This is every bit as good as the earlier Lenox mysteries. I felt sad to read in the acknowledgements that this book and the previous ones were a struggle for Charles. After all the pleasure he's given his reading public he deserves to enjoy his work and get some well deserved R & R with his family. Perhaps Lenox can retire at the same time Charles does. :>)
Charles has a way - and I don't know how he does it - by building suspense towards the close of the case. It's seriously rare in mystery writing. I actually feel the tension just when the clues are about to pull together for Lenox. That is a gift that few writers have and as an avid mystery reader, I believe that Charles stands alone in this.
I was happy to see Graham when he showed up and I didn't miss Lady Jane or the girls one little bit. I have always liked Charles better alone. But, Jane was brilliant when she made up the list of terms for Disraeli. I thought the little book of maps that she had bought for him would have brought in Lenox's old book seller - was it Chaffenbrass? See, I'm so fond of the older books that I want to keep the trends going - like Berry Bros. and the place that makes up the posh food baskets.
I liked O'Brian too. He was a good, plain sort. There is so much that I enjoyed - like Lenox having to trim the wicks and light his own lamp. That was positively brilliant. I won't bore you with anymore. It is a very good read and I never suspected who-done-it until Mrs. Astor's ball.