Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: A Death in the Small Hours by Charles Finch

Description (from cover):

'From the critically acclaimed author of A Beautiful Blue Death and A Burial at Sea comes an intriguing new mystery in what The New York Times calls 'a beguiling series.'

Charles Lenox is at the pinnacle of his political career and is a delighted new father. His days of regularly investigation the crimes of Victorian London now some years behind him, he plans a trip to his uncle's estate in Somerset in the expectation of a few calm weeks to write an important speech. When he arrives in the quiet village of Plumbley, however, what greets him is a series of strange vandalisms upon the local shops: broken windows, minor thefts, and threatening scrawls.

Only when a far more serious crime is committed does he begin to understand the great stakes of those events, and the complex and sinister mind that is wreaking fear and suspicion in Plumbley. Now, with his protege, John Dallington, at his side, the race is on for Lenox to find the culprit before he strikes again--and this time his victim may be someone Lenox loves.'

My thoughts:

To be honest, I wasn't really sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I have read all the books in this series and loved the first three, but the previous two, seemed lacking in brilliance that the others had. I was worried that this one would continue the series slump and that I would be disappointed. Charles Finch is back to his wonderful writing skills and I couldn't have enjoyed this mystery better. This book takes the series back to it previous glory and I can't wait to see what happens next. Charles Lenox and his wife, Jane, have grown so much throughout this series and they are characters that I care deeply about. This has to be one of my favorite Victorian era mystery series of all times.

Charles Lenox is now a member of Parliament and has a very important speech to deliver. He decides to go to the country with his wife, Jane and his daughter, Sophia, to get away from the pressures of London. He arrives in Plumbley, which is near and dear to his heart, with the intention of focusing on writing the speech that could make or break his political career. However, strange vandalisms have been occurring within the town and Charles can't help but be interested. A part of him misses his sleuthing days and he can't stay away from an intriguing case. When someone is found murdered in this idyllic countryside town, Charles feels it is his duty to find justice for the victim and solve a murder.

I love how Charles Finch can weave a story that wraps the reader up and doesn't let go. The mystery was solved fairly quickly on in this book and I could have stood to have it happen a lot later in the story, but it works. The last eighty or so pages wrap up the mystery and deal with some minor details in the lives of the characters. It was nice to see some of the character development in the plot, but I love my mysteries when they last to the very last page. There were a couple twists and turns in the plot that I didn't see coming and I will admit that I was kept on my toes. I'm so glad that the series has returned to its previous excellence and look forward to seeing what the future holds for Charles and Jane and baby Sophia. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment!

Overall Rating: 4.5

Title:  A Death in the Small Hours
Author:  Charles Finch
Series:  Charles Lenox Mystery #6
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Publication Date:  November 13, 2012
Pages:  320
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

6 comments:

  1. I'm not familiar with this author, but the book sounds really good. I assume they should all be read in order?

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    Replies
    1. Um..I think perhaps you might be able to get away without reading them in order. I am a stickler for reading a series in order, so personally, I would read them in order, but I don't really think that it is necessary in order to enjoy this series.

      Kimberlee

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  2. Oh awesome! I'm so glad this one rallied the series back for you. I hate when a series goes awry. thanks for the recommendation.

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    Replies
    1. No problem. I hope this encourages you to look into it. A great historical mystery series, near and dear to my heart.

      Kimberlee

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  3. This is an author that I hadn't heard about but I'm definitely intrigued. I love finding historical mystery series to check out so I'm adding the first book to my TBR list!! Thanks for sharing :)

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    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I have..Happy reading!!

      Kimberlee

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