An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch was a truly enjoyable trip through history as well as the sleuthing that was necessary to solve crimes in bygone days.
We have become jaded in our modern day with the speed with which problems and paradoxes are untangled. Go back in time to the late 1800’s. We know that Time was not really a friend. In centuries past, waiting weeks or months to get results was not uncommon. A criminal case, a “Who done it”, was not solved with medical, or forensic techniques to ferret out clues. That is what we do now with the knowledge we have at our disposal.
Observations and reactions of those involved or close to the crime needed to be measured. Motives for everyone close to the scene needed to be closely monitored. Actions and reactions could lead to the culprit.
Travel wasn’t done in hours, rather, a good detective needed to travel by boat, train, carriage and foot. Time was not on the side of the Detective! Rather time could make it possible for the guilty to “disappear” before they came into the spotlight as a possible suspect.
Everything is taken into consideration when murder is involved. especially with the new “Society order” of people in America. The rich and powerful hold the reins. Money and the ability to hire the best detectives, when one of their own is the victim becomes paramount.
Family honor is at stake.
So Detective Lennox is summoned from England (as one of the best detectives) to American soil, to find the murderer of a beautiful young socialite. Needless to say, there are many twists and turns in this novel and a lovely look at what socialites did in those early days in America.
The backdrop is New York and the lovely Newport area that is home to some of America’s richest. The whole town up in arms over the murder in their midst. Nothing is straight forward, everyone has ulterior motives. Long shadows are cast into everyone’s corner. It is up to London’s best detective to use his incredible senses of observation to find the guilty party!
Stay tuned for a ride through the Americas of the late 1800’s as our sleuth takes us through to the final conclusion!
I really enjoyed this book that will be available February16 of 2021. Look for it in your local bookstores then!
This preview copy was made possible through Netgalley.com.