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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Charles Lenox Must Determine Who Murdered His Friend, Jenkins Alas!

The Laws of Murder: A Charles Lenox MysteryThe Laws of Murder: A Charles Lenox Mystery by Charles Finch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A screenwriter for a New Zealand mystery TV series was asked why people like mysteries so much. His answer was twofold--the obvious puzzle of it all, but also the satisfaction the viewer gets if he solves the mystery before the detective or at least as soon as the detective. I am in total agreement with his answer but must admit that I cannot remember solving any of Lennox's mysteries before him or even simultaneously and for that I'm grateful. There is nothing worse than plowing on through a book once you've figured it out and I often do that just to make sure. Never the case with Lenox.
Another thing I hate is being so frustrated with the false leads that I read the end of the book to see the solution because I cannot stand the convoluted story. Again, not the case with nox--there are false leads and they frustrate Lenox and his compatriots, including the reader, but before one gets bogged down in anxiety another lead appears and revs up the juices once more--even if it, too, goes nowhere.
In the end, Lenox and Scotland Yard get the criminal and the reader then looks at the case once more to see if there were hints, clues that should have been seen earlier and often there are but that only adds to the pleasure of the chase. In this particular crime, however, there is a weeks old wound on the corpse of Jenkins, the Scotland Yard investigator who is the first victim. The wound is noted at the scene, again at the autopsy and is even mentioned in the back cover synopsis, yet I cannot remember if it was ever explained away. Next time I read the book I'll have to make a special note of that clue. Hmmm--or maybe some other reader and reviewer will clarify its cause?
Just a very satisfying addition to the Lenox Mystery Series, though it is too bad Jenkins is gone--I rather liked him.

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