A Stranger in Mayfair

A Stranger in Mayfair

Large Print - 2011
Average Rating:
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Charles Lenox, the gentleman detective, is now a member of Parliament. He just wants to focus on his new duties, including the preparation of his maiden speech. He is also settling into married life with Lady Jane Grey. Matters become more complicated when an old friend and fellow MP, Ludovic Starling, asks him to launch a discreet investigation into the death of one of his servants. With his assistants, John Dallington and Thomas McConnell, helping out, Lenox tries his best to balance his new political duties with the investigation. As he prowls through the pubs, boxing clubs, and servants? quarters of Victorian London, he discovers some very dark secrets and finds himself in danger from a killer who is willing to strike again to keep him quiet.
Publisher: Thorndike, Me. : Center Point Pub., 2011.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9781611730807
Branch Call Number: LP FINC
Characteristics: 360 p. (large print) ; 22 cm.

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g
ggmu
Jun 13, 2012

I picked this one up because a blurb on the back compared this series to Dorothy L Sayers' Peter Wimsey series - which I love.

An interesting story in its on right, for me it didn't live up to the Wimsey comparison. I felt a little frustrated at the pacing - Finch moves quickly from scene to scene, not really taking time to develop his characters or plot points.

Not sure I'll read any more from this series, but it was fun to give this one a go.

b
bibliofinn
Sep 06, 2011

A worthy successor to Finch's earlier novels about aristocratic amateur detective Charles Lenox and the love of his life, Lady Jane Grey. Finch has thoroughly immersed himself in the study of Victorian London and creates an atmosphere you can sink into as you would into a warm bath. Excellent plotting, with red herrings and plausible suspects galore. The domestic scenes are sometimes stiflingly cosy and twee, but the portrait of the tensions between Lenox and his new wife is well--drawn. Finch is particularly adept at detailing the silences and evasions between people who love each other but suffer from Victorian reticence.

My only quibble is that there are lots of minor anachronisms. No mid-Victorian Englishman would say "I haven't a cent" nor would he say a colleague "hit the ground running" or that a suspect was working a "scam". These little slips do break a spell Finch has worked hard to create. And there are other slips as well: at one point a character is smoking a cigar but a few paragraphs later discards his cigarette. I don't know whether these errors are the result of haste by the author or sloppy work by his editor, but hopefully they'll be absent in the next volume of this fine series.

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