The Vanishing Man (Charles Lenox Mysteries prequel 2)
From the critically acclaimed and USA Today bestselling author Charles Finch comes The Vanishing Man, the second in a prequel trilogy to his Charles Lenox Victorian series, in which the theft of an antique painting sends Detective Lenox on a hunt for a criminal mastermind.London, 1853: Having earned some renown by solving a case that baffled Scotland Yard, young Charles Lenox is called upon by the Duke of Dorset, one of England's most revered noblemen, for help. A painting of the Duke's great-grandfather has been stolen from his private study. But the Duke's concern is not for his ancestor's portrait; hiding in plain sight nearby is another painting of infinitely more value, one that holds the key to one of the country's most famous and best-kept secrets.Dorset believes the thieves took the wrong painting and may return when they realize their error--and when his fears result in murder, Lenox must act quickly to unravel the mystery behind both paintings before tragedy can strike again. As the Dorset family closes ranks to protect its reputation, Lenox uncovers a dark secret that could expose them to unimaginable scandal--and reveals the existence of an artifact, priceless beyond measure, for which the family is willing to risk anything to keep hidden.In this intricately plotted prequel to the Charles Lenox mysteries, the young detective risks his potential career--and his reputation in high society--as he hunts for a criminal mastermind.

The Vanishing Man (Charles Lenox Mysteries prequel 2) Details

TitleThe Vanishing Man (Charles Lenox Mysteries prequel 2)
Author
ReleaseFeb 19th, 2019
PublisherMinotaur Books
ISBN-139781250311368
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical Mystery

The Vanishing Man (Charles Lenox Mysteries prequel 2) Review

  • Charles Finch
    January 1, 1970
    So keep this under your hat, but INSIDE the Vanishing Man is the complete text of the much anticipated, oft-delayed final Game of Thrones book "The Winds of Winter"! Give five stars and pass along the word please! 😉
  • Kate Baxter
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 out of 5 starsThe early and formative years of young Charles Lenox, as private investigator/detective extraordinaire continue in this second prequel of the Charles Lenox mystery series by talented writer, Charles Finch. The story opens in London, 1853, three years following Lenox's successful solving of a baffling murder in the first prequel, "The Woman in the Water". He continues in his quest searching for work as a detective, much to the puzzlement and scorn of his peers. Money was not wha 4.5 out of 5 starsThe early and formative years of young Charles Lenox, as private investigator/detective extraordinaire continue in this second prequel of the Charles Lenox mystery series by talented writer, Charles Finch. The story opens in London, 1853, three years following Lenox's successful solving of a baffling murder in the first prequel, "The Woman in the Water". He continues in his quest searching for work as a detective, much to the puzzlement and scorn of his peers. Money was not what motivated him. In fact, you couldn't hire him if you wanted to but could merely engage his services. So when the Duke of Dorset sought Charles' assistance with a delicate theft in the Duke's home, it was more the command appearance by someone so high on the peerage chart which set young Lenox on edge. The Duke was convinced that a thief stole the wrong item from his private study as the item adjacent to it held a much higher value. Surprisingly, only the name of the thief was important to the Duke and not necessarily the recapture of the stolen item.As Lenox sets about on his detecting, a kidnapping occurs, a murder, and yet another theft. Through his honed skills of observation, Lenox goes about unraveling the details and working out the various mysteries, all while dealing with the mercurial disposition of a duke.The character development, including that of secondary characters, is rich, humorous and often at times, charming. Such lighter moments ease the heaviness of the darker subjects at hand. The descriptive prose is rich and sets well the scene such that one is easily transported to the streets of East London and St. James Park of 1853. The mind of Charles Lenox is that of an inquisitive young man who is continuously honing his skills through ardent study, research and observation. He visits insane asylums to study the minds and motivations of the criminally insane. Lenox's interactions with his young nephew, Lancelot, are absolutely delightful and often confound the detective. If finely written historical mystery is your passion, then this may well be the book for you!I am grateful to author Charles Finch, publisher, St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for having provided an advanced reader e-copy of this book. There generosity, however, did not influence this review - the words of which are mine alone.
