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About Charles Finch
Charles Finch is the author of the bestelling Charles Lenox mystery novels, including the forthcoming "The Inheritance." His first standalone novel, "The Last Enchantments," about a group of students at Oxford University, was published in 2014. He's a regular book critic for the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, and was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics' Circle award for criticism.
Come find out more at facebook.com/charlesfinchauthor or twitter.com/charlesfinch!
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In what promises to be a breakout in Charles Finch's bestselling series, Charles Lenox travels to the New York and Newport of the dawning Gilded Age to investigate the death of a beautiful socialite.
London, 1878. With faith in Scotland Yard shattered after a damning corruption investigation, Charles Lenox's detective agency is rapidly expanding. The gentleman sleuth has all the work he can handle, two children, and an intriguing new murder case.
But when Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli offers him the opportunity to undertake a diplomatic mission for the Queen, Lenox welcomes the chance to satisfy an unfulfilled yearning: to travel to America. Arriving in New York, he begins to receive introductions into both its old Knickerbocker society and its new robber baron splendor. Then, a shock: the death of the season's most beautiful debutante, who appears to have thrown herself from a cliff. Or was it murder? Lenox’s reputation has preceded him to the States, and he is summoned to a magnificent Newport mansion to investigate the mysterious death. What ensues is a fiendish game of cat and mouse.
Witty, complex, and tender, An Extravagant Death is Charles Finch's triumphant return to the main storyline of his beloved Charles Lenox series—a devilish mystery, a social drama, and an unforgettable first trip for an Englishman coming to America.
Called "absorbing" (Publishers Weekly) and "beguiling" (The New York Times Book Review), The Fleet Street Murders from Charles Finch finds gentleman detective Charles Lenox investigating the mysterious, simultaneous deaths of two veteran newspapermen, while engaged in a heated race for Parliament.
It's Christmas, 1866, and amateur sleuth Charles Lenox, recently engaged to his best friend, Lady Jane Grey, is happily celebrating the holiday in his Mayfair townhouse. Across London, however, two journalists have just met with violent deaths—one shot, one throttled. Lenox soon involves himself in the strange case, but must leave it behind to go north to Stirrington, where he is running for Parliament. Once there, he gets a further shock when Lady Jane sends him a letter whose contents may threaten their nuptials.
In London, the police apprehend two unlikely and unrelated murder suspects. From the start, Lenox has his doubts; the crimes, he is sure, are tied. But how? Racing back and forth between London and Stirrington, Lenox must negotiate the complexities of crime and politics, not to mention his imperiled engagement. But as the case mounts, Lenox learns that the person behind the murders may be closer to him—and his beloved—than he knows.
A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A mysterious bequest of money leads to a murder in this new novel in the critically acclaimed and bestselling series whose last installment The New York Times called “a sterling addition to this well-polished series.”
Charles Lenox has received a cryptic plea for help from an old Harrow schoolmate, Gerald Leigh, but when he looks into the matter he finds that his friend has suddenly disappeared. As boys they had shared a secret: a bequest from a mysterious benefactor had smoothed Leigh’s way into the world after the death of his father. Lenox, already with a passionate interest in detective work, made discovering the benefactor's identity his first case – but was never able to solve it.
Now, years later, Leigh has been the recipient of a second, even more generous bequest. Is it from the same anonymous sponsor? Or is the money poisoned by ulterior motives? Leigh’s disappearance suggests the latter, and as Lenox tries, desperately, to save his friend’s life, he’s forced into confrontations with both the most dangerous of east end gangs and the far more genteel denizens of the illustrious Royal Society. When someone close to the bequest dies, Lenox must finally delve deep into the past to uncover at last the identity of the person who is either his friend’s savior – or his lethal enemy.
"This book is so funny and so true. Charles Finch unpacks a year of plague, fear, shameless venality, and dizzying stupidity with an irrepressible wit and surgically precise cultural observations. I didn't know how badly I needed exactly this. Maybe you do too?" —Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box
In March 2020, at the request of the Los Angeles Times, Charles Finch became a reluctant diarist: As California sheltered in place, he began to write daily notes about the odd ambient changes in his own life and in the lives around him. The result is What Just Happened.
In a warm, candid, welcoming voice, and in the tradition of Woolf and Orwell, Finch brings us into his own world: taking long evening walks near his home in L.A., listening to music, and keeping virtual connections with friends across the country as they each experience the crisis. And drawing on his remarkable acuity as a cultural critic, he chronicles one endless year with delightful commentary on current events, and the things that distract him from current events: Murakami’s novels, reality television, the Beatles.
What Just Happened is a work of empathy and insight, at once of-the-moment and timeless—a gift from one of our culture's most original thinkers.
In Charles Finch's A Stranger in Mayfair, the next enthralling installment in the Charles Lenox Mysteries, detective Lenox tries to resist the lure of a case and focus on his new career in Parliament.
Returning from a continental honeymoon with his new wife, Lady Jane, Lenox is asked by a colleague in Parliament to consult in the murder of a footman, bludgeoned to death with a brick. His investigation uncovers some unsettling facts about the family he served and a strange, second identity that the footman himself cultivated.
Going into the boxing clubs and public houses, the Mayfair mansions and servants' quarters of Victorian London, Lenox gradually realizes that an old friend may be implicated in the footman's death. Soon a suspect is arrested, but Lenox has his doubts. Desperately trying to balance the opening of Parliament and what he feels sure is a dark secret surrounding the murder, he soon discovers that the killer is someone seemingly beyond suspicion, and may be prepared to spill blood again—even a detective's.
