The novel is set in London in 1876, a popular time to set a story in. Charles Lenox has quit his job in Parliament to start a private detective agency, the first of its kind. As the agency is going through growing pains, two related murders happen, one to a friend in Scotland Yard and another to a lord with a shady past. Despite obstacles in their course, namely the threat of physical violence against his family, Lenox analytically pursues the case trying to figure out how the convent across the street from a murder scene and luggage ticket on a ship tie everything together.
This was an enjoyable mystery in many ways. Lenox has a likeable personality and displays some sharp analysis. He comes off as being very British, a man of high birth, belonging to the upper class, but still willing to get his hands dirty and do some work. The story unfolded with tension and drama. Besides the mystery component, there are personal sub-plots at work involving the start and survival of the detective agency that Lenox and friends start. The murderer in the novel is a bit cliché but the ultimate motive for the murders was interesting.
Carl Alves – author of Blood Street