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  • Cara Putman
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoy the Charles Lenox mysteries, and this one was no exception. It is fascinating to get a sense of London in 1853, and to see a younger Charles Lenox. There's also a corking good mystery, with enough layers and twists to keep my happy and engaged. I enjoy the author's writing and look forward to the next Charles Lenox mystery.
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  • Judy Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for an eGalley of this novel.I liked this book but didn't find it engrossing. I could put it down and go away without feeling that tug in my mind to hurry up and get back to reading it. This is the second book in a prequel trilogy so the author has used this time to show readers what Charles Lennox was up against in 1853 London when he was trying to establish himself as an investigator? or a detective? He can't quite make up his min Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for an eGalley of this novel.I liked this book but didn't find it engrossing. I could put it down and go away without feeling that tug in my mind to hurry up and get back to reading it. This is the second book in a prequel trilogy so the author has used this time to show readers what Charles Lennox was up against in 1853 London when he was trying to establish himself as an investigator? or a detective? He can't quite make up his mind what to call himself. At this point Lennox is 26 years old and has been picking up cases in his new profession for three years. Lady Jane Grey lives in the house next door and has lots of free time to be part of the world Lennox is making for himself because her husband is away most of the time serving in the military. So there you have it on the day Lennox responds to a request from the Duke of Dorset for an interview and discovers a missing painting and a potential client who is very sure of his importance in the English nobility.I didn't find this plot to be very interesting or the mystery difficult to solve. What was very interesting was the clear, concise explanation of the titles and ranks of the nobility. I've read many authors who have tried to simplify that but this is the best yet for me. I also enjoyed the information on how some common words came into being, one example being the word tips. I'll leave that for you to discover for yourself. I'm sure I will read the final prequel in this trilogy, but I am also sure I will be glad when Lennox and his friends and staff get themselves back to where I left them before all this prequel stuff began.
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  • Benjamin Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    London, 1853. Young Charles Lenox is still learning his chosen trade of private instigator/detective (he isn’t quite sure what to call himself). Business has been very slow to come his way, but he finally lands a whale in the form of none other than the Duke of Dorset. Seems the Duke has been robbed of a painting from his private study, but the real mystery is why was the painting right next to it, a painting of inestimably greater value not taken instead? Lenox’s perusal of the case takes him a London, 1853. Young Charles Lenox is still learning his chosen trade of private instigator/detective (he isn’t quite sure what to call himself). Business has been very slow to come his way, but he finally lands a whale in the form of none other than the Duke of Dorset. Seems the Duke has been robbed of a painting from his private study, but the real mystery is why was the painting right next to it, a painting of inestimably greater value not taken instead? Lenox’s perusal of the case takes him all through London, including the Bedlam “hospital” and even to the Tower of London. The case itself evolves into a murder investigation as well as a treasure hunt based on clues uncovered along the way.This is the second book of the prequel novels to the Charles Lenox mystery series. I have not read the main series, nor the first of the prequels, but based on my reading of this book, I certainly plan to correct that situation. The book reads well as a stand-alone and I don’t feel penalized for not having read its predecessor, but I can imagine I might have missed a few aspects. For example, the young character of Lancelot is marvelous, and I could easily see him having a primary role in the main series. I look forward to finding out. This was a very pleasurable read and even though I’ve read quite a few novels set in London during this time frame, I feel like I learned quite a lot. It was interesting to see how the justice system affected people of different classes, especially the Duke who is among the highest ranking of all. Add the fact that Lenox is but a commoner, and we have some intriguing interactions to be sure. The pacing moves along nicely but the author does not skip on the building of his characters. The dialog seemed quite realistic to me and while it assisted the plot along, it was also humorous in spots which made this an even more enjoyable read.Bottom line is that this was a fun book to read, with an interesting historical mystery or three to keep the reader engaged. And I have a new author to add to my reading future, one that already has a head start in making the top tier.Highly recommended.