The Laws of Murder

Charles Finch. Minotaur, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-05130-1

At the end of 2013’s An Old Betrayal, former private investigator Charles Lenox abandoned a promising career in politics to set up a detective agency with three partners. Now, in Finch’s solid eighth Victorian era whodunit, the new agency is hampered by a series of hostile newspaper articles, which include negative quotes from a Scotland Yarder Lenox considered a friend, Insp. Thomas Jenkins. Lenox lags behind his colleagues in bringing in business, a deficiency that raises tensions. When someone fatally shoots Jenkins and leaves his body in front of the London home of the marquess of Wakefield—a suspected criminal Lenox has long sought to bring to book—the detective gets a chance to redeem himself. The Yard hires Lenox to help solve the shocking crime, and the investigation takes some surprising turns. Finch succeeds again in combining an intriguing story line with a lead that both newcomers and series regulars will find engaging. Agents: Kari Stuart and Jennifer Joel, ICM. (Nov.)