Who doesn't love a British mystery? Well this Tuesday (that's tomorrow), November 25, 7 pm, we have two.
First up is Charles Finch, author of the Charles Lenox myseries, including The Fleet Street Murders, The September Society, A Stranger in Mayfair, A Burial at Sea, A Death in the Small Hours, and An Old Betrayal. His first novel, A Beautiful Blue Death, was nominated for an Agatha Award and was named one of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2007, one of only five mystery novels on the list. He lives in New York City.
It’s 1876 in Charles Finch’s latest novel, The Laws of Murder, and Charles Lenox, once London’s leading private investigator, has just given up his seat in Parliament after six years, primed to return to his first love: detection. With high hopes he and three colleagues start a new detective agency, the first of its kind. But as the months pass, and he is the only detective who cannot find work, Lenox begins to question whether he can still play the game as he once did. Then comes a chance to redeem himself, though at a terrible price: a friend, a member of Scotland Yard, is shot near Regent’s Park. As Lenox begins to parse the peculiar details of the death—an unlaced boot, a days-old wound, an untraceable luggage ticket—he realizes that the incident may lead him into grave personal danger, beyond which lies a terrible truth. With all the humanity, glamour, and mystery that readers have come to love, the latest Lenox novel is a shining new confirmation of the enduring popularity of Charles Finch’s Victorian series.
Also joining us is Chicago's Tasha Alexander, who while not British herself, is married to thriller writer Andrew Grant, and they divide their time between Chicago and the UK. Yes, Charles Finch and Tash Alexander live in the Wee Britain district of Chicago. She is the author of a number of Lady Emily books, starting with And Only to Deceive, and continuing with A Poisoned Season, A Fatal Waltz, Tears of Pearl, Dangerous to Know, A Crimson Warning, Death in the Floating City, and Behind the Shattered Glass.
In her newest adventure, The Counterfeit Heiress, Lady Emily becomes embroiled in the murder investigation of one of the guests at a masquerade ball, a sometime actress trying to pass herself off as the mysterious heiress and world traveler Estella Lamar. Each small discovery, however, leads to more questions. Was the intended victim Miss Lamar or the imposter? And who would want either of them dead? As Emily and Colin try to make sense of all this, a larger puzzle begins to emerge: no one has actually seen Estella Lamar in years, since her only contact has been through letters and the occasional blurry news photograph. Is she even alive? Emily and Colin’s investigation of this double mystery takes them from London to Paris, where, along with their friend Cécile, they must scour the darkest corners of the city in search of the truth.
I wrote about reading Tasha Alexander's Behind the Shattered Glass last year in the Boswell and Books blog. Here's hoping some of you like Alexander and Finch enough to write about them in your blog too.
Don't forget, Small Business Saturday and Indies First is this Saturday but that warrants its own post.