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    I currently have this on pre-order in hardcover, but found it on NetGalley and wanted to read it RIGHT NOW [I absolutely ADORE these books] so I am keeping it as a hardcover book while I am also reading it on the kindle. :-)I do not think, in all my years of reading, I have ever enjoyed a book [or a series] as much as I have enjoyed the Charles Lennox Series by Charles Finch. Each book is an absolute delight and I have never been disappointed. They are old England, interesting, suspenseful [but I currently have this on pre-order in hardcover, but found it on NetGalley and wanted to read it RIGHT NOW [I absolutely ADORE these books] so I am keeping it as a hardcover book while I am also reading it on the kindle. :-)I do not think, in all my years of reading, I have ever enjoyed a book [or a series] as much as I have enjoyed the Charles Lennox Series by Charles Finch. Each book is an absolute delight and I have never been disappointed. They are old England, interesting, suspenseful [but not to the point of being scary, though he has moments when you wonder just HOW he is going to get out of the situation], filled with real-like, believable people and a story that always makes you think, makes you grateful [I CANNOT even imagine living back then] and entertains you. I have learned so much about this time frame and it never fails to continue to amaze me the things they had to do and endure and deal with [especially the women!!]. This book takes us back to Charles' beginnings as a detective [this one takes place after The Woman in the Water] and brings him to the door of the Duke of Dorset, who has recently been "relieved" of one of his paintings and hires Lennox to find it. And all sorts of intrigue and shenanigans ensues. To share any more would give spoilers and I am not that person. :-) Greatly enjoyed this book; it was a great addition to this series. I cannot wait for the next one. Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Joann Maggio
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanishing Man ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Charles FinchThis is my first read of Mr Finch’s work and I must say it was interesting and amusing as the same time. I am a fan of detective novels and the character of Charles Lenox fit the bill for me. The step by step analysis by Lenox was so Sherlock Holmes. Just fascinating. The character development by the author was masterful a true story teller. A very good read. The Vanishing Man ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Charles FinchThis is my first read of Mr Finch’s work and I must say it was interesting and amusing as the same time. I am a fan of detective novels and the character of Charles Lenox fit the bill for me. The step by step analysis by Lenox was so Sherlock Holmes. Just fascinating. The character development by the author was masterful a true story teller. A very good read.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    Thoroughly enjoyable! Finch does a historical mystery right! I want to be entertained and educated and Finch writes with intelligence and wit. Whereas most series authors’ work tends to get redundant and lazy over time, Finch continues to improve. I can’t wait for the next book!Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Brian Williams
    January 1, 1970
    Recommended.Although he is only in his mid-twenties, Charles Lenox has already gained a reputation as a good private investigator. It's a strange calling for a member of the British aristocracy such as Charles and he is viewed with some amusement by other aristocrats. On the other hand, his status gives him entree into high society and he has access to many high powered contacts. This story is a prequel to the subsequent series of detective stories and a good indicator of their high quality. The Recommended.Although he is only in his mid-twenties, Charles Lenox has already gained a reputation as a good private investigator. It's a strange calling for a member of the British aristocracy such as Charles and he is viewed with some amusement by other aristocrats. On the other hand, his status gives him entree into high society and he has access to many high powered contacts. This story is a prequel to the subsequent series of detective stories and a good indicator of their high quality. The story begins in June 1853 when Charles is consulted by the Duke of Dorset about a portrait painting, which has gone missing from the duke's private study. Surprisingly the painting is of little monetary value. The duke is one of a handful of nobles at the top of society, next to the queen. It is therefore a great honour to be consulted by him. The search for the portrait turns into something akin to a treasure hunt for the manuscript of an undiscovered Shakespearean play. Lenox's sleuthing is complicated by the duke's bizarre behaviour toward him; he is publicly sacked and humiliated, only to be re-hired a short time later. The duke is the prime suspect in the killing of his valet later in the story and puts him into the Tower of London as a prisoner.Aside from the intriguing mystery, the story vividly portrays the rigid social structure and code of conduct in Victorian England. I found that the demonstrates a detailed knowledge of the florid social protocols and customs of the Victorian aristocracy. The duke and others of his status are revered and treated with great deference. Charles enjoys some of this deference as a minor aristocrat: in addition he is well-educated and is the son of a well regarded parliamentarian. It's an entertaining story and does a good jog of setting the stage for the subsequent mysteries in the series.I received my review copy from the publisher via Netgalley. The views expressed are my own.
