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The Vanishing Man: A Prequel to the Charles Lenox Series

(Charles Lenox Mysteries prequel 2)

4.57  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  47 reviews
From the critically acclaimed and USA Today bestselling author Charles Finch comes The Vanishing Man, the second in a prequel trilogy to his Charles Lenox Victorian series, in which the theft of an antique painting sends Detective Lenox on a hunt for a criminal mastermind.

London, 1853: Having earned some renown by solving a case that baffled Scotland Yard, young Charles Le
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 19th 2019 by Minotaur Books
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Laura I agree with the other response you received, but I'd also add that the book that comes after A Beautiful Blue Death (The September Society) is one of…moreI agree with the other response you received, but I'd also add that the book that comes after A Beautiful Blue Death (The September Society) is one of my favorites in the series, so it's worth carrying on in order for at least a few! (Plus, the further you get in the original series, the more you'll appreciate some of the little hints and cameos in the prequels. You'll still understand the prequels even if you read them now, but you may appreciate them more if you wait)(less)

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4.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  143 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Charles Finch
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
So keep this under your hat, but INSIDE the Vanishing Man is the complete text of the much anticipated, oft-delayed final Game of Thrones book "The Winds of Winter"! Give five stars and pass along the word please! 😉
Kate Baxter
4.5 out of 5 stars
The early and formative years of young Charles Lenox, as private investigator/detective extraordinaire continue in this second prequel of the Charles Lenox mystery series by talented writer, Charles Finch. The story opens in London, 1853, three years following Lenox's successful solving of a baffling murder in the first prequel, "The Woman in the Water". He continues in his quest searching for work as a detective, much to the puzzlement and scorn of his peers. Money was not wha
Cara Putman
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoy the Charles Lenox mysteries, and this one was no exception. It is fascinating to get a sense of London in 1853, and to see a younger Charles Lenox. There's also a corking good mystery, with enough layers and twists to keep my happy and engaged. I enjoy the author's writing and look forward to the next Charles Lenox mystery.
Benjamin Thomas
London, 1853. Young Charles Lenox is still learning his chosen trade of private instigator/detective (he isn’t quite sure what to call himself). Business has been very slow to come his way, but he finally lands a whale in the form of none other than the Duke of Dorset. Seems the Duke has been robbed of a painting from his private study, but the real mystery is why was the painting right next to it, a painting of inestimably greater value not taken instead? Lenox’s perusal of the case takes him a ...more
We come to the second book in a trio of prequel stories in the Charles Lenox series that go back to the beginning when Charles is first getting started on his amateur detecting work. This latest mystery brings him into contact with the powerful Duke of Dorset's household, an old family trust involving the Bard, and the true challenge of not murdering his mischievous young cousin Lancelot who is visiting Charles during his school holidays.

The Vanishing Man is the second of a prequel trilogy. It c
Judy Lesley
Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for an eGalley of this novel.

I liked this book but didn't find it engrossing. I could put it down and go away without feeling that tug in my mind to hurry up and get back to reading it. This is the second book in a prequel trilogy so the author has used this time to show readers what Charles Lennox was up against in 1853 London when he was trying to establish himself as an investigator? or a detective? He can't quite make up his min
Barbara Rogers
Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries – Prequel #2
Publication Date: 2/19/19
Number of Pages: 304

The Vanishing Man is a wonderful addition to the Prequel series for Charles Lenox Mysteries and it is set three years after the first of the prequel novels A Woman In The Water. As always, it is well-written and well-plotted. I have read all of the books in the Charles Lenox series and it is nice to now go back in time and meet a younger and more unsure Charles who is just feeling his way into his chosen pro
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read the main series about Charles Lenox and when the author Charles Finch wrote the first prequel I was a bit frustrated. I wanted to read the continuing story of Charles Lenox and the friends I had grown to enjoy, see how the story unfolded but now I am a convert. This is the second prequel and it is even better than the first. Reading about the young detective learning the ropes and learning more about his young adventures will only make the next one in the main series more enjoyable. ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
3.5 stars
I am a big Charles Lenox fan and have really enjoyed getting to know a younger, less secure and experienced Lenox through these “Prequel” mysteries, though I do miss the older Lenox of the original series. THE VANISHING MAN is a well thought out, richly executed mystery including theft, murder, scandal, and secrets. It is somewhat convoluted but not too difficult to solve, interesting but not quite as engrossing as some of author Finch’s other efforts. The descriptions of London and the
Melissa Dee
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m a big Charles Finch fan, and this, the second prequel in the Charles Lenox series, is a very good addition! Finch’s language is measured and stately, and matches Lenox’s seriousness well. The book is full of the unexpected love of families, the peculiarity of the British aristocracy, and the mystery of William Shakespeare.
Lenox is a young detective, long before his relationship with Lady Jane develops beyond friendship, and he is brought in by a powerful duke to find a missing painting. In t
I currently have this on pre-order in hardcover, but found it on NetGalley and wanted to read it RIGHT NOW [I absolutely ADORE these books] so I am keeping it as a hardcover book while I am also reading it on the kindle. :-)

