Friday, January 20, 2017

The Laws of Murder by Charles Finch

I read a lot of books that I never review because I want to recommend only the best. But I'm breaking my rule for this particular series because it's too good not to mention. Please note that I've read just one book (#8 of the Charles Lenox mysteries), so I can't speak for the other books.

Basic story: Charles Lenox has always loved solving mysteries. After a career in Parliament he decides to become part of a detective agency, but business is tediously slow. When a former colleague is murdered, Lenox plunges headfirst into crime-solving again.

Author Charles Finch was educated at Oxford and Yale, majoring in English and history, and it shows. He gives little sketches of Victorian practices throughout the novel that enrich the story. His writing is excellent in spite of the occasional use of profanity. This particular story includes some references to prostitution, but never crosses over into the tawdry. I appreciated Finch's restraint.

The mystery was good, but it was not what kept me reading. The reason I highly recommend the series is because Finch does a bang-up job of creating characters that you really care about. (90% of the fiction I read in 2016 had unappealing protagonists, which has left me slightly traumatized.)

Charles Lenox is happily married (imagine that!) and so is his friend Dr. McConnell. Other friendships and relationships include the young widow Polly, the former butler who is now in parliament, and amateur detective Lord Dallington.  I loved them all and look forward to meeting them again as I read the whole series. (Although I had not read the previous novels, Laws of Murder gives enough of a back story so that you know who's who.)

The kindle versions of Finch's books are pricey ($10 range) but some of the hardcovers are already available for one cent from Amazon and for free at PaperBackSwap. I got my copy as a free e-book download from my Michigan library. Where there's a will, there's a way!

Blessings,

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