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  • Helen Howerton
    January 1, 1970
    Much as I like Charles Lenox and his adventures, in reading The Vanishing Man I recall why I don’t necessarily enjoy prequels. Faithful readers of the books by Charles Finch know what has happened in the lives of Lenox, his next-door neighbor Jane Grey, and even Graham, his faithful “man” and friend. Thus, any fictional deep sighs or “'woe is ‘mes’” by the book’s protagonist seem quite disingenuous. And boy, are there plenty of those in this book. Indeed, one may wonder why Charles Finch decided Much as I like Charles Lenox and his adventures, in reading The Vanishing Man I recall why I don’t necessarily enjoy prequels. Faithful readers of the books by Charles Finch know what has happened in the lives of Lenox, his next-door neighbor Jane Grey, and even Graham, his faithful “man” and friend. Thus, any fictional deep sighs or “'woe is ‘mes’” by the book’s protagonist seem quite disingenuous. And boy, are there plenty of those in this book. Indeed, one may wonder why Charles Finch decided to take this approach. Perhaps to avoid the “spoiler syndrome” if a new reader picks up this book. Perhaps the lady reviewer doth protest too much. Oh, did I just mis-quote Shakespeare? You’ll know why, as I proceed.Here, we have Charles still struggling as a “private detective.” Charles is on a case: someone has stolen a painting from the Duke of Dorset. The painting itself is not important, the Duke says; the identity of the thief is. What wasn’t taken was the painting next to it; supposedly, according to the author, that is, the only extant portrait of William Shakespeare (okay, cue mighty suspension of disbelief here). Later -- much later, it takes this book a long while to get going -- there comes a shooting, and the Duke confesses to it. And readers find out about a secret that has been passed down in the Duke’s family for generations, from father to son. The Duke needs Lennox’s help to fix this mess, and mess it is, the plot is awfully quirky and convoluted; remember I mentioned that “suspension of disbelief” thing, earlier? Eventually, we have a resolution, of course, albeit a surprising one, in keeping with the surprising plot. Although perhaps not so surprising, because how else can it end? Shakespeare summed it up rather well: “This was the most unkindest cut of all.”Along the way there’s new and interesting people to meet, and backstories and side stories. Herein is the pleasure of the book; the characters are delineated, made real. They populate Charles’s world as living people, even the Duke’s family, who are unappealing, hard to take in then and almost impossible to understand today. Charles is also learning how to be a detective in this book, in subtle ways that will be familiar to readers of modern detective stories. Although his self-recriminations get somewhat tedious; remember what I said about this being a prequel. At least he realizes he has a gift. “We know what we are but know not what we may be.” Hamlet said that, and unfortunately, look what happened to him. But Charles Lennox has a brighter future in store. Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for a copy of this book, in exchange for this review.
