abeautifulbluedeathcharle52232_fI’m not sure where I came across the name of Charles Finch – it may have been mentioned on someone’s blog, or I may have simply have been seduced by the cover somewhere, but I’m glad  I decided to put this on my Christmas list, and grateful to the Book God for buying it for me (I suspect that he wants to read it too)

The hero of A Beautiful Blue Death is Charles Lenox, a Victorian gentleman of leisure with a love for ancient history and travel, and a man who has clearly dabbled in amateur investigations in the past with some measure of success. It is winter in 1860’s London, and although he would prefer to be reading by a fire in his study, he gives in to the request of his childhood friend, and current neighbour, Lady Jane to look into the circumstances surrounding the death of a former maid from her household, who has been found at her new position apparently having committed suicide.

Of course the novel would be over fairly quickly if that were the case, and it becomes clear that the girl was poisoned, and Charles must find out why and by whom, both to satisfy himself and to keep his promise to Lady Jane.

This was a very enjoyable read, to the extent that I stayed up well past my normal bedtime so that I could finish the story. Lenox is a really attractive leading man, his relationship with Lady Jane is nicely drawn, and there is a wonderful cast of supporting characters, particularly his brother Sir Edmund, who is a distinguished Parliamentarian but nevertheless wants to help with the investigation. The denouement was very satisfying, and I will be looking out for the sequel when it becomes available later this year.