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The Last Passenger

(Charles Lenox Mysteries #0.3)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  3,160 ratings  ·  428 reviews
From bestselling author Charles Finch comes the third and final in a prequel trilogy to his lauded Charles Lenox series.

London, 1855: A young and eager Charles Lenox faces his toughest case yet: a murder without a single clue. Slumped in a first-class car at Paddington Station is the body of a young, handsome gentleman. He has no luggage, empty pockets, and no sign of viol
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Minotaur Books
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Charles Finch Great question Sheila, thank you! I revealed some pieces of his background in The September Society and I have it all written down in my files, but I …moreGreat question Sheila, thank you! I revealed some pieces of his background in The September Society and I have it all written down in my files, but I am still waiting for the perfect moment to introduce it organically :) Thank you for reading!(less)
Michell Karnes A cab was a hansom cab which was much like today's cab in that it was for hire by one person and it would transport the person where he wanted to go. …moreA cab was a hansom cab which was much like today's cab in that it was for hire by one person and it would transport the person where he wanted to go. The omnibus was much like today's bus in that it carried many people going different places but along a route. There were different companies and each company's buses were different colors. At some point companies merged and one color, red, was chosen.(less)

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Charles Finch
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this one! Does that make me biased? Yes, I know this book's flaws better than anyone. I will send you an annotated list upon request.

Nevertheless, 5 stars.
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unidentified corpse is at the center of a murder investigation, and a larger mystery, in this book. This is the third book in a prequel series that covers the early career of the private detective Charles Lenox. It can be read as a standalone, but I think that it will primarily appeal to fans of the Lenox series. Although the books are more cozy than I usually read, I have read a few of the books and I like Lenox. The books have humor and wit. In this case, I also liked the plot which went in ...more
Emma Rose Ribbons
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful, wonderful installment in the Charles Lenox Mysteries series. I had REAL trouble putting it down. I loved it. Charles's family and friends all urge him to find romance but Charles is asked by a rather incompetent but nice enough policeman to help in a murder case - a body was found on a train from Manchester to London, stripped of all clothing, and what appears at first to be a rather petty theft, turns out to have far-reaching ramifications as Lenox realises the unknown man may ...more
Barb in Maryland
Excellent mystery! I love Charles Lenox and it has been fun to meet the younger Charles in this series of prequels.

A few random thoughts:

I appreciated the look at the US political situation from the British point of view. The story is set in 1855, but the rumble of political discord between the northern and southern states could already be heard in London. It was interesting to read the different theories on the fate of the US.

I've been reading this series since the first book (A Beautiful Blue
First Sentence: On or about the first day of October 1855, the City of London, England decided it was time once and for all that Charles Lenox be married.

In this third, and final, prequel Charles Lenox is still working to establish himself as an enquiry agent. Asked to visit the scene of a gruesome murder, he finds someone has gone to extraordinary lengths to remove anything which might lead to the victim being identified. Although Inspector Dunn blames the murder on gangs, Lenox convinces Sir R
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
An intriguing mystery that held my interest throughout. I enjoy learning more about the characters of this series and the description of home comforts, such as a discussion of the dunk-ability of British biscuits (cookies) including an old favorite, custard creams.

This lighter side of life provides some balance with the serious subject of the slave trade, which is explored in this story from both sides of the Atlantic. The narrator, James Langton ably handled a range of accents including Americ
Judy Lesley
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press Minotaur Books for an e-galley of this novel.

This is the third book in a trilogy of prequels giving readers insights into how Charles Lenox progressed toward a successful career as a private investigator. This was definitely my favorite of the three books and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The mystery on this one proved most difficult for Lenox (and me!) to solve because everything possible had been done to keep the identity of the victim obscured. All the
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Safe. That word kept playing in my head while reading this book, and is the same word that immediately came to mind when I finished. Safe. But I think that often happens with series, especially if they lean on the side of cozy. They are so popular because the fans love the predictability of their beloved characters. I like this author and he writes well, but I feel he can do so much more. When I do not feel any emotions when a character dies or a romance doesn't pan out, it is clear to me that t ...more
Kate Baxter
4.5 / 5 stars

Author Charles Finch has done it again! Thirteen books into this series and the writing is still fresh and keeps getting better with each installment. If you're a fan of well conceived and delightfully written historical fiction, then I commend this book to you, without reservation.

