This is book number 1 in the Charles Lenox Mysteries series.
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?
“Vividly capturing the essence of Victorian England, Finch presents us with a unique sleuth who combines the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes with the people skills of Thomas Pitt. A sparkling achievement.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“A fine specimen of the genre…. Particularly good is [Finch's] delineation of Lenox's cozy-but-proper relationship with Lady Jane.” —The Washington Post
“The best sort of historical mystery--clever, charming, full of period detail, and a delight to read.” —David Liss, author of The Whiskey Rebels