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A Death in the Small Hours

(Charles Lenox Mysteries #6)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  3,287 ratings  ·  354 reviews
From Charles Finch, the critically acclaimed author of A Beautiful Blue Death and A Burial at Sea, comes A Death in the Small Hours--an intriguing new mystery in what The New York Times calls "a beguiling series"

Charles Lenox is at the pinnacle of his political career and is a delighted new father. His days of regularly investigating the crimes of Victorian London now some
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Minotaur Books
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Paula Yes, best read in order even though I rarely read series in order.
Karen It wasn't the original note, however there was a black dog featured in one of the vandalisms.…moreIt wasn't the original note, however there was a black dog featured in one of the vandalisms. (less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  3,287 ratings  ·  354 reviews

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Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think the mystery in this book is my favorit part of the series, so far. I loved the setting, out in the country at Uncle Freddy's estate. Charles had been elected to give the opening speach in Parliament when it started up, and Charles spent time writing his speach in between trying to solve the robberies and then a murder that happens in the small town near his Uncles's estate. He was much more the detective in this one, and much more active - riding each day and taking long walks around the ...more
First Sentence: Charles Lenox sat in the study of his town house at Hampden Lane—that small, shop-lined street off Grosvenor Place where he had passed most of his adult life—and sifted through the papers that had accumulated upon his desk, as they would, inevitably, when one became a Member of Parliament.

Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman, former private investigator, is now married, a new father and a Member of Parliament. He has been given the huge honor of giving the upcoming session’s
Laurie Ann Silberman
Didn't enjoy this book as much as previous books. There is a continuing theme that the main character misses his detective work but continues down the path of Parliament because he feels he owes it to his friend, family and country. Sometimes I get impatient with the character. He's rich and a gentleman; and he has a gift he is squandering. It feels like he is constantly in mourning for 'what used to be.'

This overshadowed the plot for me and I was disappointed that in the end he elected to

Dear Reader,
I was thoroughly charmed by this quintessentially English book. I don’t often read books which are part of a series, particularly not books which are several into a series, but this mystery novel stood quite well on its own. Apart from a few allusions which I believe were inserted for the series’ loyal followers, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything by starting on book six of the Charles Lenox mysteries.

Perhaps that had to do with the setting of the
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remain a fan of this unique detective series featuring a culture and a hero that has absolutely nothing to do with my experiences as a Black man in America. The hero of these mystery novels is Charles Lenox ... member of Parliament in England's Victorian era. This particular episode has our hero in one of his favorite childhood estates (...think Downton Abbey setting...) trying to get some quiet time to right an important speech and trying to solve a local village series of crimes that ends up ...more
Kirsten #ripcarollspinney
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
After the lead up in this book, I was wondering if Charles, Jane, et al, had to leave town because they ran out of scones!!

This is another great mystery starring everyone's favorite MP, Charles Lenox. He has to go out of town to prepare a speech - apparently all the other MPs show up at his house with ideas to go in the speech - and, of course, murder ensues. What's a retired (semi) detective to do?

So, off he goes to Somerset, complete with wife, infant daughter, 2 dogs, a governess, and
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Charles and Lady Jane spend some time away from London and Parliament. They are in Somerset with Charles' cousin Freddy.

This was a scrumptious adventure, filled with precise traditions, town peoples' foibles, all kinds of vandalism and misplaced loot or evidence. And yet it was at the same time, extremely warm. The Lenox baby daughter, Sophia, making it even more so. Adjusting to a baby, little quarrels, and the conflicts of work. Even in the the Victorian period, the town versus country
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoy this series a lot. It got off to a great start, but one or two in the middle were a little weaker. The one before this was better, and this one is back to being as good as the original. The character development is stronger in this one than in the weaker ones. In this story, Charles Lenox's political career is taking off, and to escape from London for a while, he visits a relative out in the country. While there, he gets pulled into a local mystery, which turn, ultimately, into murder. ...more
Danielle Gonzalez
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was another intriguing mystery for Charles Lenox. He is asked to deliver the opening speech for the House of Commons. While he struggles to determine what he wants to say, he receives an invitation to visit his Uncle in the country. He decides that would be the perfect place to relax and clear his mind for his speech writing. However, once he arrives, he finds there have been strange vandalisms that then lead to murder. Charles is able to put together all of the random pieces to find the ...more
As in so many other stylized period mysteries, the atmosphere takes precedence over the crime and its resolution, and I'm fine with that. But it is nothing out of the ordinary, just a way to pass the time pleasantly.
Sometimes the prose sounded awkward - not so much out of period as displaying an unaccustomed word usage or grammar. Was that also a stylistic effect, I wonder? It made me trip over the sentences, anyway, and that spoiled the fun a little.
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
In this installment of the series, time has jumped forward a bit and Lennox is now a proud father, loving husband, settled MP and mentor to John Dallington's amateur detecting. He feels very blessed, but yet he can't help looking at John Dallington with envy as the younger man pursues his amateur detecting and Scotland Yard calls Dallington now. Politics is a career that he does from duty, but detecting was his true vocation. He muses quietly about his life now and looks back on other times.

Tom Melcior
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The lead character, Charles Lenox, is faced with a seemingly harmless bit of village tomfoolery that turns deadly. His unraveling of the mystery, while effectively managed, is not what made me keep turning the pages.

