Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Burial at Sea (Charles Lenox Mysteries #5)” as Want to Read:
A Burial at Sea (Charles Lenox Mysteries #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Burial at Sea (Charles Lenox Mysteries #5)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  2,463 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
Charles Lenox, Member of Parliament, sets sail on a clandestine mission for the government. When an officer is savagely murdered, however, Lenox is drawn toward his old profession, determined to capture another killer.

1873 is a perilous time in the relationship between France and England. When a string of English spies is found dead on French soil, the threat of all-out wa
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Minotaur Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Burial at Sea, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Burial at Sea

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 13, 2014 Cherie rated it really liked it
I really like Charles Lenox! Have I said that before? Yes, I am sure I have.

The advertisement for this story was “Agatha Christie meets Patrick O’Brian”. I don’t think it was quite either, but in typical Charles Lenox fashion, the job gets done and we have more than a few scary moments and a few sweet surprises thrown in too.

Charles has given up his first job as an amateur detective – passing his cases onto his young protégé since he started serving as a Member of Parliament.

In this story, he
First Sentence: He gazed out at the sunfall from an open second-floor window, breathing deeply of the cool salt air, and felt it was the first calm moment he had known in days.

Charles Lenox’s life has undergone significant changes. He is recently married, is about to become a father, has given up investigation and is a Member of Parliament. Yet the newly-dug Suez Canal has strained relations between England and France has Charles boarding ship on a secret mission. However, when a brutal murder o
Ruby Rose Scarlett
May 21, 2013 Ruby Rose Scarlett rated it really liked it
I loved this very much, as usual with Charles Finch. I found it quite intriguing that he should step into new territory (a tale of the navy) - I have yet to read Patrick O'Brian's books so this story felt very different to me and extremely interesting. There's a fair amount of detail about both life on ship and the British navy in general which I thought was beautifully handled and never felt like the author was dropping huge chunks of information to show how much research he'd done. The murders ...more
Excellent, excellent, excellent. Let's hope that Charles Finch is home writing at this very moment.

Charles Lenox has always been an armchair traveller. But now, in his capacity in Parliment, he is setting out to see the world as he dreamed before he was married. But marriage has divided his wish of what could be and what is. His lovely wife, Lady Jane, has just announced very welcome news and so he is loathe to leave. Yet as his ship sails toward Egypt and the newly dug Suez Canal, he feels the
Barb in Maryland
I have long enjoyed this understated series and A Burial at Sea may be the best of the lot.

Several years have passed since the action of the previous book (A Stranger in Mayfair). Charles is now a 'rising man' in Parliament and has given up his detective life. However, his two careers come together when he is asked to go to Egypt on a double mission. His overtures to the ruler of Egypt on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Victoria are a cover for a tricky bit of clandestine work-retrieving a document
Kathy Moberg
I wish I could give this 3 1/2 stars. I'm really close to saying what the heck and giving it 4... The novel is very well written and I learned an amazing amount about the 18th century British navy and what it was like to be on one of their ships. It was all fascinating. The mystery was excellent, too, and I look forward eagerly to the next Charles Lennox book. However -- there were long stretches where I was reading all the great stuff about being on the ship but wondering how much longer it wou ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This is now my favorite of the Charles Lenox series. A considerable portion of the book takes place aboard ship, and Finch researched sailing vessels of the period in order to get the details correct. I feel as though I spent a few days on a ship, too. That kind of writing is admirable. As for the mystery, Finch stays true to his style. All of the information is there, yet some of it seeming so innocent as to go unnoticed by the reader. Very clever writing.
Nov 30, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
It's just very refreshing to read about these nice people in 1870's england and, this time, at sea in a chevron with steam power. Lots of information about the British navy. Plot was well worked out for the most part but at the end there was an unlikely twist.
Linda Baker
Jan 21, 2012 Linda Baker rated it liked it
The fifth book in the Charles Lenox series, A Burial at Sea, is a very enjoyable read, more so than the last couple of books have been. Charles and Lady Jane have settled down to a placid married life and Charles' new career in Parliament has been both challenging and rewarding for him. If Charles regrets putting aside his detecting career for politics,the regret is a fleeting one.

When his brother, Edmund, asks him to undertake a trip to Egypt on a trade mission, he accepts readily. Even when he
Nov 08, 2011 Alla rated it it was amazing
“Burial at sea” by Charles Finch, follows Charles Lennox on his adventures in nineteenth century Britain, as he is asked to travel to Egypt and meet up with a French contact—a high-ranking official . The outcome of Lenox’s journey impacts whether there would be a war between Britain and France. But Lenox’s problems start much sooner, as serial murders begin happening on the ship he is traveling to Egypt on.

