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.
At once a compulsive murder mystery, a spy story, and an intimate and joyful journey with the Victorian navy, this book shows that no matter how far Lenox strays from his old life, it will always come back to find him.
"Starred Review. While Finch may not be the first to set a murder mystery at sea, he perfectly integrates the ships routines and customs into the fair-play plot." - Publishers Weekly
"The descriptions of life aboard a ship in 1873 are especially entertaining." - Kirkus Reviews
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Rated of 5
A burial at Sea by Charles Finch
Once again Charles Lennox finds himself solving a murder, or rather two murders. This time on the ship Lucy, en-route to Egypt. Love these atmospheric understated mysteries and in this one we learn quite a bit about the lives of sailors, the dangers and the camaraderie as well as the political dangers of the time. Mid 1870's and relations were extremely stressful between France and England with both sides spying on the other and it is this time period that is covered in this entertaining mystery.
Charles Finch is the author of seven Charles Lenox mystery novels, including the forthcoming An Old Betrayal. His first standalone novel, The Last Enchantments, about a group of students at Oxford University, will be published in January of 2014. Visit him at facebook.com/charlesfinchauthor or twitter.com/charlesfinch!
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