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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Charles Finch's two books - The Vanishing Man and The Woman in the Water

I am doing two reviews of books by the same author in this post. Charles Finch is a new author for me and the Charles Lenox series is also new. I only hope there will be more in this series as I did enjoy reading both books very much.

Lenox is from the aristocracy. His forays into detective work have not found favour with the high and mighty and he has in fact suffered direct snubs as well as even invitations given and then withdrawn for social events. Lenox feels that his family also suffers the indignity of having one of their own doing a job as it were as this is beyond the pale for members of their kind, but on the contrary his father and mother are proud of his achievements and understand his feelings that he wants to use his analytical mind and seek logical conclusions for problems that he tries to solve.

In this story in the 1850s, the Duke of Dorset seeks his help in finding a lost painting. The painting itself does not amount to much - one of the ancestors - but Lenox soon finds that there is much more than the missing painting that meets the eye and the Duke has not been very honest in seeking Lenox's help. Unraveling a mystery painting, plus in the meantime trying to find one of the lost works of Shakespeare amidst red herrings thrown their way Lenox and his faithful valet Graham, even more capable than Lenox try to solve the mystery.

Methodical and systematic, the story will appeal to a logical mind and it did to me!

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of St. Martin's Press.

In this book Lenox is disillusioned. His efforts do not seem to be appreciated by Scotland Yard who deride his position as an aristocrat and do not seem to be able to see the man beyond that. On the other hand his own kind the aristocrats themselves look on him as some kind of aberration and an insult to their kind doing a job which is demeaning. This was London in the 1850s.

When one woman is found dead, followed by another one quite swiftly Scotland Yard themselves realize that action will have to be taken quickly to prevent rising hysteria amongst its citizens. Lenox and Graham are up against a very skilled and manipulative killer who is clever if not cleverer than all the detectives put together.

Descriptive of London in the 1850s both within the upper and the very lower classes of society added much interest to the whole story. Characterization was spot on and the entire book was a delight of the mystery/detective genre.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of St. Martin's Press.


  1. This is one of my favorite series. Glad you enjoyed it too.

  2. Like Sarah, this series is one of my favorites. :)