Lenox's sedate world of upper-class English Victorian privilege, his loving, uncomplicated relationship with his wife, his secure social status, his success in Parliament, his untroubled state of mind and his oft-stated complete satisfaction with every aspect of his life, should add
Mar 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Charles Lenox is now a well-regarded member of Parliament, and has just been asked to deliver the keynote address at the opening of Parliament, an extremely great honor. When his uncle Frederick invites him to Everley to look into some reports of vandalism in the village, Lenox and his wife jump at the chance of a few days in the country. Lenox knows that he will be able to concentrate on writing his speech away from the hustle and bustle of London. Of course, the village vandalism is the just ...more
Jack Heath
5 Stars. So enjoyable. Partly a darn good murder mystery and partly, the daily life of a progressive English parliamentarian in the 1870s. Charles Lenox enjoys his life as an MP but he begins to yearn for his past life as a private detective; he misses the excitement. He still likes to dabble in recent cases at meetings with his former junior. Lenox receives the honour of giving the government's Opening Address to follow the Queen's Speech from the Throne (Victoria had been sovereign for over ...more
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I want half stars!!! This is one of a series of books about Englishman Charles Lennox, now a member of Parliament and a new father. I have not read any of the others in the series, but might check out the library for one. It was a pleasant read about Victorian England after the Queen's jublilee. Charles would be someone my mother would have liked; the plot holds twists and turns. The characters are never evil, but some are bad and many are humorous. If you're a fan of gentle English myteries, ...more
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Comforting, elegant, tasteful. More about the evolution of Charles' comfortable life than about the mystery at this point. Captures becoming a parent very aptly. Flawed, as a mystery, yes, especially with the handling of Dallington, but I enjoy the characters and their goodness, which is pleasant and not saccharine. I suspect the next in the series will be more vigorous, one has the sense this is a respite of sorts for the author.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another great book about gentleman and member of Parliament Charles Lennox, whose real calling is detective work. The crime is of course solved, but then suddenly it is not, and the book is a cliffhanger to the end. All of this is painted against the backdrop of Victorian England, including the rich, the poor, city scenes and country vistas. This is the sixth book in the series and all are richly entertaining.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It isn't often that I give a series book five stars, but this one, the latest in a very good series, is exceptional. One thing I love about this series is that the main characters change and grow from book to book. This particular one rates a five because the emotional lives of the characters are so well drawn, sincere and heartfelt. The reader truly cares about them and has such hopes for them too.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enoyed this mystery set in Victorian England and the aging dectective very much. The characters are charming and the small village of Pemberley, the main setting, and its inhabitants are delightful. Thank you Judy for lending it to me.
Kiesha ~ 1Cheekylass
I listened to this in one day. I'm in love with this series and Charles Lenox!
Dawn Michelle
Well. This one was interesting.

I had some of it figured out early on; the one character was just "too" suspicious in my opinion, to be just a red herring. But most of it was a total and complete surprise and was very enjoyable to watch unfold. I could have done without the whole cricket match [I don't know ANYTHING about cricket and this was not helpful in remedying that LOL], but for the most part, I truly enjoyed this book.

I do think that the author is setting us up for a big shake up in
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lennox heads with the family to Uncle Freddie's country estate so he can write an important speech for Parliament. Yes there is some crime that must be considered, but the novel is really about the development of Lennox, his life and relationships. The story also shows some of the former detective's character flaws, which is welcome, and has some laughs too. Very good, even with what I thought was an odd and unnecessary ending. Oh yes, and I loved the Cricket match.
Karen Potts
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Both murder & mystery as well as marriage & family, plus politics, make this story another entertaining & enjoyable Charles Lenox adventure. The many villains are eventually brought to justice and family & romantic relationships are brought to harmony with the exception of one single character who is left single.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

I would've given this book a full four stars if hadn't been for all the meandering that this book took. I like when EVERYTHING in a book is explained at the end. This took a stop here, and there, and it really tested my patience in a book. I returned the book even though I didn't read the last chapter. I was finished even though the book wasn't.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one felt like a catch-up with the Lenox family and friends as well as Parliament. Lenox himself is much happier in Parliament than as a working detective but I'm not. But, there was definitely a murder to solve and it was a grim story.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book covers a lot of ground with an excellent mystery. I loved the surprise twists of the plot.
There is also a lot of time spent describing the career and personal life of Lenox.
Jen St
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Between the author and the narrator, I suspect that all of these books will be equally charming.
Paula DeBoard
Felt a bit skimpier than other Charles Lennox plots, but don't worry--I'm still a fan!
Linda Baker
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it
A Death in the Small Hours is another pleasant read in the Charles Lenox series by Charles Finch. While not my favorite of the series, I enjoyed both the puzzle and the character development of Charles and Lady Jane.

Charles is now well settled into his role as a Member of Parliament and has been in fact asked to give the opening speech at the upcoming new session. He and Lady Jane also have a new daughter, Sophie. He only occasionally consults with his protege, Dallington, who has largely taken
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the 6th book in the Charles Lenox mystery series by Charles Finch and I have read and loved all of them to varying degrees. For someone new to the series, the story is set in Victorian England and tells the story of an amateur detective, Charles Lenox. Over these 6 books, he has progressed from a single man to a married man with a child and into politics. In this story, Charles is taking a break from London in order to write a speech and spends some time with his cousin in the
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Uncle Freddie or Cousin Freddie?? 2 11 Jan 17, 2014 01:05PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Charles Lenox Mysteries (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Vanishing Man (Charles Lenox Mysteries #0.2)
  • The Last Passenger (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #0.3)
  • 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 Burial at Sea (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #5)
  • An Old Betrayal (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #7)
  • The Laws of Murder (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #8)
  • Home by Nightfall (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #9)
“There is no sense in resisting time, or change. Both will come to all men, whether they accede gracefully or kicking. I’m old, now, and let that be an end of it. There, eat some peas, you need” 0 likes
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