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  • Scilla
    January 1, 1970
    This book goes back to when Charles Lenox is beginning to be a detective. He lives next door to Jane, whose husband is still alive. His obstreperous nephew is visiting, but not very pertinent to most of the story. Charles has an appointment to see the Duke of Dorset about a possible case about a valuable possession which is missing. The Duke's private secretary is an old school friend of Lenox, Ward. One portrait in the Duke's study was missing. The Duke mostly wants to know WHO took the paintin This book goes back to when Charles Lenox is beginning to be a detective. He lives next door to Jane, whose husband is still alive. His obstreperous nephew is visiting, but not very pertinent to most of the story. Charles has an appointment to see the Duke of Dorset about a possible case about a valuable possession which is missing. The Duke's private secretary is an old school friend of Lenox, Ward. One portrait in the Duke's study was missing. The Duke mostly wants to know WHO took the painting. It did not look to Lenox as if someone broke in through the window although it was open. Lennox quickly recognized that 7 of the 8 remaining paintings were of former Dukes of Dorset, but painting number 5 next to the missing painting was very different. The Duke and Duchess had planned to go away two days previously, but didn't go because their son was ill. The missing painting was the Duke's great-grandfather, and the picture next to it was the only existing oil painting of William Shakespeare while he was alive. Supposedly, the Queen and Sir Charles Locke (the Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures) were the only people other than the Duke and Lenox who knew about the painting. But, even more interesting is that the paintings have clues to find a missing Shakespeare play.Lenox talks to find a man called Bonden, who was good at finding lost things, but Bonden did not agree to help. Then Lenox hears that the duke has been forced into an unmarked carriage in front of his club, and no one could find him. Lenox finds which way the carriage went from a hawker on the street. After the police didn't find the duke south of the river, Graham and Lenox go to the Duke's house at night, go up to his study, and find the Duke, who was very angry. When they leave, they find that Bonden had followed them and was now interested, and becomes very helpful. Meanwhile, Dorset's fear for his Shakespeare causes a murder. Now Lenox must solve the whole mystery. The plot is quite complicated, as Lenox gradually learns what has happened, and discovers a family secret which caused the whole thing. In the process, he was first shunned by society, but finally, the Duke helps him to regain his place. The story keeps one interested right up to the end of the book.
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  • Rick
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanishing Man, a detective novel set in historical London, is the prequel #2 of the Charles Lenox Mystery Series. Having solved his first murder Charles Lenox is called upon to solve a mystery, which could jeopardize his reputation and his social standing within Aristocracy of England. Lenox is an intelligent and intuitive protagonist, a detective and a member of the English aristocracy whom we have met in several novels of Charles Finch’s Charles Lenox series.Charles Lenox is summoned to th The Vanishing Man, a detective novel set in historical London, is the prequel #2 of the Charles Lenox Mystery Series. Having solved his first murder Charles Lenox is called upon to solve a mystery, which could jeopardize his reputation and his social standing within Aristocracy of England. Lenox is an intelligent and intuitive protagonist, a detective and a member of the English aristocracy whom we have met in several novels of Charles Finch’s Charles Lenox series.Charles Lenox is summoned to the meeting with the Duke of Dorset, one of the most powerful men in England. A painting is missing from the Duke’s private study. The Duke insists that the painting has been taken in error because it has hung beside a much more valuable painting which the Duke’s family is sworn to protect. Before, Lenox can retrieve the painting the Duke is kidnapped and his closest confidant is murdered. Lenox reputation will suffer irreparable damage if he does not solve the mystery of the missing painting.One of the things I like about this novel is its historical context. We learn a lot of English society in the mid 1800’s and how social standing is a preoccupation. We see how the long arm of the law is not applied equally across classes. On the side we also learn about the origin of English words that are in common use today. My favourite was the word “clue”. The protagonist Charles Lenox is just learning his trade. I have not read any of the other novels in this series (I will now) but Lenox is humble student of the art crime solving. He is well read and studies continuously. In this case, he even uses Shakespeare for guidance. He visits institutes for the criminally insane to learn how they think. He engages shady characters to teach him how to find things and case scenes of the crime. He is not above admitting his mistakes. I like him a lot.The mystery itself is also fascinating. What seems obvious at the outset is not at all the case. This alone is a good reason to read the book. I give this book a 5 on 5 and highly recommend it to people who like detective fiction and social history.I wan to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    London, 1853, Charles Lenox and Lady Jane Grey are about to go shopping but it is to be a short trip as Lenox has an appointment at noon with the Duke of Dorset. In a population of thirty million there were only twenty-eight Dukes in the whole of the United Kingdom and they are first in the land beneath the royal family. The reader is informed of the further ranking of the nobility from the marquesses, earls, countesses, viscounts and barons. An absurd system, dictated mostly by chance, believed London, 1853, Charles Lenox and Lady Jane Grey are about to go shopping but it is to be a short trip as Lenox has an appointment at noon with the Duke of Dorset. In a population of thirty million there were only twenty-eight Dukes in the whole of the United Kingdom and they are first in the land beneath the royal family. The reader is informed of the further ranking of the nobility from the marquesses, earls, countesses, viscounts and barons. An absurd system, dictated mostly by chance, believed in implicitly. So when a Duke calls.....the 26 year old, tall, slender, straight backed bachelor who has been a private Investigator for three years has little option but to accept the investigation.The Duke of Dorset charges Lenox with find a missing portrait but there is so much more to this mystery that unfolds as the story progresses. Lenox is in favor, then out of favor, and in danger of becoming a social pariah. Social status is all important and the confused state of Lenox’s current status is due to the Duke’s power, whim, confusion and wrath. Lenox, his valet Graham, young cousin Lancelot and brother Edmund provide much tongue-in-cheek banter that is absolutely perfect. Intrigue abounds, there are underhanded machinations and an interesting history lesson. The kind and good may not be. The shadowy characters may be the most straight forward. The high and mighty may have to take a fall before they can reclaim their position. This is a strongly written period piece that didn’t race along but did hold my interest. The plot and distractions were extraordinary, interesting and believable?! Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy.