The first thing that stood out for me about the story, were the characters. The lead char
Oct 13, 2011 Gaby rated it really liked it
I am new to the Charles Lenox mysteries and very much enjoyed this first one. Other reviewers recommend reading the books in order, but I found it easy to like and follow the story of Charles Lenox, the forty-two year old former investigator now member of the House of Commons. Lenox is three years into his political career and misses his old vocation. But he's married to his childhood friend and a soon-to-be-father and a rising star in Parliment.

It is 1873 and British-French relations are at a
Nov 02, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Charles Lenox series is a favorite of mine but this one was atypical, taking place at sea and not in the drawing room. I'm not much of a sea story lover so this may be a draw back specific to me. Charles Lenox, now a member of Parliament as well as a former amateur detective, is acting as a spy for England. He is traveling by sea to Egypt where a number of English spies have been killed. Meanwhile, his recently wed wife Jane is distressed by his departure-she is a somewhat older woman pregna ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
After the disappointment of the short-story An East End Murder, I was very pleased to find this volume was back to form. It was a great visit with Charles Lenox. I didn't even miss the regular characters -- Jane, MacConnell and Toto, Graham, etc. It was great fun, and I was on the wrong track for a good bit of the story. I can't say too much without spoiling it for everyone, but it was a great adventure. The only thing I wish the author/publisher had thought to include was a chart of ship's time ...more
I wish I could give this 4.5 stars - I agree with previous critics that it may well be the best book in the series. I cannot give it a 5 only because the final 50 pages or so are shallow in comparison to the richness and depth of the previous storytelling, characters, description of ship life in the 1870's and the emerging history of the Suez Canal. The addition of Lenox's nephew was wonderful, although not entirely flushed out. The sailors are varying and distinct, but author Finch has once aga ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
This was my first encounter with Charles Finch and his amateur detective, Charles Lenox. I was captivated by the political and social details of Victorian England, just after the Suez Canal was completed. Lenox is asked to sail to India on a mission for the government...but it is more than that. As Sherlock often said, "The game is afoot!" and so it is in this story. Fans of Doyle, Sayres and other Victorian era detective novels will like this author. I recommend this book in particular, the bes ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Charles Lenox, Member of Parliament, sets sail on a clandestine mission for the government. When an officer is savagely murdered, however, Lenox is drawn toward his old profession, determined to capture another killer.

1873 is a perilous time in the relationship between France and England. When a string of English spies is found dead on French soil, the threat of all-out war prompts government officials to ask Charles Lenox to visit the newly-dug Suez Canal on a secret mission.

Great book. Good, i
Jan 15, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I really enjoyed reading this book. It has a strange mixture of plodding, slow-paced narrative along with simple quickly read chapters. I can't really understand it myself. Things seem to take forever to happen and food is described quite frequently. However, whenever I sat down to read, I flew through the chapters. That being said, I was able to put the book down for days and not consider it at all. I enjoyed it, but I wasn't on the edge of my seat. I will read the next one, but I won't hurry o ...more
Feb 18, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Although sea stories are not my thing necessarily, I enjoyed all I learned about shipping during the period when sailing ships were being augmented by coal. As always, Charles Lenox was charming and enjoyable.
Chris Jones
Nov 02, 2012 Chris Jones rated it liked it
A novel for the mystery genre called "We're all stuck here with each other in this [mansion, cabin, train, plane, or cruise ship] and one of us is a psychopathic serial killer posing as a [gentleman, lady]." This one is set on a 19th century British navy ship and life on board is filled with claret in the captain's quarters, well-researched ship parts, and parts of sailors that end cut up on deck while sailing to Egypt. If you like Murder on the Orient Express, you'll like burying sailors in Med ...more
Barbara Rogers
Sep 24, 2016 Barbara Rogers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 5 in the Charles Lenox series. This is my favorite one of the series so far. Still don't like that the narrator makes Lenox sound like he's really prissy, but maybe he'll grow on me since I already have the whole series.

Lenox hasn't been involved in being a detective for a while now -- because he's been concentrating on his career as a Member of Parliament and enjoying his new marriage. The leadership in his party ask him to go to Egypt to conduct a secret mission and to evaluate the useful
Richard Stueber
Jul 13, 2015 Richard Stueber rated it really liked it
Lady Jane Grey is pregnant with her first child. Meanwhile her husband Member of Parliament Charles Lenox is called upon the the government to go on a trip to Egypt. There is a secret agenda to be accomplished, but it all seems above board.
However on the first day of the voyage Lt. Halifax the second officer on the ship is murdered. Because of Lenox's reputation as a crime-solving detective he is called upon to investigate this dastardly crime by Captain Martin. As the voyage goes on Lenox grows
The Book Breeze
Jan 14, 2015 The Book Breeze rated it really liked it
Having read and enjoyed Finch’s A Beautiful Blue Death, I wasn’t surprised that the protagonist of the series, Charles Lenox, left his amateur sleuthing activities to join his brother, Edmund, in Parliament. Fortunately, Charles soon finds his investigatory skills needed again.

