Cover Image: A Beautiful Blue Death

A Beautiful Blue Death

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Member Reviews

This was a very good start to a new series. The character Charles Lenox is a delightful, witty Victorian gentleman, and I enjoyed following along on his investigation of a maids death. The writing was atmospheric of the Victorian era and made for a great afternoon escape.  
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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Special thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the ARC of this book in exchange for my own opinion.

Okay this book was a bit annoying. It was about a servant who was possibly poisoned in the 1800's. The servant, Prudence to Lady Jane, to be exact. Lady Jane is very bothered by this and seeks out the help of Charles Lennox, neighbor and has experience in this type of thing. 

First, I found the characters to be pretty dull, and secondly, I was quite annoyed because this book was supposed to be set in the 1800's, where I found it a tad unbelievable how the servants were so free as to not use proper titles and interrupt while their employers were entertaining. Also, I found the book to be not very exciting, as well as the historical times not being accurate. Maybe if this book was set in the 1900's, it would be a bit more believable.

I hate to give a low rating but this book I would definitely say to pass on.
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A Beautiful Blue Death is the first book in the extensive Charles Lenox series of historical mysteries, first published in 2007 and reissued in 2021. This was my first exposure to the series, which is now up to 11 plus some prequels. It features an upper class Englishman who is an amateur detective. He enjoys outsmarting Scotland Yard.

I found the main mystery to be interesting, but the book moved rather slowly for me. There were definitely some oddities that other reviewers have mentioned - even for someone like myself who is not particularly conversant with English colloquialisms, I realized that there were a number of American-isms used, like “sidewalk” instead of “pavement.” Lenox seemed overly familiar with his butler, Graham, despite a quick explanation of their backstory. Lenox sends Graham out to help with the investigation, which reminded me a bit of Nero Wolfe and Archie, although I haven’t read those books in ages.

These questions remain with me: 1) Why doesn’t a rich, upper-class man have better boots? 2) Who eats “cold sliced tomatoes, mashed potatoes, and milk”, referred to as simple food? Ick.

Apparently from the ratings, his later books get better. I hope so.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read a copy of this reissued book. All opinions are my own.
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A Beautiful Blue Death is the first in the Charles Lennox mystery series. Having read several, it was interesting to go back to the beginning and see the evolution of Charles Lennox from wealthy aristocrat to full-time sleuth.
Charles Lennox is enjoying a cup of tea in his study when he is summoned by his neighbor and dear friend, Lady Jane, for help. One of Lady Jane's former servants has been found dead.
Everyone thinks that it is an apparent suicide but Jane doesn't believe that Prudence would kill herself. She calls upon Charles to look into the case. After a survey of the death site, Charles immediately realizes that this wasn't a suicide and the hunt is on to solve the murder.
Author Charles Finch has written a truly delightful mystery. His strength is in the character development and gets better with each book.
You will want to spend more and more time with Charles, Lady Jane and Lennox's butler, Graham, who should be renamed Watson.
Charles Finch's books are worth the read and improve as Charles Lennox's sleuthing skills become Sherlockesque.
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley. #NetGalley #ABeautifulBlueDeath
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I am a fan of interesting or intelligent crime procedural shows/books and have always loved the various techniques and procedures that are being used these days to solve crime. But reading an investigative story by an amateur investigator, somewhat in the shade of Sherlock Holmes, where most of the technology had not been developed yet, was really quite interesting. 

A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch is set in the year 1865 and the book actually transports the reader there quite literally. The settings described, the events that take place in the backdrop and the language used, all manage to draw the reader into the story completely. It shows the amount of research that has gone into understanding and knowing that world; also, understanding the psych of the people then and how they perceive the world around them. The author's efforts are extremely praise- worthy and I can see why there have been 13 more books in the same series. 

As for the characters, they were all interesting. The main character Lord Charles Lenox is a very interesting character and quite likable too. And so was Lady Jane, on whom, it is hinted that Charles has an interest. The intrigue was not bad and quite sufficient. The crisp narrative style and the interesting story flow, make up the book into a very good mystery thriller with a laid- back tone. I would really love to read through the other books in the series as the book has completely whetted my appetite to know more about Lord Charles Lennox. Thanks to Netgalley,  St.Martin's Press, Minotaur books and the author Charles Finch for this ARC and this introduction to a wonderful author.
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This is the first in series and my first by this author. I loved the cover and the blurb, so I was excited to receive this book on my request from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was the perfect read for chilly, rainy afternoon--a steady pace, twisty plot, great characters, and a setting of 1860's London. When a servant girl is poisoned with an unusual substance the race is on to untangle the clues to find the culprit. I am excited to read more in this series.
#ABeautifulBlueDeath #NetGalley #KensingtonPublishing
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This book through be back to writing styles like Agatha Christie, which it really enjoyed. This at key itself took a bit long to actually get through and I definitely want more from it. It’s a great cozy mystery, but I just wanted a bit more
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This is the third book in the Charles Lenox series I have read and I have to say I’m thoroughly enjoying these mysteries. I like the character, an upper-crust young man who turns his back on snobbery and follows his dream to become a private detective. It’s easy to fall in love with the characters the author creates; they are sympathetically drawn (at least the good guys) and each have their own quirks and motivations.

In this mystery, Lenox chases the identity of a murderer who has left several clues. The victim, a maid in a wealthy household, is first believed to be a suicide – but of course, Lenox immediately sees the fraud set up by a clever murderer. Lenox leads the reader up one path and down another as he closes in on the perpetrator.

One other thing I enjoy so much about this series is that Lenox ages over time. While each mystery can be read as a stand-alone, it’s fun to catch this detective at different stages in his life and career.

