Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Stranger in Mayfair” as Want to Read:
A Stranger in Mayfair
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Stranger in Mayfair (Charles Lenox Mysteries #4)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,290 Ratings  ·  285 Reviews
In this enthralling mystery, detective Charles Lenox tries to resist the lure of a case and focus on his new career in Parliament.

Returning from a continental honeymoon with his new wife, Lady Jane, Lenox is asked by a colleague in Parliament to consult in the murder of a footman, bludgeoned to death with a brick. His investigation uncovers some unsettling facts about the
Paperback, 327 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published November 9th 2010)
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 Stranger in Mayfair, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Stranger in Mayfair

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
With the exception of the first book, I think this is my favorite story in the series so far!
I was as proud of Charles for giving his first speach in Parliment as his wife was!

This was a great story about having to make choices. Charles wants so much to be a difference in his work in Parliament, and he is missing his old life - not only as an amateur detective, but as a bachelor too.

I am looking forward to see how things turn out in the next books.
The mystery is good. I knew who dunit way before Charles Lenox, though. :)
But the best thing about this novel is how effortless and vividly Finch brings Victorian London to the reader. Remarkable, really.
A Stranger in Mayfair by Charles Finch is the fourth installment in the Charles Lenox series. I find the series a delight and Stranger in Mayfair does not disappoint. The characters are complex and interesting and the historical information (as far as I have tracked it, and I have checked several facts) accurate. I love entering Finch's Victorian world and hate to leave it.

In this entry in the series, Lenox is beginning both his Parliamentary and marital career. His work is interrupted when he
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This book was enjoyable. It is my second book in this series (the Charles Lenox Mysteries series)by Charles Finch. I like the characters. They are well drawn and very English. The author writes great dialogue and manages to keep it reigned in. That is always a plus. This book had a few subplots going on and I liked that too. It helped to keep the book in constant motion. It also helped to give the characters depth.

The way the MC goes about uncovering the mystery is really my favorite part. He i
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An ok read, but mainly if you've read the previous books in this series. I was a bit bored by this one, and thought the mystery to be pretty weak. (I figured it out early on, and I'm rarely able to do so.) Even the events in the lives of the series regulars wasn't as interesting this time around. Maybe the next book in the series will be better?
First Sentence: “Clara, who is that gentleman?”

Charles Lenox has, at forty, entered a new phase in his life. He is newly married to Lady Jane, for years his best friend and neighbor, and he is newly elected to Parliament’s House of Commons. The second of these events necessitates spending less time doing detective work—but not yet. A colleague in Parliament, Ludovic Starling, has asked Lenox to investigate the murder of one of his footman. As Lenox, and his protégée Dallington, move forward in t
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm very sad that there are no more Charles Lenox books left to read. This latest installment finds Charles and Lady Jane returned to London from their honeymoon and Charles about to begin his first term as an MP in the House of Commons, fulfilling what he always believed was a life-long dream. Unfortunately, like many dreams, this one comes with a price: in donning the cap of a politico he must doff that of detective. Or must he? As he prepares for his first round of committee meetings, a new c ...more
Sarah Asp
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In England there is no such thing as Fall, it is and has always been called Autumn. There are no such things as City Blocks either. England was building cities long before formal planning became the norm and therefore it is delightfully higgledy piggledy. You're never going to get 5 stars out of me Charles Finch unless you make these books more authentic. No devilish plot twists or great characterizations can make up for inauthenticity. I think I better go and find out where I can email this guy ...more
KIND OF a mess. I'd probably be less annoyed if my copy from the library weren't written all over by some angry copy editor/~scholar of nobility. The Denver Metro Editing Police has a point, though: this needed editing, tightening, fact checking, and a little oomph. I guess similar to the way I don't think about an actor being good until I see an actor who is not good, I don't really think about mysteries being well written until I find one that is NOT well written.
ღ Carol jinx~☆~
Charles Finch! I just love, love, love his characters. Lenox, and Lady Jane in London with a murder, mystery and a bit of mayhem. What more can you ask of a book than to take you somewhere interesting. I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book. I hope one is in progress right now.
New favorite thing: sitting in front of the fire with tea and fruitcake reading about a man sitting in front of the fire with tea and a book of Roman history or Elizabeth Gaskell. American, like Martha Grimes, Charles Finch is the male Anne Perry (Australian), giving us this Charles Lenox series, as sprightly informative of 1850-60s London, as sweet in love, as intriguing and as well written as those by the two women (Pitt works in the 1870-80s and Jury is 1990s into 2007). All best read in orde ...more
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am sad to report that this book is middling at best. Before I was even close to finishing the book, I had solved the crime, and let's be honest, that is not a good thing since I rarely figure out the mystery (I like to think it's because I read only high-quality, well-written mysteries).

