Cover Image: The Woman in the Water

The Woman in the Water

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Member Reviews

I Enjoyed everything about this book there was nothing I didn't like about the book. I Like the setting,the writing style,the plot,the plot twists and the characters in the book were amazing.I would gladly reread it again.
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I received a copy to review from Net Galley in return for an honest review about the novel.  This is only the second book that I have read by Charles Finch (I am pretty sure the entire Charles Lenox series is in my TBR pile), and I was pleasantly surprised by this prequel of the Lenox series.  I simply could not put this book down and found myself drawn to the story more so than the first book that I read by Finch.  Charles Lenox's story of his first case will draw the reader in a leave you wanting more of the amature detective.  The characters as with the first novel I read were relatable and the story was fast paced and made me want to pick up the next book in the series right away.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a fast paced historical fiction mystery novel and who loves an all around great story.
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Flashback to his first murder investigation, Charles Lennox is struggling to prove himself. Stuck between the aristocrats he was born to and the regular joes of Scotland Yard, Lennox must prove himself useful before a killer bend on committing the perfect crime strikes again. Full of well written prose that puts the reader in mind of classic literature, Finch really sets a scene and takes you on a thrilling ride.
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I had read the second book in this series and liked it enough to jump at the opportunity to review the first book as well. This is where it all starts, Charles Lennox’s first-ever case.
Charles Lenox, a young man of noble birth graduated 7 months earlier from Oxford doesn’t find much joy in the usual pleasures of his class and has it gotten into his head to become something that doesn’t exist in England up to now. He will be the first private detective but Scotland Yard laughs at his endeavour and to his class, he’s an embarrassment as gentlemen aren’t supposed to work with their hands.
In one of his newspapers Charles finds a mysterious letter by someone claiming that a month earlier, he committed a murder that was hardly noticed by press or police. As to celebrate this ‘anniversary’ he will commit another crime against a woman within a week. This article intrigues him and he starts searching for the crime that’s been committed. In Walnut Grove (a small islet in the Thames near Twickenham) they found the naked body of an unknown strangled young woman hidden in a sailor’s trunk, just a month earlier. There were no leads as to the identity of the victim or killer and the press lost her interest as a higher profile murder took place around the same time. If the letter is real, there’s hardly a day left before the murderer will strike again. And he does. There are police detectives on the case already but Lenox is determined to be part of the investigation. Sir Richard Mayne, head of Scotland Yard, does hire him and pays him half a pound a week. Payment is a dishonour for a gentleman and in the next book he’s very adamant that he doesn’t charge for his services. Another letter arrives in which the killer promises another murder in a month’s time before he will disappear. Little by little Lenox finds clues that reveal several things about the killer’s identity. How it eventually resolves is simply brilliant. I hadn’t guessed this outcome in a million years!
Lenox has also a mysterious private case from a man that keeps finding envelopes with a five-pound note, each time he travels from his house in Dulwich to London or back
There are also a few interesting stories about the background stories of his valet/assistant Graham and the housekeeper Mrs Huggins, who’s susceptible to cats. It turns out that she's not the only one. We get a lovable look-in at Lenox’s home- and family life as well. His father has a cancer death-sentence and we live with Charles through this difficult period when he connects with his father more than ever before.

As always I’m a fan of the tidbits of period facts. And there are plenty in this story. The safety matches (as opposed to Lucifer matches that sometimes caught fire spontaneously) came into use. I didn’t know that 1850 was the year that the first ever hippopotamus was brought to England from Egypt and thousands of people came to see him at the London Zoo. You also learn how ‘Scotland Yard’ came by its name. What’s not in the story but also interesting is that it’s the year that ‘David Copperfield’ came out as a complete book. 
I must praise the detailed and vivid descriptions of the sights and of London street scenes and of activities on the Thames. The river often takes centre stage in this story. You can certainly picture and almost smell or hear them.
I thanks Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC and this is my honest review.
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In this book Lenox is disillusioned. His efforts do not seem to be appreciated by Scotland Yard who deride his position as an aristocrat and do not seem to be able to see the man beyond that. On the other hand his own kind the aristocrats themselves look on him as some kind of aberration and an insult to their kind doing a job which is demeaning. This was London in the 1850s.

