Weekly)
Synopsis for The September Society: Charles Lenox, Victorian private detective, has an opportunity to revisit his university days when he gets a case involving a missing second-year student at Lincoln College, Oxford. George Payson has vanished, leaving only an odd collection of items in the sitting room of his quarters: a frayed piece of string, half a tomato, a fountain pen, and a card labeled "The September Society." Oh, yes, and a dead cat. Lenox re-explores his old haunts as he pieces together the clues, which eventually lead him back to London and the headquarters of the mysterious society. (from School Library Journal)
I have read both of these and found them to be highly enjoyable, very well-done period mysteries. Next up for me is The Fleet Street Murders--although I am behind. Finch already has a fourth one out and beckoning to me (A Stranger in Mayfair). In The Fleet Street Murders, the near simultaneous murders on Christmas night of two giants of Fleet Street—Daily Telegraph writer Winston Carruthers and Daily News editor Simon Pierce—rock 1866 London. These sensational crimes disturb holiday festivities at the Mayfair home of amateur detective Charles Lenox, who jumps at the chance to further his crime-solving career. The multifaceted case includes a coded letter, wartime espionage, a gang slaying, bribery and eavesdropping, making it all fearfully complicated in the words of Inspector Jenkins of Scotland Yard.
I can't wait till I get to this part of my TBR pile...