cover image A Beautiful Blue Death

A Beautiful Blue Death

Charles Finch, read by James Langton. Tantor Media, unabridged, seven CDs, 9 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4526-0454-1

This installment in Finch’s mystery series about Victorian gentleman and amateur detective Charles Lenox is devoted to the sleuth’s first case, in which—at the request of neighbor Lady Jane Grey—Lenox looks into the presumed suicide of a maid. As his investigation progresses, a second fatality—this one an obvious homicide—occurs at a fancy dress ball. James Langton’s vocal interpretation of Lenox adds a layer of humanity to the reserved detective. Through subtle but playful rendering of dialogue, Langton brings to life Lenox’s romantic feelings for Lady Jane, and hers for him. Additionally, Lenox’s relationship with his butler, which is rather stiff in print, is infused with warmth as well as the requisite feudal spirit. Langton gives each of the book’s prominent characters a distinctive voice, but his main success is the vocal personality he provides Lenox. A St. Martin’s Minotaur paperback. (Sept.)