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The September Society (Charles Lenox Mysteries #2)

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3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,196 Ratings  ·  409 Reviews
The sitting room looked as familiar as the back of his hand, and immediately Lenox took a liking to the young man who inhabited it. He saw several small artifacts of the missing student’s life---a frayed piece of string about two feet long of the sort you might bind a package with, half of a pulpy fried tomato, which was too far from the breakfast table to have been droppe ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
48th out of 779 books — 878 voters
The Woman in White by Wilkie CollinsThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleThe Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan DoyleThe Moonstone by Wilkie CollinsThe Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry
Victorian Mysteries
35th out of 109 books — 156 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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⊱ Irena ⊰
3.5

The first book didn't quite work for me. After reading this one, though, I am certain it was my fault. A case of wrong timing. I did recognize that at the time too, so there's that. It happens. I may revisit it some time in the future.

The September Society mystery part is very good. It has its twists and turns, strange events and mysterious and bloody beginning. This is not a spoiler since what starts it all is in the prologue itself. The beginning of Lenox's case is in the distant past, in I
...more
Donna
Sep 19, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it
This was probably 3 stars, but I have to raise it one star for one specific reason. This book felt comforting to me and I couldn't quite figure out why until I was half way in. My high school years were a little turbulent. I found some Sherlock Holmes books back then that I read and re-read during those years. For some reason, this book had that same effect on me. This was a little nostalgic for me.

Now, this is not Sherlock Holmes but the clue finding and collecting was reminiscent of that. I a
...more
Victoria
I have time this day to write a review AND the writing bug has seen fit to bite me. So, lovlies, let's look at The September Society by the incredibly talented Charles Finch (Yale and Oxford, people. He got the education that still haunts the misty corners of my dreams). Without further ado, I present my much delayed review of The September Society.


This novel is the sequel to the much beloved and praised A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries). That novel must be read first. Really, rea
...more
Jennie
I liked this book a lot more than the first, A Beautiful Blue Death, but still couldn't give it more than 3 stars. I like the main character, Charles Lenox, and I like the plots.

However, Finch's tendency to beat certain points to death makes it a little hard to get through sometimes: in the first book, it was the stupid boots, and in the second, it was Lenox's love for Oxford, as well as his preoccupation with another matter that distracted him from the case.

If he can learn to present these id
...more
Robin
May 28, 2016 Robin rated it it was ok
This book barely deserves two stars. I'm being generous because I don't think any of the individual criticisms I'm about to dish out are particularly damning on their own, but together...

Problems:
1. The plot is unforgivably weak for a mystery, both in the way that it structurally unfolds and in its pacing. As I was reading, I felt a strange sense of deja vu until I suddenly put my finger on it: this book reads like a Victorian role-playing game, where all the characters wander around with very l
...more
Ruth
May 01, 2016 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The September Society is one of those books that has so much potential, but doesn't quite seem to live up to it. The setting is well-portrayed, Victorian England with a strong focus on Oxford. The characters are fleshed-out fairly well, but unfortunately Lenox is a bit lacking in likability. Others add some color and make scenes more bearable, but mostly the book is Lenox with his thoughts, which can be tedious.

I'll also admit to not appreciating the 'wrapped in a neat bow' ending that we're lef
...more
Richard Derus
Dec 15, 2011 Richard Derus rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruby Rose Scarlett
Mar 16, 2013 Ruby Rose Scarlett rated it it was amazing
I had to look up where Charles Finch was as a student because this book has one of the warmest, most realistic accounts of what it feels like to study at Oxford that I've ever read. Sure enough, the author read English at Oxford (I'm guessing Balliol or Merton) and he currently resides in the city. I'll briefly mention that reading about a place you've lived and studied in is like coming home and nothing beats this feeling of comfort and move on to the plot and characters. I was first of all sur ...more
LJ
THE SEPTEMBER SOCIETY (Ama Sleuth/Trad Mys-Charles Lenox-England-Victorian) – G+
Finch, Charles – 2nd in series
St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780312359782

First sentence: The first murders were committed nineteen years before the second, on a dry and unremarkable day along the Sutlej Frontier in Punjab.

Charles Lenox returns to his alma mater when the wealthy mother of an Oxford student appeals to Lenox to find her missing son, George Payson is missing. Lenox finds one of George
...more
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it really liked it
I'm very much enjoying the Charles Lennox series becoming a fan as soon as I got engrossed in a Beautiful Blue death. September features more twists and turns than the previous effort. I found the book to be a little bit on the slow side at the beginning which is why I didn't rate it higher.

