An Old Betrayal: A Charles Lenox Mystery

Written by Charles Finch
Review by Jeanne Greene

Member of Parliament Charles Lenox is always on the run between sessions but, in spite of a myriad of other responsibilities, when his former protégé Lord Dallington gets sick, Lenox feels obliged to take the case. He always has time to aid a friend with an unfaithful husband, or a maligned employee, or a frightened young woman in trouble, even while following the thread of a tangled mystery that takes him into the Palace itself.

Unlike the man, the plot of An Old Betrayal moves at the pace of leisurely conversation, arousing curiosity without suspense. We get a taste of life as an upper middle-class Victorian gentleman whose shirts require cuff links and whose watch requires winding. But when Lenox starts reading crime reports in the daily newspaper, instead of the blue books and parliamentary memoranda, we understand his discontent. Readers who like to match their wits with the author will have plenty to work with and ample time to do so in this mystery, while looking forward to Lenox’s return as a private investigator.