I do not think, in all my years of reading, I have ever enjoyed a book [or a series] as much as I have enjoyed the Charles Lennox Series by Charles Finch. Each book is an absolute delight and I have never been disappointed.

They are old England, interesting, suspenseful [but
Joann Maggio
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Vanishing Man ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Charles Finch

This is my first read of Mr Finch’s work and I must say it was interesting and amusing as the same time. I am a fan of detective novels and the character of Charles Lenox fit the bill for me.

The step by step analysis by Lenox was so Sherlock Holmes. Just fascinating. The character development by the author was masterful a true story teller. A very good read.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review to come.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable! Finch does a historical mystery right! I want to be entertained and educated and Finch writes with intelligence and wit. Whereas most series authors’ work tends to get redundant and lazy over time, Finch continues to improve. I can’t wait for the next book!
Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC.
Brian Williams
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it

Although he is only in his mid-twenties, Charles Lenox has already gained a reputation as a good private investigator. It's a strange calling for a member of the British aristocracy such as Charles and he is viewed with some amusement by other aristocrats. On the other hand, his status gives him entree into high society and he has access to many high powered contacts. This story is a prequel to the subsequent series of detective stories and a good indicator of their high quality.

Helen Howerton
Much as I like Charles Lenox and his adventures, in reading The Vanishing Man I recall why I don’t necessarily enjoy prequels. Faithful readers of the books by Charles Finch know what has happened in the lives of Lenox, his next-door neighbor Jane Grey, and even Graham, his faithful “man” and friend. Thus, any fictional deep sighs or “'woe is ‘mes’” by the book’s protagonist seem quite disingenuous. And boy, are there plenty of those in this book. Indeed, one may wonder why Charles Finch decided ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book goes back to when Charles Lenox is beginning to be a detective. He lives next door to Jane, whose husband is still alive. His obstreperous nephew is visiting, but not very pertinent to most of the story.

Charles has an appointment to see the Duke of Dorset about a possible case about a valuable possession which is missing. The Duke's private secretary is an old school friend of Lenox, Ward. One portrait in the Duke's study was missing. The Duke mostly wants to know WHO took the paintin
Linda Baker
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The second prequel of the long-running Charles Lenox series after last year's The Woman in the Water shows the 26-year-old Lenox at somewhat of a career ebb. This ebb occurs after Lenox has solved a case that Scotland Yard could not. A summons comes from the immensely rich and powerful Duke of Dorset, "the third man in England". A painting has been stolen from the Duke's private study but not the painting the Duke might have expected; a small and unassuming portrait purported to be of William Sh ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Vanishing Man, a detective novel set in historical London, is the prequel #2 of the Charles Lenox Mystery Series. Having solved his first murder Charles Lenox is called upon to solve a mystery, which could jeopardize his reputation and his social standing within Aristocracy of England. Lenox is an intelligent and intuitive protagonist, a detective and a member of the English aristocracy whom we have met in several novels of Charles Finch’s Charles Lenox series.

Charles Lenox is summoned to th
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Young Charles Lenox is called upon by the Duke of Dorset, one of England’s most revered noblemen, for help. A painting of the Duke’s great-grandfather has been stolen from his private study. But the Duke’s concern is not for his ancestor’s portrait; hiding in plain sight nearby is another painting of infinitely more value, one that holds the key to one of the country’s most famous and best-kept secrets.