Two murders nearly 20 years apart. The first in India among a group of dispatched English military officers, the second, 20 years later in Oxford University. What ties them together? A mysterious organization
...more
Judy
Apr 27, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Lenox, wealthy member of Emglish society who has turned detective definitely grew on me on this, the second of Finch's books I've read. He is the stereotypical "proper Englishman," but has the knack of being able to work with all classes. His personal life is beginning to turn more positive, also. I hope to read more of this series.
Cherie
Jun 21, 2014 Cherie rated it really liked it
A dead cat and a missing college student almost get Charles Lenox killed. A very British and nostalgic look at Cambridge University school days. A surprise twist of identities and a sweet ending at the finish. On to the next!!
Ginia
The definition of a cozy mystery.
There must a dead body. There must be a murderer of said dead body.
Also, you must have a smart, determined amateur detective with flaws.
There must be clues and lots of questions that create suspense. Mix in a great setting that you want to go back to in a time machine and there you have The September Society by Charles Finch.
An admirable page turner. I was guessing all the way to the end, but I wish that Graham the trustworthy valet wasn't left hanging around at
...more
Mary Kay
Feb 16, 2009 Mary Kay rated it liked it
The best thing about this mystery was the glowing and affectionate description of Oxford at the end of the 19th century.
Toni
May 21, 2016 Toni rated it liked it
I would give this a strong 3.5 stars. After reading the first Lenox mystery, this second book was much easier getting into as all of the characters were familiar - less introduction although it could be a stand alone book. Once again a murder occurs, this time at Oxford, and Lenox is called in to work the case. There were a few surprise twists towards the end of the story that made for a good read and there was also a bit of a romance flavored into the story. There was also an introduction into ...more
Cheri
Apr 22, 2013 Cheri rated it it was amazing
A mystery novel plus a love story set in the Victorian era. Perfect for my taste.
Elizabeth
This mystery begins in India with some murders that are cold, calculated and cruel in that there appears to be no motive for them. The story slips to to Oxford, England about two decades later in 1866 when an anxious, perhaps overly doting mothers comes to thirty something amateur detective Charles Lenox because her son, George Payson who was studying at Lincoln College, part of Oxford University has mysteriously disappeared.

Lenox takes the case because he welcomes a nostalgic trip to revisit hi
...more
Starling
Dec 22, 2009 Starling rated it really liked it
The books in this series are pretty lightweight. But I think that is what makes them successful and charming. The characters are all good people, who, through no fault of their own have gotten involved in something ugly.

In this book a mother comes to Lenox because her son has disappeared and no one will take notice of it. That takes Charles away from his beloved Lady Jane and London to Oxford, which is another of those places that he has fond memories of. The puzzle of this mystery takes him bac
...more
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Nov 01, 2012 Mary Gilligan-Nolan rated it liked it
Charles Lenox is asked to go down to Cambridge, to investigate the sudden disappearance of a student. His mother, Lady Annabelle, insists he is reliable and would always tell her if there was some reason he could not keep an appointment with her and it seems, he has just vanished into thin air. Charles takes on the challenge, although, he has other things on his mind, Lady Jane Grey. He has realized that he is in love with her and wants to propose marriage to her. Meanwhile, he enlists the help ...more
Mandolin
Mar 13, 2013 Mandolin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-inventory
Charles Lenox, an English aristocrat who has dedicated his life to the under-appreciated career of amateur detective, is faced with a puzzling double murder that began nearly twenty years prior and has reached into the hallowed precincts of Oxford. Though facing personal conflicts of the heart in his sudden need to reveal his love to his lifelong friend, Lady Jane, Lenox is intrigued by the case and agrees to look into it. Revisiting the beloved school of his youth, Charles is overwhelmed by his ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
All right. I saw the "twist" coming right at the beginning, but maybe that's just because I'm beginning to be genre savvy with mysteries. (It took so long to actually arrive that I had persuaded myself I was wrong.)

Still some issues with anachronistic language (I think; most egregious example: it surely wasn't current idiom to say that "real life" kept you from going other things?) and telling rather than showing. And awkward exposition.

Oh, and needless cameos by famous dead guys. This guy shoul
...more
adlin
May 15, 2011 adlin rated it really liked it
I read the first book in this series a couple of years ago and wondered if I would be lost or disconnected reading the second one after such a gap. Not to worry. I very much enjoyed this book, in many ways more so than the first. I suspected a couple of things, but not the ending or the motives.

