Gentleman sleuth Charles Lenox, now married to his longtime friend and neighbor Lady Jane Grey, is about to take his seat in Parliament when the thrill of the chase distracts him.
When you combine two houses in matrimony, what do you do with the extra butler? Charles Lenox solves the problem by asking Graham, his butler, to be his secretary. Graham takes to the job and works with great efficiency to learn the parliamentary ropes. That’s fortunate, because Charles is distracted by a murder at the home of Ludovic Starling, a fellow MP who hopes for a title and fears scandal. A young footman, the son of the Starlings’ former housekeeper, has been killed outside their home. Finding it tricky to balance his parliamentary duties with a murder inquiry, Charles calls on his assistant John Dallington, son of the Duke of Marchmain, to take over some aspects of the investigation. But he wonders why Starling bothered to ask his help in the first place, and why his family has decided they no longer want it. At any rate, Charles refuses to be called off despite a cold shoulder from Scotland Yard. His curiosity once aroused, he must balance his job, his new marriage and his old love for detective work in order to solve the crime without wrecking his life.
Like Finch’s earlier Victorian whodunits (The Fleet Street Murders, 2010, etc.), there’s enough mystery combined with enough period and personal detail to keep fans happy.