Summary and book reviews of The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch

The Woman in the Water

A Prequel to the Charles Lennox Series

by Charles Finch

The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch X
The Woman in the Water by Charles Finch
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2018, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 15, 2019, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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About this Book

Book Summary

This chilling new mystery takes readers back to Charles Lenox's very first case and the ruthless serial killer who would set him on the course to become one of London's most brilliant detectives.

London, 1850: A young Charles Lenox struggles to make a name for himself as a detective…without a single case. Scotland Yard refuses to take him seriously and his friends deride him for attempting a profession at all. But when an anonymous writer sends a letter to the paper claiming to have committed the perfect crime - and promising to kill again - Lenox is convinced that this is his chance to prove himself.

The writer's first victim is a young woman whose body is found in a naval trunk, caught up in the rushes of a small islets in the middle of the Thames. With few clues to go on, Lenox endeavors to solve the crime before another innocent life is lost. When the killer's sights are turned toward those whom Lenox holds most dear, the stakes are raised and Lenox is trapped in a desperate game of cat and mouse.

In the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, this newest mystery in the Charles Lenox series pits the young detective against a maniacal murderer who would give Professor Moriarty a run for his money.

CHAPTER ONE

For a little more than an hour on that May morning in 1850, the only sound in the flat in St. James's Square was the rustling of newspapers, punctuated occasionally by the crisp shear of a pair of sharpened scissors through newsprint.

There were two men at the highly polished breakfast table by the window, three stories above street level. One was in an impeccable gray suit, the other in a ratty brown smoking jacket. Both were too intent upon their work to glance out from this high vantage at their panoramic view of the soft spring day: the shy sunlight; the irregular outlines of the two nearby parks, lying serene within the smoke and stone of the city; the new leaves upon the trees, making their innocent green way into life, on branches still so skinny that they quivered like the legs of a foal.

Finally Charles Lenox—the one in the smoking jacket—threw down the last of his newspapers.

"Ha! Done," he said. "You're as slow as a milk train, Graham."

There was...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

For me there are two sure signs that I've gotten completely absorbed in a book. One is the number of coffee-stained pages and the second - disaster for a critic expected to take notes - is the sudden absence of anything jotted down in the margins. The Woman in the Water bears all the telltale marks of my immersion into 1850 London. This is my first Charles Lenox Mystery but it won't be my last.   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Finch supplies an extremely clever solution to the murder mystery.

Kirkus Reviews
A case with enough momentum to recharge this series and grab new readers with its pull.

Library Journal
Starred Review. Finch does a wonderful job of re-creating the atmosphere of mid-19th-century England; his characters are crisply drawn and believable ... An excellent addition to an already terrific series.

Booklist
Starred Review. With its splendidly drawn characters and brisk, supple prose, this can be either an inviting introduction to those new to Finch's accomplished series or a winning addition to the canon for established fans.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Scotland Yard

In Charles Finch's The Woman in the Water, set in 1850, amateur private detective Charles Lenox works closely with Scotland Yard to solve a pair of murders. At twenty-three, he is barely older than the law enforcement agency.

Sir Robert PeelEstablished in 1829 by an Act of Parliament introduced by then Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, the London Metropolitan Police replaced an old system of watchmen and local police that primarily focused on preventing theft from the many docks along the banks of the River Thames. Colonel Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne, the first Joint Commissioners, were charged with the responsibility of organizing the nascent agency and set up their office in a private house at 4 Whitehall Place. The back entrance to the building...

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