A Stranger in Mayfair

Charles Finch, Author
Charles Finch, Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-62506-1
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4299-4915-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-0457-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-3457-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-5457-7
Paperback - 327 pages - 978-0-312-61695-3
Hardcover - 360 pages - 978-1-61173-080-7
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Set in 1860s London, Finch's middling fourth mystery featuring gentleman detective Charles Lenox (after 2009's The Fleet Street Murders) finds Lenox newly married to his longtime friend, Lady Jane Grey, and newly elected to Parliament. When Ludovic Starling, a slight acquaintance, asks Lenox to look into the bludgeoning murder of his footman, Frederick Clarke, Lenox, who wonders why Starling hasn't called in Scotland Yard, at first declines. In the end, despite the demands of his new vocation, Lenox agrees to help. The investigator, who's troubled to learn that Starling has been less than forthright with him, can't accept the police theory that a rival servant killed Clarke. Finch equips Lenox with his own Bunter in the person of a former butler turned political secretary, but the pair come across as weak, warmed-over versions of the golden age Dorothy Sayers originals. Portentous chapter endings undermine the otherwise solid prose. (Nov.)
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