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  • Jean Kolinofsky
    January 1, 1970
    Charles Finch’s twelfth book in his Charles Lenox series returns to the early years of Lenox’s career. The idea of a private detective is a new one and Lenox has encountered scorn toward his chosen profession from his peers. Still dealing with the death of his father, even he questions his decision to continue. After receiving credit for solving an important case, however, he is contacted by the Duke of Dorset to discreetly handle a theft from his home. A portrait of his great-grandfather was st Charles Finch’s twelfth book in his Charles Lenox series returns to the early years of Lenox’s career. The idea of a private detective is a new one and Lenox has encountered scorn toward his chosen profession from his peers. Still dealing with the death of his father, even he questions his decision to continue. After receiving credit for solving an important case, however, he is contacted by the Duke of Dorset to discreetly handle a theft from his home. A portrait of his great-grandfather was stolen. Hanging next to a rare portrait of Shakespeare, the Duke believes that the portrait was taken by mistake and fears that the thief will return. A kidnapping, a murder and the hunt for a missing treasure keep this story moving at a good pace.While Lenox is a keen observer and has the assistance of his butler Graham, he is still working to improve his skills, learning to track and studying the psychology of criminal minds. As he travels from society gatherings and gentlemen’s clubs to the less savory parts of the city, Finch brings 1853 London to life. This is a series that I have enjoyed from the beginning. Returning to Lenox’s early cases will once again entertain his readers and serve as a wonderful introduction to the series for new readers. I would like to thank NetGalley and Minotaur Books for allowing me to review this book.
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  • Jackie M
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanishing Man by Charles Finch. This book, the second of three expected prequels to the Charles Lenox Mystery Series is set in 1853 London. Twenty-six-year-old Charles, private detective and brother to a baronet and member of parliament, has been consulted by a duke on a matter related to a missing painting. I was completely engaged in the story and literally could not put it down. The writing is flawless for the genre, supported by language, narrative and dialogue that flow smoothly with no The Vanishing Man by Charles Finch. This book, the second of three expected prequels to the Charles Lenox Mystery Series is set in 1853 London. Twenty-six-year-old Charles, private detective and brother to a baronet and member of parliament, has been consulted by a duke on a matter related to a missing painting. I was completely engaged in the story and literally could not put it down. The writing is flawless for the genre, supported by language, narrative and dialogue that flow smoothly with nothing to annoy or distract. The main characters that are good and decent, so well developed and consistently described that it is easy to come to know and love them. Many crime mysteries wallow in darkness; this book includes just enough dark elements to support the story. This was my first experience with Charles Finch and the Charles Lenox series. I can’t begin to guess why I have not encountered him before. I’ve since read five others, loved every one of them and bought three more last night that I can’t wait to read. Readers who prefer books with solvable puzzles that entertain while conveying rare historical details will love this series. Disclosure: I received a review copy of The Vanishing Man free via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    Charles Lenox is a nobleman who is working in a very unusual profession for someone of his status - that of a private detective. London in the mid-1800s is clearly divided by class into the aristocracy and lower working classes and they do not do business together. Lenox with the help of his best friend who just happens to be the love of his life and happily married solves the case of a theft, murder, and treasure that has been kept a secret for generations. Somehow they manage to do so amidst t Charles Lenox is a nobleman who is working in a very unusual profession for someone of his status - that of a private detective. London in the mid-1800s is clearly divided by class into the aristocracy and lower working classes and they do not do business together. Lenox with the help of his best friend who just happens to be the love of his life and happily married solves the case of a theft, murder, and treasure that has been kept a secret for generations. Somehow they manage to do so amidst the parties and social gatherings one must attend as nobility. I love the relationship between Charles and Lady Jane Grey as well as the antics between Charles and his 12-year-old precocious visitor Lancelot. Witty, stylish and so true to character, this is a who-done-it with sophistication and fun. This is a prequel to the series but can easily be read as a standalone. