Jessica Howard's Reviews > A Beautiful Blue Death

A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
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's review
Jan 08, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery-historical
Read in January, 2009

This is not a highly suspenseful mystery, but rather a quiet, Victorian, armchair-detective type book.

I liked Charles Lenox, the main character, and his ruminations on the oddity of Victorian culture and the impossibility of getting properly made boots. I do think that some of the minor characters (most notably servants and those of lesser class) weren't sketched out fully, but it seems appropriate given the mindset of the era that a gentlemen would think of these types of people in broad sterotypes rather than specifics.

Lenox's next door neighbor, Lady Jane, had formerly employed a maid named Prudence Smith who recently turned up dead. Lenox's investigation into the death of Prue, her current high-ranking government employer Barnard, and the other servants/guests in Barnard's house is interesting without ever approaching suspense. A second death complicates matters, and flusters Lenox, because the second body was his main suspect for the first murder.

All in all the sense of time in the book is very successful, Finch has obviously done his research into the Victorian era. There are just a few moments, such as when Lenox is thinking about how beautiful the Parliament buildings are and how "no-one will ever care about Big Ben" that you get a sense of the modern author peeking through and poking fun, but mostly you can believe in Lenox's time and character.
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04/11/2016 marked as: read

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message 1: by Cindy (new) - added it

Cindy I appreciate your assessment. Thx for posting.

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