Review of Historical Mystery A Burial At Sea By Charles Finch

Review of Historical Mystery “A Burial At Sea” By Charles Finch

Charles Finch, the popular author of Charles Lenox mysteries, is a graduate of Yale and Oxford and his novels have been nominated for Agatha and Nero Awards and been among Library Journal’s Best Books of the year. He lives in Oxford. “A Burial at Sea” is the 5th book in Lenox series.

A Brief Summary:

Charles Lenox, Member of Parliament, sets sail on a clandestine mission for the government.  When an officer is savagely murdered, however, Lenox is drawn toward his old profession, determined to capture another killer.

1873 is a perilous time in the relationship between France and England.  When a string of English spies is found dead on French soil, the threat of all-out war prompts government officials to ask Charles Lenox to visit the newly-dug Suez Canal on a secret mission.

Once he is on board the Lucy, however, Lenox finds himself using not his new skills of diplomacy but his old ones: the ship’s second lieutenant is found dead on the voyage’s first night, his body cruelly abused. The ship’s captain begs the temporarily retired detective to join in the hunt for a criminal.  Lenox finds the trail, but in the claustrophobic atmosphere on board, where nobody can come or go and everyone is a suspect, he has to race against the next crime—and also hope he won’t be the victim.

Our Take:

This is a classic Victorian mystery story; if you are looking for something which is a bit more serious than cozy mysteries but not dark and violent, this might be a perfect pick for you. The story is very character-driven and we learn a lot about what goes on in the mind of Charles Lenox and his life.

In this new book, Charles Lenox has recently married, and is about to become a father. He is now a member of a parliament and investigation seems no to be more than a hobby at the background.

The new spy affairs, however, and the murder which happens afterwards when he is traveling on Lucy, brings the familiar Lenox plots back. The story at times feels a bit abrupt, especially when the author unmasks the identity of the killer, but overall we liked the story and the elegant way it was written.

Our Rating: 3.5

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