The story opens in London - October, 1855 with our young protagonist, Charles Lenox, being introduced to all the young ladies of London who are marriage suitable for a man of his standing. Initially, he f
Charles Lenox! Always a pleasure!

The third and final of the prequels about the eccentric society detective, Charles Lenox's pulling together more of his background as a beginning detective. The disdain from many of the upper one thousand, his relationship with Scotland Yard, the development of his inquiry techniques, and his family and friends.
A male body is found in a train at Paddington Station. The 449 from Manchester.
No clues as to who the man was. Even the tags had been cut from his clothin
Christi M
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Last Passenger is one of my favorite mystery series and always one I can count on to deliver a good story and one that leaves me immediately wanting to pick up the next in the series, even if it is a re-read. The Last Passenger was no exception.

The story opens in a scene filled with humor and wit – apparently London has decided Charles needs a wife. Through-out the story we get to watch Charles skillfully evade potential future wives as they are introduced to Charles over and over again. Mar
Nope, this is a DNF. Lenox is just plain boring to me. And I don't like the repetition and patterns of less than enthusiasm for the love interest either. Everyone is just too nice, unless they are some heroic or nasty extreme Americans. It's probably at least a 3 star for cozy readers but I found the entire tone too sanctimonious for me and way too formulaic to joining current trends both in form and in subject matter. Presently and usually I am far more intrigued by the unique. This is not at a ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian
Undecided whether this is my favorite in this series of 13 books as I have enjoyed them all, but I do know it made my Mother's Day special to have such a fine historical to read.
We roll back time again to another prequel and meet Lenox in his mid 20's and under pressure from his mother to find a mate and begin that more adult phase of marriage and children. It is the end of 1855 and the ugliness of slavery is much in the minds of some British as well as the Americans. The abolitionist movement
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 plus well done stars.

I didn’t expect to spend most of a Charles Lennox book focused on the mid-nineteenth century American politics of slavery, racism, and the impending war. It wasn’t the usual foggy old London escapist read I enjoy in this series. However, it was a timely and successful departure and I applaud it.

The personal side of Charles Lennox is also necessarily darker in this, the last of the prequels. We get more insight into the characters, who become more real all the time.

I loo
We arrive at the final book in the trilogy of prequel mysteries that go back to the beginning and show how Charles Lennox came to become a private detective, establishes his place, and his first meetings with several figures that play a strong role in his later years. I have found these absorbing after reading the books when he is already established to know how it all came about and how a quietly confident Lennox came into his own which these prequels do a great job of laying out.

The Last Passe
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I am sorry this is the last of the young Charles Lenox mysteries. I have enjoyed them and getting to meet these characters and seeing their relationships develop. This is a particularly interesting one as it deals with slavery in the U.S. A young American comes to England to enlist British support in stopping slavery in the U.S. He is found brutally murdered and all identifying marks removed.

A particularly inept policeman calls Lenox in to help investigate and the case leads interesting places.
Lynn Horton
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed all of the Charles Lennox mysteries, as I did The Last Passenger. Strong and complex story, clear writing, great settings (without too much detail), well-developed characters: What's not to like?

Please be aware, though, that this is the third in a trio of PREQUELS. If you pre-order books, then you might forget things like, "This is a prequel" between the time you order, and the time you receive the novel. Because Lennox's timeline was off I was confused until I had the sense to chec
Dawn Michelle
This one was very good. It really had me guessing until the end, and even then I am not sure I fully understand all that was going on, but that is the way it is when there is slavery, abolitionists and people who believe that a race other than their own is not nor can be human. This story takes Charles out of his comfort zone and places him somewhere he'd really rather not be as he, even though he is a staunch abolitionist, has to evaluate himself and what he truly believes and who he believes i ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Last Passenger, what a profoundly poignant and moving title that speaker volumes. This is the third story in the Charles Lenox mystery series and this book is a wonderful wrap to the prequel.

