A Beautiful Blue Death

Charles Lenox Mysteries (Volume 1)

Charles Finch

Minotaur Books

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Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, likes nothing more than to relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist the chance to unravel a mystery.

Prudence Smith, one of Jane’s former servants, is dead of an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The grand house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prue had dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by the motive for the girl’s death.

When another body turns up during the London season’s most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence Smith? Or was it something else entirely? And can Lenox find the answer before the killer strikes again—this time, disturbingly close to home?

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Book Excerpts

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A Beautiful Blue Death (Chapter One)

The fateful note came just as Lenox was settling into his armchair after a long, tiresome day in the city. He read it slowly, handed it back to Graham, and told him to throw it away. Its contents gave him a brief moment of preoccupation, but then, with a slight frown, he picked up the evening edition of the Standard and asked for his tea.

It was a bitterly cold late afternoon in the winter of 1865, with snow falling softly over the cobblestones of London. The clock had just chimed five o'clock, and darkness was dropping across the city--the gas lights

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Reviews

Praise for A Beautiful Blue Death

“Vividly capturing the essence of Victorian England, Finch presents us with a unique sleuth who combines the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes with the people skills of Thomas Pitt. A sparkling achievement.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“A fine specimen of the genre…. Particularly good is [Finch’s] delineation of Lenox’s cozy-but-proper relationship with Lady Jane.” —The Washington Post

“The best sort of historical mystery—clever, charming, full of period detail, and a delight to read.” —David Liss, author of The Whiskey Rebels


In the Press

Fiction Review: A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch / Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $24.95 (309p) ISBN 978-0-312-35977-5

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-po
- Publishers Weekly


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About the Author

Charles Finch

Charles Finch is a graduate of Yale and Oxford. He is the author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, including The Fleet Street Murders, The September Society and A Stranger in Mayfair. A Beautiful Blue Death was his first novel and was nominated for an Agatha Award and was named one of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2007, one of only five mystery novels on the list. He lives in Oxford, England.

Charles Finch

Photo: Alix Smith
Charles Finch

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A Beautiful Blue Death
Charles Finch

Award

Agatha Awards - Nominee

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
July 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312386078
ISBN10: 0312386079
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 336 pages
$15.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
May 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250000453
ISBN10: 1250000459
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 336 pages
$9.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
June 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429955331
ISBN10: 1429955333
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$9.99
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