Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Old Betrayal-Charles Finch

An Old Betrayal

Charles Finch

Minotaur, Nov 12 2013, $25.99

ISBN: 9781250011619

In 1875 Lord John Dallington suffers from a cold so is unable to meet a potential client at Gilbert’s Restaurant in Charring Crossing Station at 8:00. After showing his former sleuthing mentor Charles Lenox the unsigned note, he asks his teacher to go in his place. Charles concludes from the note that the writer has a train to catch soon after 8:35 as the author states he will wait for no more than thirty-five minutes.

Bored with being the Parliament’s junior Lord of the Treasury even with a critical vote on the Factory Act that he supports coming up, and enjoying though embarrassed to say so his time with his wife Lady Jane and their toddler, Lenox shamefully relishes a case. He enters the restaurant seeking a man with a striped black umbrella dining alone. When a male enters late, Charles assumes he is the client until abruptly a woman runs out of Gilbert’s; as Lenox realizes his gender blunder. Charles seeks the frightened female to learn how he may help her.

The seventh Charles Lenox Victorian mystery (see A Beautiful Blue Death and The September Society) is an entertaining twisting historical. Filled with tidbits that anchor the era (like the Factory Act debate), series fans will enjoy the return of married with child Charles and his family and friends as Lenox (and readers) appreciate his complicated investigation made convoluted by his false gender assumption.

Harriet Klausner

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