Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Death in the Small Hours Review

I've been reading very, very slowly recently. Last year I tracked all the books I read for a total of 79 for the year, but at one point I stopped counting because it got too much to enter in the dates and then do the blog and all of that. I've also developed the bad habit of reaching for my phone in the morning over breakfast and checking facebook or reading the news rather than reading my novel. And I've been a bit distracted by the whole trying to have a baby thing... or trying to have science make us a baby, I guess. There's a lot of waiting around so you would think I've been reading a lot but I just can't seem to focus. Fortunately winter break is coming up and hopefully we will have some better news soon to help me buckle down and read some good books. I have quite a list developing on my kindle.

Anyway, A Death in the Small Hours is the sixth Charles Lenox mystery. I reviewed A Burial at Sea, the fifth one in September. I liked the plot of A Death in the Small Hours better because Charles was surrounded by his family and friends, unlike the last book where he was on a boat with strangers. Charles and Lady Jane are new parents to baby Sophia. Dallington, Lenox's apprentice shows up and both Graham and Edmund (or Edward, I am too lazy to check right now) make appearances.

In this novel, Charles is asked to make an important speech for the Parliament. As a member of the House of Commons, he wishes to address the issue of poverty in Victorian England. However, other Parliament members keep showing up to offer him advice and their own suggestions for topics, so Charles has trouble getting started. His brother, Edmund (Edward?) advises him to get out of town for a bit. Fortunately, an invitation to a beloved uncle's house in the country arrives just in time.

Charles, Jane, Sophia and their governess Miss Taylor head to Plumbley to stay in a grand old house with Lenox's uncle Frederick, an older bachelor who is preparing to turn his estate over to his heir, something that Lenox is very unhappy about. While there, Charles is again distracted by a series of vandalisms occurring in the little town. When someone is murdered in the town, he quickly tries to solve the crime.

There's a lot of back and forth in the book. The murder is sort of solved by the halfway point in the novel, but that doesn't mean it's fully over yet. There are certainly other players involved who were not caught with the initial suspect. Getting to the final whodunit was a bit tedious. But then again, I've been distracted lately and it was tough for me to focus on the book. That being said, I adore Charles Lenox. He's a sweetheart of a character, as well as an intelligent, resourceful man. I also love the time period and mysteries so really, there's nothing bad about this series. I wish more time was spent with Lady Jane, but there was a delightful cricket scene where Lenox got to show off his non-political/detecting skills... well sort of. You'll see.

Long story short, I'm happy to have read the latest Lenox novel and hopefully in about a year, another one will come out. As long as Charles Finch keeps writing, I'll keep reading!

Buy it at amazon and Barnes & Noble


  1. Let's get some real 'Dorothy Focus' in our reviews, please. Your adoring public needs more than 'guesses' as to 'who is who!'
    Meanwhile, tx for giving me credit in print, and I did enjoy 'Penumbra!' Dids

  2. Sorry, I was too busy to go back and check!