cover image An Extravagant Death

An Extravagant Death

Charles Finch. Minotaur, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-76713-4

Set in 1878, Finch’s entertaining 14th mystery featuring Charles Lenox (after 2020’s The Last Passenger) finds Lenox, “probably the preeminent detective in all of England, professional or amateur,” dealing with the consequences of his exposure of three Scotland Yard chief inspectors being behind an armed robbery and numerous other crimes. The scandal imperils Benjamin Disraeli’s government, and the politician implores Lenox to travel to the U.S. during the trial and allow his testimony to be provided in written form to minimize press sensationalism. Lenox reluctantly agrees, but demands full access to the file on the case of Harold Wallace, who was stabbed to death in his home a few blocks away from Lenox’s own London residence. Lenox has doubts that the man charged with the crime, Wallace’s butler, is guilty. Upon the investigator’s arrival in the States, his skills are called upon by William Stuyvesant Schemerhorn IV of Newport, R.I., after an 18-year-old girl, whom his son had been courting, was found dead on a beach, apparently from a head wound. Finch effectively juggles the various plot threads. This is one of the series’ better recent entries. Agent: Elizabeth Weed, Book Group. (Feb.)