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to netgalley for an ARC of this title.I've read all of the books in the Charles Lenox series to date. I actually prefer the books later in his career, but I enjoy the prequel books as well. This one I found particularly interesting, since it provided a lot of information as to how he learned to be a detective - the studying he did, arranging to "shadow" various specialists, and so on. It gives a bit more depth to the later books, since otherwise, I'm always wondering, "how in the world di Thanks to netgalley for an ARC of this title.I've read all of the books in the Charles Lenox series to date. I actually prefer the books later in his career, but I enjoy the prequel books as well. This one I found particularly interesting, since it provided a lot of information as to how he learned to be a detective - the studying he did, arranging to "shadow" various specialists, and so on. It gives a bit more depth to the later books, since otherwise, I'm always wondering, "how in the world did this son of privilege learn to do this stuff?"Another interesting point in this book is that Finch goes into a great deal of detail about the various titles and their social standing. Since all of that was extremely important in Victorian England, I enjoyed learning a little more about that.A good read - I enjoyed it.
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  • Constance
    January 1, 1970
    I have read the main series about Charles Lenox and when the author Charles Finch wrote the first prequel I was a bit frustrated. I wanted to read the continuing story of Charles Lenox and the friends I had grown to enjoy, see how the story unfolded but now I am a convert. This is the second prequel and it is even better than the first. Reading about the young detective learning the ropes and learning more about his young adventures will only make the next one in the main series more enjoyable. I have read the main series about Charles Lenox and when the author Charles Finch wrote the first prequel I was a bit frustrated. I wanted to read the continuing story of Charles Lenox and the friends I had grown to enjoy, see how the story unfolded but now I am a convert. This is the second prequel and it is even better than the first. Reading about the young detective learning the ropes and learning more about his young adventures will only make the next one in the main series more enjoyable. The research that goes into making this era come alive is extensive but even more impressive is how gracefully, skillfully, it is inserted in the story. The best part of the prequel is getting to read about Charles and Graham's relationship both working and personal. This is a charming and totally enjoyable read.
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  • Cyrenius H. Booth Library
    January 1, 1970
    What a great read! The story bounces around 1853 London following a professional ‘private detective’ (a brand-new field at that time) as he searches for the ‘who’ in a whodunit involving a break-ins at a Duke’s residence, a stolen painting, and the murder of a servant. Charles Lenox is a charmer, a gentleman driven by a deep work ethic and sense of duty. The story has lots of details to keep readers interested (did you know that mail in Victorian London was delivered seven times a day?) and offe What a great read! The story bounces around 1853 London following a professional ‘private detective’ (a brand-new field at that time) as he searches for the ‘who’ in a whodunit involving a break-ins at a Duke’s residence, a stolen painting, and the murder of a servant. Charles Lenox is a charmer, a gentleman driven by a deep work ethic and sense of duty. The story has lots of details to keep readers interested (did you know that mail in Victorian London was delivered seven times a day?) and offers a peek into the lives of characters which feels authentic without being boring. Finch is an author attentive to detail and consistent with tone and style.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    June 1853 after some months without a case Charles Lenox is invited to call on the Duke of Dorset at his home. It seems that something of value has been stolen and the Duke wishes to know why. The Duke believes that the wrong painting was taken and is now concerned. Unfortunately the Duke has his secrets which will lead to murder. But Lenox needs help in unraveling the mystery.A very enjoyable and interesting mystery and I look forward to the next prequel before I start reading the series.A NetG June 1853 after some months without a case Charles Lenox is invited to call on the Duke of Dorset at his home. It seems that something of value has been stolen and the Duke wishes to know why. The Duke believes that the wrong painting was taken and is now concerned. Unfortunately the Duke has his secrets which will lead to murder. But Lenox needs help in unraveling the mystery.A very enjoyable and interesting mystery and I look forward to the next prequel before I start reading the series.A NetGalley Book
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  • Julia Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    Spending time with Charles Lenox is like having a really good cup of tea with an old friend. These 'prequel' stories tell of Charles as he is beginning his career as a detective and his friendship with Lady Jane. This mystery involved a possible missing play by Shakespeare and a kidnapping. As usual the story was filled with little facts about phrases and customs that began in Victorian England and have continued to this day.