It was a delightful adventure to learn more about the young Charles Lenox as a twenty-seven year old and how this particular case shapes the kind of detective and man that Lenox will become. Lenox is such a authentic and relatable character because he gives of himself wholehearted compassion , dedicatio
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I happened to be lucky and reach this book first. Charles Finch knows how to write a great story.
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As lovely and perfect as I needed it to be.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this story! What a great addition to the series. I have enjoyed all of the pre-quell books. I am so glad that the author decided to introduce them as full length novels and not just short stories. It was a wonderful look back to where it all started.
Rekha Rao
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the third book in the Charles Lenox prequel series. Since I have read the first two prequels, I had a brief idea of what to expect from the characters. But what I did not see coming is the shocker in Lady Jane's life and Lenox going through a rough patch. The poor thing never seems to be lucky in love!
The first half of the story was really interesting. The mystery behind the murderer man's identity and the killer cutting off the tailor tags so that the police would time to establish the
Theresa Larson
Late one night, in early October 1855, the last passenger on the 449 to Paddington would not be leaving on his own accord. After everyone had left, the conductor found this man in the third class carriage stabbed to death. Perhaps more mysterious than his death, was the condition in which they found him. His pockets were empty, the labels were cut out of every piece of his clothing, and his socks, boots, hat, and watch are all missing. It appeared that someone had gone to a great deal of trouble ...more
Barbara Rogers
Barbara’s Rating 4.5 of 5
Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries #0.3
Publication Date: 2/18/20
Number of Pages: 304

Charles Finch is back with the third, and I believe final, prequel to the Charles Lenox Mysteries series – and I think this might be my favorite. We have a well-crafted mystery that involves two continents and some really vile villains. We also get to know and like Lady Jane’s husband and a young Charles falls in love. Add in tragedy and misery and goodness – there is everything you could po
Lou Kemp
Nov 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Yes, and maybe.
There are many things about this early book from Charles Finch to recommend it.
If you are looking for new historical facts you either slept through in class, or could never have run into your own, there are some here. Example: the Duchy of Lancaster, aka the Savory district of London. A royal writ from the 1300's proclaimed anyone in the environs of the district could not have their debts collected, so over the years a variety of interesting characters lived there. This lasted u
Pamela Bronson
Apr 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love these Victorian mysteries! This group of prequels that look back to Charles' youth are especially charming, I think.

In this one he deals with the consequences of slavery in both the US and the British Empire.

My only complaint is that the author has started inserting bits of etymology in the books, which would be fun and interesting, except that I'm sure at least one of the etymologies is false, so I don't trust the others. But that's a minor quibble.

These are clean and have little swear
Elaine Nickolan
Dec 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting read and I enjoyed it very much. If you like the Lord Peter Wimsey series, then this should be a good fit for you. Charles Lenox is a well to do man that wants to be a detective. However, during this time period, late 1800's, it is not considered an acceptable line of work for a man of his standing. Nevertheless, Mr. Lenox gets invited to accompany an inspector to Paddington Station where a mans body is discovered on the arriving train. Who is this young man? With no ...more
A great read mixing intrigue with mordant British wit set in historical England, dealing with the serious subject of the abolition of slavery and, unexpected references to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book since I didn't quite like the first one of the series. Now I wonder if I hadn't misjudged that one so I'll reread it and look forward to more adventures of Charles Lenox.
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This was totally satisfying, and now I am caught up with the series and the prequels. I must admit that I was a bit leery of starting the prequels and put them off until I had read all the others, but they really do flesh out Lennox's life, personality, and family in such a fulfilling way. You can see the growth of his interests and experiences and relate to things in the more "current" ones. Well written with interesting tidbits of English history and American Abolitionism thrown in, and I love ...more
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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 14 books)
  • The Woman in the Water (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #0.1)
  • The Vanishing Man (Charles Lenox Mysteries #0.2)
  • 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)

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