A Stranger in Mayfair

A Stranger in Mayfair

Book - 2011
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Investigating the murder of a footman whose death is complicated by a false identity and unsettling facts about the victim's employers, Detective Lenox pursues a series of leads only to discover that an old friend may be involved.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2011
Edition: First Minotaur books paperback edition
Copyright Date: ♭2010
ISBN: 9780312616953
0312616953
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY FINCH 2011
Characteristics: 327 pages ; 21 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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