Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"A Beautiful Blue Death" - Charles Finch

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Today's book comes to you thanks to Netgalley! If you haven't checked out their site, do so. It's a great opportunity to get your hands on books before they are released and help review them for authors and publishers. Thanks Netgalley! I received this book a couple months ago and kept pushing it aside. So finally, I was able to sit down and finish it for you last night. I'll start by saying this, I only gave it 2 stars on Goodreads. It was a struggle to finish. The book seemed to have great potential based on its description!

On any given day in London, all Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, wants to do is relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist another chance to unravel a mystery, even if it means trudging through the snow to her townhouse next door.

One of Jane's former servants, Prudence Smith, is dead -- an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prudence dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by an elusive lack of motive in the girl's death.

When another body turns up during the London season's most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence? Or was it something else entirely, something that Lenox alone can uncover before the killer strikes again -- disturbingly close to home?

This book had a Sherlock meets Clue vibe to it. You have Charles Lennox, amateur sleuth, aka Sherlock, and his band of merry men set about solving the mysterious death of Prudence Smith, a servant. The members of the house were all conveniently in the drawing-room together. Classic Clue case of whodunit. No one seems to remember anything. You have wax drops on the floor but a brand new candle. A bottle of poison on the desk but a different kind than that that killed the girl. Open windows, crates of gold, and mysterious characters all around. But following along with all of this was a sheer struggle. A  lot of information that was not relevant to the case was thrown in and went on for pages and pages, often causing me to get lost in the storyline of what was actually part of the murder case. A lot of historical facts were thrown in about random items and studies as well as random snippets where Finch would suddenly jump years ahead for no apparent reason and then backtrack to the scene at hand. Finch's writing is full of beautiful vocabulary, don't get me wrong, but he tries to be too clever. Following the end rationale for who committed the crime and why was excruciating! I was only intrigued to see out the end for a short period of time, never very suspenseful or had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Overall, there was just too much "other" filling up the pages. 

Thanks again to Netgalley for the opportunity to read the book. Unfortunately, not every book can knock you off your rocker. Alas, until next time literary world. I refuse to lose even an ounce of hope in your endless stories. As always, feel free to share any comments, suggestions or recommendations!

Happy reading fools :) 

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