"Bravo, Mr. Finch, and keep them coming! More Lenox, please." —Louise Penny, bestselling author of A Better Man
From bestselling author Charles Finch comes the third and final in a prequel trilogy to his lauded Charles Lenox series.
London, 1855. A young and eager Charles Lenox faces his toughest case yet: a murder without a single clue. Slumped in a third-class car at Paddington Station is the body of a handsome young gentleman. He has no luggage, empty pockets, and no sign of identification on his person. And putting together the clues to the mystery of the man’s identity only raises more questions, when Lenox discovers that the crime has a significant connection to America.
As he seeks to solve this impossible case, the young Lenox must confront an equally troublesome problem in his personal life. Kitty Ashbrook, beautiful and cultured, appears to be his soulmate—but love comes with obstacles of its own. In tandem, this fiendish early case and passionate, deeply felt affair will irrevocably shape the brilliant detective and thoughtful gentleman Lenox is destined to become.
Written in Charles Finch’s unmistakably witty and graceful voice, The Last Passenger is a cunning, thrilling, and deeply satisfying conclusion to this trilogy of prequels to his bestselling Charles Lenox series.
From Charles Finch, the critically acclaimed author of A Beautiful Blue Death and A Burial at Sea, comes A Death in the Small Hours--an intriguing installment in the Charles Lenox Mysteries, deemed "a beguiling series" by The New York Times.
Charles Lenox is at the pinnacle of his political career and is a delighted new father. His days of regularly investigating the crimes of Victorian London now some years behind him, he plans a trip to his uncle's estate, Somerset, in the expectation of a few calm weeks to write an important speech. When he arrives in the quiet village of Plumley, however, what greets him is a series of strange vandalisms upon the local shops: broken windows, minor thefts, 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 Plumley. 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 that Lenox loves.
Equal parts Sherlock Holmes and P.G. Wodehouse, Charles Finch's debut mystery A Beautiful Blue Death introduces a wonderfully appealing gentleman detective in Victorian London who investigates crime as a diversion from his life of leisure.
Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, likes nothing more than to relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist the chance to unravel a mystery.
Prudence Smith, one of Jane's former servants, is dead of an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The grand house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prue had dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by the motive for the girl's death.
When another body turns up during the London season's most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence Smith? Or was it something else entirely? And can Lenox find the answer before the killer strikes again—this time, disturbingly close to home?
"Agatha Christie meets Patrick O'Brian in Finch's accomplished fifth whodunit set in Victorian England ... the best in the series to date."—Starred Review, Publisher's Weekly
In A Burial at Sea, Charles Lenox, Member of Parliament, sets sail on a clandestine mission for the government. When an officer is savagely murdered, however, Lenox is drawn toward his old profession, determined to capture another killer.
1873 is a perilous time in the relationship between France and England. When a string of English spies is found dead on French soil, the threat of all-out war prompts government officials to ask Charles Lenox to visit the newly-dug Suez Canal on a secret mission.
Once he is on board the Lucy, however, Lenox finds himself using not his new skills of diplomacy but his old ones: the ship's second lieutenant is found dead on the voyage's first night, his body cruelly abused. The ship's captain begs the temporarily retired detective to join in the hunt for a criminal. Lenox finds the trail, but in the claustrophobic atmosphere on board, where nobody can come or go and everyone is a suspect, he has to race against the next crime—and also hope he won't be the victim.
At once a compulsive murder mystery, a spy story, and an intimate and joyful journey with the Victorian navy, this book shows that no matter how far Lenox strays from his old life, it will always come back to find him.
“Fiction readers who crush on blue-blooded British detectives will fall hard for Victorian-era sleuth Charles Lenox." —The Washington Post
From the critically acclaimed and USA Today bestselling author Charles Finch comes The Vanishing Man, a prequel to his Charles Lenox Victorian series, in which the theft of an antique painting sends Detective Lenox on a hunt for a criminal mastermind.
London, 1853: Having earned some renown by solving a case that baffled Scotland Yard, young Charles Lenox is called upon by the Duke of Dorset, one of England’s most revered noblemen, for help. A painting of the Duke’s great-grandfather has been stolen from his private study. But the Duke’s concern is not for his ancestor’s portrait; hiding in plain sight nearby is another painting of infinitely more value, one that holds the key to one of the country’s most famous and best-kept secrets.
Dorset believes the thieves took the wrong painting and may return when they realize their error—and when his fears result in murder, Lenox must act quickly to unravel the mystery behind both paintings before tragedy can strike again. As the Dorset family closes ranks to protect its reputation, Lenox uncovers a dark secret that could expose them to unimaginable scandal—and reveals the existence of an artifact, priceless beyond measure, for which the family is willing to risk anything to keep hidden.
In this intricately plotted prequel to the Charles Lenox mysteries, the young detective risks his potential career—and his reputation in high society—as he hunts for a criminal mastermind.
From the critically acclaimed author Charles Finch comes a novel "reminiscent of Ruth Rendell and Elizabeth George" (Booklist), in which Charles Lenox revisits his alma mater of Oxford to investiage one student's disappearance and another's murder--tied to a secret group known as The September Society.
In the small hours of the morning one fall day in 1866, a frantic widow visits detective Charles Lenox. Lady Annabelle's problem is simple: her beloved son, George, has vanished from his room at Oxford. When Lenox visits his alma mater to investigate he discovers a series of bizarre clues, including a murdered cat and a card cryptically referring to "The September Society." Then, just as Lenox realizes that the case may be deeper than it appears, a student dies, the victim of foul play.
What could the September Society have to do with it? What specter, returned from the past, is haunting gentle Oxford? Lenox, with the support of his devoted friends in London's upper crust, must race to discover the truth before it comes searching for him, and dangerously close to home.