Now, onto another Lenox mystery!
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Recently I read “An Extravagant death” which is the 14th book in the series so I was excited to read the first one.  Even if these books are great stories as a standalone I had wanted to know a bit more background on Charles Lenox and how the relationship started with his wife.  After reading “A Beautiful Blue Death” it all fell into place.  I got to learn a bit more of the political situations in Victorian England.  We see the big differences between the classes and the feel of entitlement of the wealthy.    Again we get a great mystery that could not be happening anywhere else then Victorian London.
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This was my first foray into the world of Lenox and Charles Finch. I am sorry I never got to it earlier. I loved the style of writing, the slower pace of vintage detection and the overall atmosphere of cleanliness, style and a certain innocence which is certainly lacking in the present detective genre.

Lenox just wants to relax as a gentleman in his library with his books, his maps, his travel plans but this is not always to be. His lifelong friend Lady Jane, living next door appeals for his help in finding out the murderer of a maid who worked in her employ and who then subsequently worked for another. The other is a very high up in the present government, wants to shush the whole thing up for the most unbelievable of reasons and wants the murder to pass as a suicide.

Despite so many things written oddly in this book (the geography, the americanisms, the mistakes of addressing aristocracy, even the odd title) I found the overall story to be unbelievable but charming, and Lenox though I have seen so many criticisms of his character -  totally loveable!
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This was a sweet, old-fashioned mystery that reminded me in spirit of Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark. The story took too long to get going, though. Nevertheless, anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries would like this.
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A thoroughly enjoyable historical mystery, with a main character who reminds me of a Victorian version of Lord Peter Whimsey.  I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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I was not aware of the Charles Lenox series until I received the netgalley of this book. Thankfully, I am now able to delve into the rich trove of mysteries.  In Victorian London, Charles Lenox, a gentleman, has chosen to pursue the ungentlemanly occupation of detective.  The historical detail and character  development are very fine. The author kept me guessing until the end.  I am planning to read all of the works in this series.
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For me I enjoyed the main character, Charles Lenox. He was very clever. I liked this book, I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. It was extremely tedious for me though. It was also very odd that the wealthy and their servants were so close and friendly. That would not have been the case back in the 1800's. Just some oddities about the book.
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I read other books in this series and was happy to read this one as it's the first.
I enjoyed it even if I found it a bit less gripping that the further installment.
It's a good story, the characters are interesting and I think it's a good introduction to the series.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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A Beautiful Blue Death turns out to be nothing of the sort.  Lovely housemaid Prudence Smith has been found murdered with the rare poison bella indigo.  To confuse matters further, a small bottle of arsenic is left on the bedside table, even though this is not what killed her.  Could it be a strange case of suicide? These are all matters that require the investigative skills of Charles Lenox, second son (therefore untitled) but still wealthy enough to pursue his interests and hobbies without having to worry about making a living.  Charles is asked to investigate the death by his childhood friend and current neighbor the widow Lady Jane Grey.  Prudence has only left Lady Jane's house to take up another job in a house where her fiancé is also employed.  So, if Prudence's death is indeed a murder, how did she manage to make a deadly enemy so soon in her new place of employment?

Charles has just successfully solved a forgery case that had baffled his nemesis, the Inspector Exeter of Scotland Yard.  Sadly, it doesn't take much to baffle Exeter, but he still insists that Charles should stay out of his cases and absolutely avoid meddling in any ongoing investigations.  Still, Charles agrees to help Lady Jane find out what happened to her former employee.

Plenty of suspects soon emerge at the new house where Prudence was working.  The man who owned the house, George Barnard, is the director of the Royal Mint.  He also happens to have many houseguests who all come under suspicion:  other mint/government employees, impoverished relatives, and of course, numerous servants.  

Charles is assisted in his inquiries by many eager would-be detectives: his elder brother Edmund, his butler Graham, Lady Jane's cousin Toto and her husband the alcoholic Dr. Thomas McConnell, Prudence's distraught fiancé, and other assorted helpers from London's busy streets.  While trying to find a motive for the murder of the maid, Charles must traverse London in shoddy boots, pour over the latest travel/historical books and maps accommodating booksellers deliver to his home daily, and keep up his social schedule of visits, balls, and teas.  It's all very exhausting!

While the beginning of the book was a bit difficult to follow, due to the many characters that were introduced, I was eventually able to keep track of them and I began to enjoy trying to figure out who the guilty party was.  Although most of the characters go about their upper-class lives without much thought for "how the other half lives," there were occasional twinges of social conscience, such as when some shady characters lead the shadowing Graham into "the Rookery" slum and the conditions are very shocking for him.  

This book is the first in the Charles Lenox mystery series, which is now up to 12 books.  I look forward to returning to Victorian London to see what new adventures he finds!
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Being the first book in the series, it was slow and the plot plain. The description of the characters was not done uniformly. The later books are an improvement.
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A Beautiful Blue Death 
Charles Finch

I loved reading this book! 

The setting is in the mid 1860’s England and following an amateur detective named Charles Lenox. Feeling the Sherlock Holmes vibe and certainly this hooked me so right from the start! 

This is a part of the series, but I did enjoy this very much as a stand alone. I will definitely be enjoying the rest and look forward to reading them all.

Fantastic Victorian murder mystery well done.
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Downton Abbey series has ended, the movie has now come and gone. What to do? Read Charles Finch!! Begin with A Beautiful Blue Death and you will understand why the Charles Lenox series is so loved.
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No. I didn't like the way the characters were portrayed, how it wanted to be and sound British but it failed so badly! I was looking for an intense, gripping mystery, but I got a list of all that I didn't like about it.
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