And the whole we-can't-communicate drama between Charles Lennox and his best friend, turned wife is tiresome. Surely, Lady Jane didn't get married and turn into a complainer, distant person overnight. Bah humbu
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A Stranger in Mayfair is another exquisite installment in the Charles Lenox mysteries. Following their blissful honeymoon, Charles and Jane have returned to London to settle into their lives as a couple and combined households. Charles is a newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) into the House of Commons and it seems his amateur detective days are behind him as he settles into the fulfillment of his long-held dream of being in Parliament and married to his lifelong friend and woman he adores.

Christopher Taylor
This is the first of these books I've read, apparently fourth in a series. I've heard its not the strongest outing by Finch, and I believe it. The story was fairly engaging, with some interesting inside details on the workings of Victorian Parliament, but the mystery was not particularly mysterious and the detective seems distracted, lets say.

Having your main character as a detective retire from the work and train a less than excellent mind for a replacement while missing the most obvious clues
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fourth book in the series is my favorite so far. The elements of the mystery were perfectly woven and revealed at just the right pace. I did struggle with the addition of considerably more historical details from the time period. I was rewarded with the most satisfying ending.
Emma Rose Ribbons
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot is solid and one of the most engaging ones yet. The added characters are strongly built with three-dimensional personalities. Finch always conveys a great sense of the period he writes about and while he does expose some of the historical background of monuments, laws, people, etc to do so, he knows how much to give away and it nevers feels as if all his research were being put in in huge blocks of text that have nothing to do with the main character's knowledge or point of view.

I admir
Susan Ferguson
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, nook-owned, 2013
This series of Charles Lenox is very interesting. It's set in Victorian London when being a detective was rather looked down on. Charles' and Lady Jane have married and gone to Paris on their honeymoon. After their return to London with their houses joined, Parliament is about to start and a fellow in the Parliament comes to Charles for help when one of his footmen is killed in the alley behind the house where the servants gather. Ludovic Starling is behaving oddly, hinting that he will probably ...more
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This absorbing mystery set in cold and rainy Victorian England features Charles Lenox, a wealthy amateur detective. He lives in a quintessential mansion in the most fashionable section of England, equipped with roaring fireplaces, well-stocked drink tables, and stacks of books and maps. He has unimpeded access to all the high-society homes and exclusive clubs in England.

The highly-likeable Lenox darts around town with his dashing protégé Dallington (a young and somewhat debauched ladies man), s
This was yet another delightful visit with Charles Lenox and his friends in their Victorian London world. 'Stranger in Mayfair', the fourth book in the series, was not a fast paced heart pumping murder mystery, but more of a look into the main character, Charles Lenox's life while he adds a murder crime to his list of duties (and one of his more pleasurable duties I might add) to be accomplished.
The detective/hero of the story is unique in that his persona is not just a detective and the storyli
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing constant is change. Charles finds this out the hard way in the newest addition to Charles Finch's great detective series.