When one woman is found dead, followed by another one quite swiftly Scotland Yard themselves realize that action will have to be taken quickly to prevent rising hysteria amongst its citizens. Lenox and Graham are up against a very skilled and manipulative killer who is clever if not cleverer than all the detectives put together

Descriptive of London in the 1850s both within the upper and the very lower classes of society added much interest to the whole story. Characterization was spot on and the entire book was a delight of the mystery/detective genre.
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The Woman in the Water is the first prequel to the Charles Lenox series. 
As an amateur in the field of detection, Charles Lenox's deduction skills are pretty impressive. As I had already read the second prequel first, I would say it was wonderful to see how Lenox came to establish himself as a pretty good detective - with sheer hard work and dedication to his job.
Graham, Charles' butler/side-kick does a good job too. From packing bags in a jiffy to finding information pertaining to the case, Graham has proved himself to be a useful side-kick to the detective.
The mystery behind the dead bodies of women in the river is baffling and so is the reason behind their murders. The suspense is well-maintained and FInch does an excellent job of keeping the readers hooked on to the story till the end. 
I recommend this book and the second prequel to those who are looking to divulge in a new historical mystery series. The two prequels serve as an excellent introduction to the series.
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I actually read this when it was first published. It's an interesting story of a Victorian gentleman who wants to do/be more than he is pre-destined to be. Lennox is charming, young-but-not-too-young, observant and dogged in his pursuit of an investigation. This is a great intro to the series, a good puzzle and a lot of fun.
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The Woman in the Water is a Victorian mystery set in London in 1850 and it’s a prequel to the Charles Lenox series.  In this book, Charles has recently graduated from university, is celebrating his 23rd birthday, and declares that he intends to pursue a career of a traveler and a detective.  As the second son of a Baronet, Charles is much freer to choose his life’s path, but even his closest friends are appalled that he would attempt this type of profession.  Nevertheless, he doggedly moves ahead and immerses himself in the murder of a young woman whose body is discovered in a naval trunk.  With the help of his valet, Graham, Charles works with Scotland Yard to uncover the murderer and bring justice for his victims.

I have enjoyed all of the Charles Lenox books and I found this book to be a stellar addition to the series.  I particularly liked the background it provides on Charles’s relationships with his family, friends, and even staff members.  Both Graham and Charles’s brother, Edmund, are wonderful characters, as is his housekeeper, Mrs. Huggins, as well as his parents. The dialogue is crisp, the descriptions of Victorian England are rich, and the mystery is well-conceived and plotted.  All in all, Charles Finch has produced yet another outstanding edition to the Charles Lenox series.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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This book is very hard to get into. Very slow paced, and starting out with no attention to the mysteries. The character is at the forefront of the story, I am not familiar with the rest of the story, so I feel like this would be interesting for others who are already invested in the story. However, at the mental point in my life that I am at this week, I have to put this down and maybe I will try it again later.
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I just loved this book from page one to the last page. It’s Has not only a page turner Plot, but also very believable  characters. The story’s rich and detailed and fast-paced. I’m looking forward to  reading the other books in the series.
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A slow start, but it really picked up the pace at the end! And, this was a lovely look into his “youth” and how he started as a private detective.
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This was a good Victorian Mystery. I loved the characters and the setting. I am happy to have discovered this series and look forward to more installments. 
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This is the first book I read in this series and I found it engrossing and entertaining.
I loved the well researched historical background, the fleshed out cast of characters, and the solid mystery that kept me guessing.
I will surely read other books by this author.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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This is an awesome book set in the Victorian era.  You get to see how  Charles Lenox, raised in the upperclass and just graduating from Oxford becomes a private investigator.  I loved seeing how he gets to be involved in investigating and includes his valet, Graham.  I will be looking forward to reading the rest of this series.
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The first prequel in the Charles Lenox Mystery Series is Woman in the Water by Charles Finch.  Lenox is turning 23 and just starting out being a detective, such an occupation is beneath a man of his standing but it's his heart's desire.  As he is reading the morning newspaper he spots a letter stating that the previous month the perfect murder had been committed, but since no one had bothered awfully much over it, there would be another on the anniversary.  Lenox pulls out his files of crime around London and realizes which murder was the perfect one and then tries to stop the next one from happening.  Things unfold from there, while Lenox struggles with his peers, Scotland Yard, and his own feelings about him being a detective.  An enjoyable book, filling in more information about Lenox's earlier life.  Well written characters and engrossing plot.
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Charles Lenox wishes for nothing more than to establish himself as a detective.
Having little success in his endeavors until an anonymous letter is received claiming to have just committed the perfect murder.
Everyone and everything is now in the cross hairs of this mad man who threatens to kill again.
The case heats up with the second victim and readers are allured to the background and history surrounding Scotland Yard.
An interesting round about is due to the killer and the victims connections with a spice of life in providing subtle clues to entice the readers.
Fab read.
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The Woman in the Water is the first prequel book in the Charles Lenox Mysteries series by Charles Finch.  I'm usually not a big fan of prequel books, but this book and the next one (The Vanishing Man) has changed my opinion of them.  Since this is a prequel book - and the first one -, it totally stands alone.  I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley; however, I am basing my review on the audio book version of this work which I purchased for myself.  I listened to the audio book of The Vanishing Man (which also can stand alone) and it was superb, so I wanted to listen to this one also.  James Langton, the narrator, is truly magnificent; he's one of the best I've heard.