I will agree with some other reviewers that the waxing nostalgic of Oxford grew a bit tedious after a while and there were some scenes that I wasn’t sure fit with the mystery, however, in hindsight, they
...more
Robyn
Aug 20, 2011 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovers of Sherlock Holmes-type mysteries will certainly enjoy this one. Finch gives us a sleuth and doctor duo who are a bit more down to earth an approachable than Doyle's. The story is full of bizarre clues, insights and setbacks but in Finch's case the world is expanded bringing in other characters and offering a glimpse into the otherwise average life of the characters.
I most enjoyed the interweaving of the history, politics and social mood of era 1866 England. Usually I will do a bit of my
...more
Kathleen
May 29, 2009 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Holy cow, this book had setting! Finch's affectionate descriptions of Oxford made me want to dash off and enroll in the university stat. Between descriptions of cozy wooden pub corners and sunny Oxford quads, The September Society had a sense of location authors would kill for. The mystery itself was clever and there were some good plot twists, but overall I was much less than satisfied by its resolution, which tied up some details far too neatly and left others gaping open. Finch would spend ...more
Mike
May 31, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Another good book in this series. Builds nicely on the foundations laid in the first novel and extends both the main character as well as his "history" and milieu. Since it pre-dates the Holmes stories by at least a couple of decades, we see glimpses into Victorian England that are less familiar to us than that of the Holmes canon.

This takes us out of the "comfort zone" of London and the society of "betters" within the City which is where the prior novel was set and moves us out to Oxford (where
...more
Charlotte
Feb 14, 2013 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
After enjoying Finch's first book, "A Beautiful Blue Death" so very much, I never expected this to measure as well. Surprise! Finch has sustained his brilliant writing to produce another thoroughly entertaining book about Charles Lenox, sleuth. Finch was again able , by his exquisite attention to detail & his flawless descriptions, to heighten the reader's sense of truly "being there". The "there" in this case is spread between Mayfair, London and Oxford & environs. His characters jump f ...more
Charla Wilson
Feb 05, 2013 Charla Wilson rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in the series by Charles Finch and the second book that I have read by him. I must admit that I loved this book more than I did the first one. I think the author became much more comfortable with the character's personality in this book and the writing just seems to flow much better. I promise that this story will keep you guessing until the very end. Every time I just knew that I had it figured out, I would discover that I was wrong! If you grew to love Lenox, Lady Jane, ...more
C
If I were a dyed-in-the-wool mystery fan, I may not have given this novel such a high rating, but four personally appealing factors compelled me to do so: 1) Charles Lenox - main character and sleuth, 2) Lady Jane - society widow and neighbor and friend of Charles, 3) McConnell - doctor and friend and associate of Charles, and 4) the novel's primary setting of Oxford. I love the quiet friendship and building love story between Charles and Jane, find McConnell simply intriguing and want to know m ...more
Sarah Asp
Aug 30, 2011 Sarah Asp rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one more than the first. I feel more invested in the characters now and despite a few more "Americanisms", it didn't seem as glaring this time. Characters still wrote one another instead of to one another and a couple of aristocratic gentlemen used the word pregnant, a term which I'm almost 100% certain wasn't used during that time period. A gentleman might have commented, (probably feeling embarrassed at the time) on his wife's "ahem" condition.
Now that the main character is goi
...more
Susan
Charles Lenox, gentleman sleuth, investigates the disappearance of an Oxford student, while mustering the courage to propose marriage. Detailed descriptions of Oxford landmarks and 1866 politics make the historical setting come alive.

Included is the origin of the term "swan song": Every swan in England belonged to Queen Victoria. Poaching swans was an offense the crown could punish. The official swan keeper to Her Majesty wrangled the birds in the third week of July every year, when they were s
...more
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Around the Year i...: The September Society, by Charles Finch 1 11 May 14, 2016 05:56AM  
  • What Remains of Heaven (Sebastian St. Cyr, #5)
  • The Black Hand (Barker & Llewelyn, #5)
  • A Fatal Waltz (Lady Emily, #3)
  • Whom the Gods Love (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #3)
  • Circle Of Shadows (Crowther and Westerman, #4)
  • An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford, #2)
  • A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs, #8)
  • The Paris Affair (Rannoch/Fraser Publication Order, #6)
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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
More about Charles Finch...

Other Books in the Series

Charles Lenox Mysteries (10 books)
  • A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #1)
  • The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3)
  • A Stranger in Mayfair (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #4)
  • A Burial at Sea (Charles Lenox Mysteries #5)
  • 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)

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“I've had my wild times now and then — more than my share perhaps — and I don't think I'll give them up, because I like them too well.” 3 likes
“The Bodleian above anything else made Oxford what it was . . . There was something incommunicably grand about it, something difficult to understand unless you had spent your evenings there or walked past it on the way to celebrate the boat race, a magic that came from ignoring it a thousand times a day and then noticing its overwhelming beauty when you came out of a tiny alley and it caught you unexpectedly. A library--it didn't sound like much, but it was what made Oxford itself. The greatest library in the world.” 1 likes
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