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Vanishing Man: A Charles Lenox Mystery: 12 Hardcover – 19 February 2019
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Praise for The Vanishing Man:
Lenox's exploits, laid out in 10 subsequent novels, now share shelf space with other aristocratic crime solvers -- Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey, Elizabeth George's Inspector Thomas Lynley, and Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear's private detective...Finch's novels offer more than just cozy yet suspenseful story lines. The Vanishing Man also captures the culture of the time in which it's set...jump into the carriage with Lenox and hold on tight." --The Washington Post
"Prequels are fun...Lenox is a mere whippersnapper in The Woman in the Water...a cunning mystery."--Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review "Lenox has officially reached the big leagues--the conclusion waiting for him is nothing short of chilling. A case with enough momentum to recharge this series and grab new readers with its pull." --Kirkus Reviews
"Bravo Mr. Finch and keep them coming! More Lenox, please." --Louise Penny, author of Still Life "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." --Booklist (starred) "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." --Library Journal (starred) "Finch supplies an extremely clever solution to the murder mystery." --Publishers Weekly "A thick, leisurely, British detective novel, studded with memorable characters." --Hallie Ephron, The Boston Globe on The Laws of Murder "Finch is a clever plotter and assiduous researcher." --Seattle Times
About the Author
- Publisher : Minotaur Books (19 February 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250311365
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250311368
- Dimensions : 16.33 x 2.82 x 24.31 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 365,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The Vanishing Man is the second prequel to the Lenox series. I've been reading this series for years, and last year's The Woman in the Water was such a joy to read. This is a series that is so well-written that you truly feel like you're there in Victorian England with the characters. Going back to the beginning to see Charles as a young detective beginning to find his way was just so much fun to read. So I was very happy to hear that The Vanishing Man would be another prequel, and I loved it even more than the previous book.
If you have not read any books by this author yet, I really do recommend starting with at least a few of his older books. Seeing the characters develop over time is so rewarding and makes the prequels even more enjoyable.
I love all of the historical details in these books, but I think the thing I love best is the relationships that the characters have with each other. A lot of the "side characters" add humor but also warmth and humanity to this series.
Really well done, Charles Finch!
As Lenox begins his investigation into this case, he is beset at home by the visit of a young cousin of twelve named Lancelot, who like many a mischievous boy before him, wreaks his own havoc on the household while gaining the affection of Mrs. Huggins, Lenox’s housekeeper. And, as in the other books in the series, Lenox is aided by the ministrations and perceptions of his valet, Graham. Graham functions both as a sounding board for ideas and as an invaluable sleuth in his ability to search out information in all sorts of places.
In addition to these characters, the main players include Sir Richard Mayne, the head of Scotland Yard, who takes Lenox more seriously now three years after his success in solving the case of the Thames Ophelia; Theo Ward, the private secretary to the Duke, who was a schoolmate of Charles’s; the Duke’s son Corfe, his daughter Violet, and his personal servant Craig; and finally, a mysterious man named Bonden, “an expert at finding things” who teaches Charles a valuable lesson in the detective art of observation.
We also meet again Lady Emma, Charles’s mother; his brother Edmund; and always in his heart his friend, Lady Jane who spends her days in this adventure trying to fix Charles up with all manner of eligible young ladies. It is a happy occurrence to note that the twenty-six-year-old Charles Lenox of 1853 has retained his youthful optimism and sense of humor. He even “cracks” a joke over his breakfast eggs which Graham, in a P.G. Wodehouse sort of way, responds to by calling it “painfully humorous.” And when Jane informs him that she is hoping the Queen will attend her party, Charles tells her to cut the branches of a tree in her garden lest it fall on that august guest.
As the story unfolds, the reader discovers that there is a far more priceless portrait that has not been stolen, and this is the crux of the mystery, for it is supposedly the only known painting from life of the playwright, William Shakespeare. Throughout the novel, as Charles works through the clues, he refers often to a small leather-bound book, given to him by his now late father, of quotations by that author. How does a glimpse of the profile of a young woman of Charles’s acquaintance lead him to the solution of the mystery?
Ever and always the author’s historical research is both insightful and oh, so interesting! This reader learned a new word (or two), “aleatory”, meaning “random” and delighted at a neologism, “afternoonified.”
Charles Finch is a master writer whose Victorian mysteries continue to regale his readers