Friday, January 24, 2020

Book Review - The Last Passenger

The Last Passenger (Charles Lenox Mysteries 0.3)
Author:  Charles Finch
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date:  February 18, 2020

Late one night, in early October 1855, the last passenger on the 449 to Paddington would not be leaving on his own accord.  After everyone had left, the conductor found this man in the third class carriage stabbed to death.  Perhaps more mysterious than his death, was the condition in which they found him.  His pockets were empty, the labels were cut out of every piece of his clothing, and his socks, boots, hat, and watch are all missing.  It appeared that someone had gone to a great deal of trouble to try to hide the identity of the man.  Lenox feels deeply compelled to not only find the murderer, but also to discover who the man was, and why he was killed.

In addition to trying to solve a perplexing case, Lenox must also juggle the devoirs of his personal life.

Charles Finch has done it again!  He has written another sensational book in the Charles Lenox mystery series.  This book is the third and last prequel to the series.  As always, the writing was magnificent.  The plot was intriguing, unique and full of surprises.  Just when you think the case is about wrapped up, the story takes a clever twist.

Favorite characters such as Graham and Lady Jane, and Lady Jane’s husband Deere, feature prominently in this story.  One of Charles’s closest friends in later books, Dr. Thomas McConnell makes a brief appearance in this prequel.  It’s been really enjoyable learning about Charles’s background and what makes him the detective he is in later books.  It’s been equally as enjoyable learning about the background of his friends as well.  In this installment, Lady Jane and Charles’s mother are trying to marry him off.  Both women would like to see him fall in love and settle down before he becomes lonely.  Charles does not believe that he is lonely, but as the story progresses, he begins to wonder if something (someone?) is missing from his life.

Fans of historical mysteries will adore The Last Passenger.  One of the themes in this book is slavery.  We get a good peek at the differences in the state of slavery in the US and England.  We also see the similarities and differences in status and opinions of the white population in both the US and England of the African race.  Then of course another prominent issue at this time was class disparities in England.  Charles really struggles with this problem, and the role he should play.

I have loved every Charles Lenox book I have read, and this one is no exception.  It was a hard book to put down.  Everything works well in this book, and it ties in nicely to the original series.  

Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC of this book.   #NetGalley   #TheLastPassenger  

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