Lenox woke up with a morning head, and as soon as he could bear to open his eyes, he gulped half the cup of coffee that his valet, butler, and trusted friend, Graham, had produced at Lenox’s first stirring. “What are Edmund and Molly doing?” he asked Graham. “Lady Lenox and her sons have gone to the park, sir. It’s a fine morning.”
“Depends what you mean by fine,” said Lenox. He looked at his window and winced from the sun. “It seems awfully bright. My brother’s in as much pain as I am, I hope?”
“I fear so, sir.”
“Well, there is justice in the world, then,” Lenox reflected.
The near simultaneous murders on Christmas night of two giants of Fleet Street—Daily Telegraph writer Winston Carruthers and Daily News editor Simon Pierce—rock 1866 London in Finch's absorbing third historical (after 2008's The September Society). These sensational crimes disturb holiday festivities at the Mayfair home of amateur detective Charles Lenox, who jumps at the chance to further his crime-solving career. In the meantime, Lenox's restless fiancée, Lady Jane Grey, may delay their impending nuptials while Lenox is also off running for Parliament in distant Stirrington, where he learns the seamy underside of British politics. The multifaceted case includes a coded letter, wartime espionage, a gang slaying, bribery and eavesdropping, making it all fearfully complicated in the words of Inspector Jenkins of Scotland Yard. An exciting boat chase on the Thames leads to a slightly incongruous happy ending.