This may be the most difficult time in Charles Lennox's life. Not only is he newly married to Lady Jane and trying to settle back into the real world after a fantasy honeymoon, but what's more is he's trying to balance between his new job in Parliament and his passion for detective work. When a fellow member of Parliament comes to him asking for help solving the
Good entry in series & perfect for a weekend or airport read. Charles Lenox is trying to settle into being newly married to Lady Jane Grey & his new seat at Parliament while being drawn into investigating a murder case involving footman Frederick bludgeoned with a brick in a Mayfair alley. I won't give away the answer to the case but I will say that I figured it out before the reveal. I don't think it was a flaw in the writing just good clues woven through & easy enough to work out i ...more
Norma Huss
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, historic
I do love to read Charles Finch's historic mysteries. It's like visiting with family friends - I hear all the latest gossip, what's new in the characters' lives, and what mysterious event puts them in a bit of danger. I absorb details of Victorian England, walk the streets, duck into a gentlemen's club or Parliament. All rather cozy, but not in the usual 'cozy-mystery' sense, although a bit of that too. The hero, Charles Lenox, is a detective, but that is more an avocation than a career. He work ...more
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a shift in tone in this, the fourth in the series (or at least the fourth one I own), as Charles begins his life in Parliament, and he and Lady Jane begin their married life together, including knocking through some walls in their adjoining houses to make one gigantic house. Lord John Dallington makes a fairly regular appearance in this one, and is rapidly becoming Charles's peer as an investigator.

I am not the kind of reader who tries to solve a mystery before the fictional detective
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Akin to Deanna Raybourn and her Lady Julia Grey series and Anne Perry’s William Monk series, Charles Finch puts together a smart, fresh historical mystery series with a debonair gentleman detective Charles Lenox. In this book, the fourth in the series, Lenox begins working as a Member of Parliament in 1860s London, but called upon to do some investigating when the servant of a fellow MP turns up murdered. Sadly, his new wife, Lady Jane Grey, is not too pleased his sleuthing…she would rather he b ...more
Charles Lenox and his new wife, Lady Jane, return from their honeymoon and Charles readies himself for the opening of Parliament. One of his acquaintances, Ludo Slater, begs for his help in solving the murder of a footman, but no sooner has Charles agreed than Slater begins to discourage his attention to the crime. As Charles and his friends dig into the case, he realizes that it goes deeper than he had thought--and finds it more alluring than the Parliamentary career he had sought for so long. ...more
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, was this this last book in the series? It sure sounded like Lenox was preparing to wind down detecting. Maybe a spinoff series with Dallington as the lead detective? I liked Dallington quite a bit, but I can't really see him as the main character.

Very enjoyable. I was sorry that Lenox had to spend so much time away from the case and dealing with politics, though I found the politics rather interesting. The mystery still wasn't as fun as the first, but I felt like the story itself was just as
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back from his honeymoon, Charles Lenox is asked to look into the murder of footman Frederick Clarke. He undertakes the case along with his protege John Dallington. The McConnell's baby is finally born, causing both Charles and his wife to consider possibly adding to their own family. There was a lot more politics in this book as Charles takes his position in Parliament. I wouldn't have minded if there was a purpose, but none of the political threads were followed to any conclusion. Still, I enjo ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I realized I had missed a Lenox book or two, so I went back to the library for this one...SO glad I did! As I have said before, the genteel world of Charles Lenox is like a soothing cup of tea to me. I love Toto as well, and was delighted with her role in this book. Graham the butler is as always somewhat of an enigma, but an appealing one. People often seem to be eating in these books, which makes me happy. I also love the descriptions of interior decorating--one can tell that Mr. Finch likes h ...more
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like this series. I enjoy the pacing, although I've read reviews which fault it for the slow pacing in places. I suspect that pacing may accurately reflect the time--Charles and Lady Jane must wait for the servants, the carriage, the answers to hand-written notes, etc. I also suspect Charles has lived at this pace his entire life and doesn't know how to "move" faster. I enjoyed the combining of households and how Graham was included in the new arrangement; I like Graham and was hoping n ...more
« 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 »
  • Death in the Floating City (Lady Emily, #7)
  • Where Shadows Dance (Sebastian St. Cyr, #6)
  • Circle Of Shadows (Crowther and Westerman, #4)
  • Jane and the Stillroom Maid (Jane Austen Mysteries, #5)
  • India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy (Madam of Espionage Mystery, #3)
  • Whom the Gods Love (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #3)
  • The Dark Enquiry (Lady Julia Grey, #5)
  • The Devil's Breath (Dr. Thomas Silkstone #3)
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 (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Woman in the Water (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #0)
  • A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #1)
  • The September Society (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #2)
  • The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3)
  • 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)
“‎He often envied people who hadn't read his favourite books. They had such happiness before them.” 50 likes
“‎'He often envied people who hadn't read his favourite books. They had such happiness before them.” 9 likes
More quotes…