When a former maid is found dead, Lady Jane Grey asks her friend Charles Lennox to investigate. As a member of the upper class, Lennox spends his leisure hours at his gentlemen's clubs and in the study of imperial Rome. But he also has a penchant for investigation and agrees to visit the scene of the maid's death at an influential government official's residence. With the help of his butler Graham and a retired gentleman-doctor, Lennox determines that the girl could not have committed suicide but was the victim of an exotic poison. In the course of his investigation, Lennox travels the criminal backwaters of London, the houses of the upper class and the halls of Parliament.
Fans of Anne Perry's historical mystery series may enjoy Charles Finch's gentle novel A Beautiful Blue Death. Finch has created a gentleman sleuth with roots in the classic mysteries of Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L. Sayers. The storyline and evocative setting reverberate with the sensibilities of Victorian society and the political climate of the 1860s. A Beautiful Blue Death is the first in what promises to be a fine mystery series.
Reviewed by ds, 03/06/08. Other reviews by ds.