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The Last Passenger: A Charles Lenox Mystery Library Binding – Large Print, 1 September 2020
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- Publisher : Premier Mystery Series; Large type / Large print edition (1 September 2020)
- Language : English
- Library Binding : 500 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1643586408
- ISBN-13 : 978-1643586403
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 3.05 x 21.34 cm
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Well written, well developed characters, interesting plots. I’ve noticed that each book seems to be finished about halfway through and I keep thinking what else is there to talk about during the second half of the book. And then, something surprising will come up and we are off again to fully resolve the mystery.
An enjoyable and well-written historical mystery, with a likeable style of writing and good plotting.
Aided by its likeable main characters. The secondary characters are also well-developed and so add to the story.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I was fortunate enough to begin reading Finch’s series when its first installment, A BEAUTIFUL BLUE DEATH, was published in 2007. THE LAST PASSENGER is, somehow, the 13th Lenox book – Finch writes one a year – and the third of the prequels which are set in the 1850s when the detective Charles Lenox is in his 20s. Each of the books is a standalone delight, which I know as I’ve read each of them the moment they have arrived in shops. But that means that I can also attest to the fact that the series, wonderful from the start, has only gotten better as the years have gone on.
The central mysteries themselves have always been magnificent – THE LAST PASSENGER’S focuses upon the brutal murder of a passenger upon a train that has arrived at Paddington Station – as have the characters, chief among them Lenox; his valet, Graham; and his old friend and neighbor, Lady Jane Grey. Finch is a masterful plotter, but what has always elevated this series for me are his ever-strengthening authorial gifts; all that happens in the non-bloody moments. I don’t just mean the historical tidbits he always distributes throughout each book like colorful, much anticipated Easter eggs – after THE LAST PASSENGER, I’ll never hear the song Greensleeves the same way again.
What I might love most are the even smaller moments. The quick, funny exchanges between characters – often involving clever, teasing wordplay (here, look for those about a fireplace and American names) – that many mystery writers wouldn’t have bothered with (or, probably, couldn’t conjure). The vibrant evocations of Victorian London. The pinpoint one-sentence behavioral observations that others might have spent a page trying to explain, not as well. Finch has gotten better and better at all of this, and it was a high bar to start. This is, simply and rarely, what happens when a flat-out great writer channels his powers into mysteries.
My only complaint is that I have to wait another year for the next Lenox installment. The fortunate among us might, right now, find ourselves with more time to read than normal, given these unprecedented times. I’m envious of people who have not yet dipped into the Lenox series, as they will have 13 books, and a fully realized world, to explore. (Start with THE LAST PASSENGER; one of the series’ many strengths is that you need not read it in any order, even though Finch somehow simultaneously maintains ironclad continuity.) In fact, I think I’ll re-read all of them starting now.