Edmund sends Charles on a secret mission to the Suez Canal where competition to own the rights to the Canal has led to the deaths of numerous English spies. The year is 1873 and the threat of war between England and France
Carlos Mock
Jul 26, 2014 Carlos Mock rated it really liked it
A Burial at Sea by Charles Finch

Set in 1873, in the middle of Victorian England, this is the sixth installment of the murder mysteries that have Charles Lenox as the protagonist.

Sir Edmund Lenox, Charles, brother sends Charles on a diplomatic/spying mission to Egypt - where the recently finished Suez Canal is probably the only reason keeping France from declaring an all out war against England.

On his way to Egypt, aboard the Lucy, a murder occurs. The captain of the boat, Mr. Jacob Martin, asks
Diane S ☔
Nov 30, 2011 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
3.5 Once again Charles Lennox finds himself solving a murder, or rather two murders. This time on the ship Lucy, en-route to Egypt. Love these atmospheric understated mysteries and in this one we learn quite a bit about the lives of sailors, the dangers and the camaraderie as well as the political dangers of the time. Mid 1870's and relations were extremely stressful between France and England with both sides spying on the other and it is this time period that is covered in this entertaining mys ...more
Norma Huss
Feb 18, 2013 Norma Huss rated it it was amazing
Like Publisher's Weekly said, "Agatha Christie meets Patrick O'Brian...the best in the series to date." I have to agree. In 1873, member of Parliament and former detective Charles Lenox travels to Egypt on the double mission of consolidating English ties to Egypt and the newly completed Suez Canal and meeting with a French spy regarding the killing of English agents. But murder aboard the boat Lucy gives him a third mission. That isn't the only mission that finds him in personal danger.
May 05, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical
A good one in the charles Lenox series. I enjoyed this one because its setting was so different than the last 4 - a ship in Her majesty's Navy. Lenox is sent to Egypt by Parliament ostensibly to negotiate British interests in the newly-constructed suez Canal. Secretly he is also charged to look into the reasons that 5 British spies have been unmasked and murdered recently. All of this takes place in the last 3 chapters. The bulk of the book concerns the murders of 2 officers on the vessel on whi ...more
Aug 23, 2014 Deb rated it liked it
Charles Lenox is happily married, serving as a Member of Parliament, and he's just learned that his wife is expecting their first child. So when his brother Edmund, who serves behind the scenes in the government, asks him to undertake a secret diplomatic mission to Egypt, he is a bit reluctant. However, he agrees to go and sets sail on HMS Lucy along with his nephew Teddy who has been newly commissioned as a midshipman. Early in the voyage to Egypt, a gruesome murder occurs on board, and Lenox i ...more
Lenox has become a typical stolid English politician, except for his propensity to still get involved with the odd investigation.

I found this one better than the last but still not as good as the first three. The entire murder mystery as sea seemed a little over the top and was missing some of the easy flow and fun of my favorites in the series.
Still, it was enjoyable and the mystery was good.
Dec 27, 2012 Katharine rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical, 2012
Pretty good - closer to the higher standard of this series. Lots of good and interesting background and characters. I do notice that the author has a tendency to write double endings - there is a climax, but then more happens after that. It's a little odd as a reader, if perhaps more realistic. I also agree with my friend Adventurat that the solution to the mystery was a bit unsatisfying.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Whom the Gods Love (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #3)
  • Why Kings Confess (Sebastian St. Cyr #9)
  • Death in the Floating City (Lady Emily, #7)
  • The Limehouse Text (Barker & Llewelyn, #3)
  • A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford, #5)
  • Anatomy of Murder (Crowther and Westerman, #2)
  • The Dark Enquiry (Lady Julia Grey, #5)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads' database with this name. See this thread for more information.

My name is Charles Finch - welcome! I'm the author of the Charles Lenox series of historical mysteries, as well as a recent novel about expatriate life in Oxford, THE LAST ENCHANTMENTS. I also write book reviews for the New York Times, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune an
More about Charles Finch...

Other Books in the Series

Charles Lenox Mysteries (10 books)
  • A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #1)
  • The September Society (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #2)
  • The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3)
  • A Stranger in Mayfair (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #4)
  • A Death in the Small Hours (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #6)
  • An Old Betrayal (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #7)
  • The Laws of Murder (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #8)
  • Home by Nightfall (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #9)
  • The Inheritance (Charles Lenox Mysteries #10)

Share This Book

“ lived and died all the time by the peculiarities of their soul, which they could never expect one another to understand.” 6 likes
More quotes…