Charles Lenox is a young detective in 1850 London.  Being the son of a Baronet, "work" is looked down upon by Society.  However, Lenox, a very intelligent young man, is determined to make a career out of detection.  He, along with his valet Graham, reads the papers every morning and clip out articles that catch their interest.  They come across an interesting one:  a man boasting of committing the "perfect crime".  From the timeline, it appears that the murderer is planning another one.  He takes his ideas to Scotland yard, but they don't take him very seriously...until he proves to be right.  After another murder occurs, it becomes a race against time before the killer strikes again.

Though I've only "read" two books in this series so far, it is now one of my favorites.  Charles Finch truly draws you into young Lenox's world.  You can sense Lenox's frustration in attempting to set up a career as a detective when he is looked down upon by most in Scotland Yard.  I thought the mystery here was rather brilliant; I did not see any of the truth coming until Lenox revealed it.  Red herrings continually threw me off track.  One of my favorite things about this book, however, dealt with Lenox's relationships with those in his sphere:  his dying father, his mother, Graham, brother Edmund...and Lady Elizabeth.  That one got to me most of all; Lenox risks his friendship with Elizabeth by declaring his love for her, though she is married and he knows his affection can't go anywhere.

I am so grateful the publisher has granted me the ARC of the next book, The Last Passenger.  Do not let this absolutely brilliant series pass you by!
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Although this book was not the first one the author has written in this series, it does describe the beginning of Charles Lennox’s career as a “gentleman” detective.  The portrayal of Lennox as a young, recent Oxford graduate is very realistic, He comes across as somewhat awkward, slightly immature, and a bit socially naive.  We are treated to stories about his family background, (as the second son of an earl his ambition to be a detective is pretty much social suicide.) The only way he can get Scotland Yard to even listen to him is to use his aristocratic connections.  Even then, he is considered a nuisance.  However, with the help of his valet (and friend), Graham, he perseveres.  The mystery is solved but it comes with some hard lessons for Charles.  

I enjoyed this novel very much.  We are treated to glimpses of Charles life and relationships, and we meet some of his family, his household staff, and friends.  I think this book would appeal to a broad range of readers.
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This is my first book in this series, a mystery in the Victorian era. The author brings the city and the country side vividly in front of our eyes, the ways of the high society.The detective work is so contrasting to the present day with no modern technology.. This gives a refreshing feel to the story. Reminds me of the Sebastian St Cyr series. I liked it very much and will be reading the series.
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This is a enjoyable Victorian historical mystery from Charles Finch featuring the aristocrat and Oxford man, Charles Lenox set in London in 1850.  It's a prequel to the series, but my first taste of the detective, having not read any others, but since it's portrays the start of Charles's career path where his youthful ambitions to be a consulting detective at the tender age of 23 are derided, it works very well as a standalone.  His opportunity to prove himself comes with an anonymous letter from a killer in a paper, claiming to have committed the perfect murder and that there will be more to come.  A woman's body is found in a trunk in the River Thames,  Aided by his able valet, Graham, Charles finds a obstacle ridden case, one that is to push him to his limits, providing character development for his character, as he faces danger as do those close to him.  I very much liked my first dip into this series and hope to read more.  Finch provides rich descriptions of the Victorian period with its class distinctions, and a wide array of characters including Charles's family and friends, with a Scotland Yard that is far from welcoming of his contribution.  This will appeal to those who like historical fiction and historical mysteries in particular.  Many thanks to St Martin's Press for a copy.
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