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  • Kevin Mittge
    January 1, 1970
    Advance Readers Edition: another great book in the Charles Lenox Mystery series, set in 1853 England. Lenox is in a delicate position assisting a powerful Duke who can make or break him in his trajectory to become one of the first private detectives. An enjoyable read, as all of Charles Finch's mysteries are.
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  • Laurie Porter
    January 1, 1970
    I ordered this book the minute it was possible to do so, and I am counting the days until it comes out.If you have not read Charles Finch, you are in for a treat. I bought a copy of The September Society for the "Dirty Santa" exchange for my book club; it was "stolen" so many times that I lost count!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    If it's anything like Woman in the Water I'm predicting 5 stars! Can't wait to read it!
  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    Haven’t read it yet but if it’s as good as the other Charles Lenox books, it deserves at least five stars!
  • Margaret Kulis
    January 1, 1970
    It's gonna be great!
  • Jillian Digiantonio
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this next installment in Charles Lenox series. I enjoyed learning more about the relationship between him and Jane as it became the relationship they currently have in the "present" Lenox books. However, I felt the mystery portion did not captivate me as much as the first prequel, but I still enjoyed it. Charles Finch does such a fabulous job of creating the setting and making you feel that you're in Victorian London. Its like wrapping myself in front of a fire with a cozy blank I really enjoyed this next installment in Charles Lenox series. I enjoyed learning more about the relationship between him and Jane as it became the relationship they currently have in the "present" Lenox books. However, I felt the mystery portion did not captivate me as much as the first prequel, but I still enjoyed it. Charles Finch does such a fabulous job of creating the setting and making you feel that you're in Victorian London. Its like wrapping myself in front of a fire with a cozy blanket and transporting me back to a magical time.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    I had this book for two months before I was able to read it (too much happening during the holidays to give proper attention to a "new to me" author), but once I started yesterday morning I couldn't put it down. Nicely written with wonderful descriptions of Victorian England, Charles Finch's The Vanishing Man is the second of three prequels to his popular Charles Lenox series. It's the first book in this series, and by this author, that I've read, and it worked perfectly as a standalone. That be I had this book for two months before I was able to read it (too much happening during the holidays to give proper attention to a "new to me" author), but once I started yesterday morning I couldn't put it down. Nicely written with wonderful descriptions of Victorian England, Charles Finch's The Vanishing Man is the second of three prequels to his popular Charles Lenox series. It's the first book in this series, and by this author, that I've read, and it worked perfectly as a standalone. That being said, I'll certainly be delving further into this series, I just need to decide if I want to start with the first prequel (The Woman in the Water) or the first book in the series (A Beautiful Blue Death). The author does an admirable job of creating real characters, with real relationships, true to the period but still somehow not as strict as one would imagine in Victorian times. The mystery was very well told, and even to this first time reader of Mr. Finch's work it was obvious that this prequel sets the groundwork for the series. I'm so glad I read this book, and will definitely seek out the others. 5 stars!
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