A Death in the Small Hours

Written by Charles Finch
Review by Jeanne Greene

In Finch’s sixth Victorian mystery involving gentleman sleuth Charles Lenox (after A Burial at Sea, 2011), the former private investigator has turned to politics. The quieter or, at least, somewhat less dangerous, life of a Member of Parliament better suits his status as devoted husband and father. Or so Lenox tells himself.

When his uncle invites the Lenoxes to visit his country estate, Lenox accepts with alacrity. There he can write a speech, spend time with wife and baby—and look into the series of crimes troubling his uncle as local magistrate. Upon examination of the cryptic clues, Lenox recognizes a serious threat; but he is too late to prevent a murder. Clever plotting allows the new MP to solve the murder, uncover a ring of sophisticated criminals, and give his maiden speech in Parliament.

Charles Lenox is not yet ready to settle down. In fact, the new complications in his life—love, ambition, politics—add depth to his continuing story. A Death in the Small Hours is recommended for readers who like intelligent, non-violent, but not too cozy, mysteries.