Sometimes prequels are not great, especially if you know what is going to happen to the charac
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Historical mysteries, especially ones set in England, are some of my favorites and Charles Finch writes some of the very best. Set in 1853, this is a prequel which can be read as a stand alone. For the readers who have only known Charles Lenox as an older adult, in this mystery (the second of a three part prequel series) we meet Lenox at 26. He is trying to figure out what to call himself - is he a private detective or investigator? Only time will tell. For now, he has solved a case that had sty ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
London, 1853, Charles Lenox and Lady Jane Grey are about to go shopping but it is to be a short trip as Lenox has an appointment at noon with the Duke of Dorset. In a population of thirty million there were only twenty-eight Dukes in the whole of the United Kingdom and they are first in the land beneath the royal family. The reader is informed of the further ranking of the nobility from the marquesses, earls, countesses, viscounts and barons. An absurd system, dictated mostly by chance, believed ...more
Jean Kolinofsky
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charles Finch’s twelfth book in his Charles Lenox series returns to the early years of Lenox’s career. The idea of a private detective is a new one and Lenox has encountered scorn toward his chosen profession from his peers. Still dealing with the death of his father, even he questions his decision to continue.

After receiving credit for solving an important case, however, he is contacted by the Duke of Dorset to discreetly handle a theft from his home. A portrait of his great-grandfather was st
Jackie M
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Vanishing Man by Charles Finch.

This book, the second of three expected prequels to the Charles Lenox Mystery Series is set in 1853 London. Twenty-six-year-old Charles, private detective and brother to a baronet and member of parliament, has been consulted by a duke on a matter related to a missing painting.

I was completely engaged in the story and literally could not put it down. The writing is flawless for the genre, supported by language, narrative and dialogue that flow smoothly with no
Michelle Kidwell
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Vanishing Man
A Prequel to the Charles Lenox Series

by Charles Finch

St. Martin’s Press

Minotaur Books

Historical Fiction , Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 19 Feb 2019

I am reviewing a copy of The Vanishing Man through St.Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books and Netgalley:

In London in 1853 Young Charles Lenox is called upon by the Duke of Dorset one of England’s most reverend nobleman for help after he earned some renowned solving a case that had baffled Scotland Yard. A painting of The Duke’s Grandfathe
Kim McGee
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Charles Lenox is a nobleman who is working in a very unusual profession for someone of his status - that of a private detective. London in the mid-1800s is clearly divided by class into the aristocracy and lower working classes and they do not do business together. Lenox with the help of his best friend who just happens to be the love of his life and happily married solves the case of a theft, murder, and treasure that has been kept a secret for generations. Somehow they manage to do so amidst t ...more
Kathleen Gray
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A second prequel? Is that a thing? Well, yes, in this case it is. Finch has done an interesting thing for a writer of a series- he's catapulted his character- Charles Lenox-back to his relative youth and thus created a way for veteran readers to see how he developed and for new readers to join the party without missing a thing. Lenox is now 26 years old. He's been asked by the Duke of Dorset to find who stole a missing painting (not necessarily the painting itself), which doesn't sound like much ...more
Thanks to netgalley for an ARC of this title.

I've read all of the books in the Charles Lenox series to date. I actually prefer the books later in his career, but I enjoy the prequel books as well. This one I found particularly interesting, since it provided a lot of information as to how he learned to be a detective - the studying he did, arranging to "shadow" various specialists, and so on. It gives a bit more depth to the later books, since otherwise, I'm always wondering, "how in the world di
Cyrenius H. Booth Library
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: doug
What a great read! The story bounces around 1853 London following a professional ‘private detective’ (a brand-new field at that time) as he searches for the ‘who’ in a whodunit involving a break-ins at a Duke’s residence, a stolen painting, and the murder of a servant.

Charles Lenox is a charmer, a gentleman driven by a deep work ethic and sense of duty. The story has lots of details to keep readers interested (did you know that mail in Victorian London was delivered seven times a day?) and offe
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
June 1853 after some months without a case Charles Lenox is invited to call on the Duke of Dorset at his home. It seems that something of value has been stolen and the Duke wishes to know why. The Duke believes that the wrong painting was taken and is now concerned. Unfortunately the Duke has his secrets which will lead to murder. But Lenox needs help in unraveling the mystery.
A very enjoyable and interesting mystery and I look forward to the next prequel before I start reading the series.
A NetG
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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

Other books in the series

Charles Lenox Mysteries (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Woman in the Water (Charles Lenox Mysteries, prequel)
  • 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)
  • 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)