Wednesday, March 5, 2008

“A Beautiful Blue Death” by Charles Finch

A Beautiful Blue Death” by Charles Finch
2007, St. Martin's Minotaur
ISBN: 978-0-312-35977-5

I settled in to reading, “A Beautiful Blue Death” by Charles Finch some days ago. This reminded me of a Sherlock Holmes story. It is set in the late 1800’s and the manner of the detective, Charles Lenox, is of a gentleman. He is a singularly thoughtful man and has a knack of figuring things out. Although this is Charles Finch’s first published novel there are references in the story of other crimes Charles has had the opportunity to solve. It lent a bit of interest to the story, sort of, “You are here, but we were also there once upon a time and hope to be here in the future as well.” It was like he made a claim through the words of his character that we would be seeing more of Charles Lenox.

In this story Charles is asked by his friend Lady Jane to help solve the mystery of the death of a former maid who, at first glance, appears to have committed suicide. There are deeper underlying mysteries and Charles sets out to solve the crime.

I especially liked the relationship Charles has with his neighbor Lady Jane. Ever a fan of romance, I appreciated the hint of a romance developing between those two characters and would enjoy seeing something happening in subsequent books.

There was also an interesting relationship between Charles and his man servant, Graham, who helped him with a great many points along the way.

The entire cloth of the story, the underlying rhythm, was something that held me throughout the book. It is a slower paced life, a more thoughtful sounding life than the one we sometimes have in the present. Although many of us have more creature comforts and certainly more technological advances and though life itself was certainly harder in those days for people there is just something about the way Charles Finch writes of this period that makes me want to be sure to read anything more he decides to write.

You can read Charles Finch’s blog and have a look at his website. “A Beautiful Blue Death” has just been nominated for an Agatha Award. Congratulations!

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