The Woman in the Water

The Woman in the Water

This chilling new mystery in the USA Today bestselling series by Charles Finch takes readers back to Charles Lenox's very first case and the ruthless serial killer who would set him on the course to become one of London's most brilliant detectives.London, 1850: A young Charles Lenox struggles to make a name for himself as a detective...without a single case. Scotland Yard...

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Title:The Woman in the Water
Author:Charles Finch
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Woman in the Water Reviews

  • Charles Finch

    This is the first ever 100-star book in my humble opinion. I have written to Goodreads and am hoping they add a unique "100-star" rating just for the book, will keep you apprised of any response I get!

  • Barbara Rogers

    WOW! I am in awe of Charles Finch and his writing and I'd give this book more than 5-stars if I could. This has to be the absolute best book of the Charles Lenox Mystery series so far. While it is shown as book #0 in the series because it is a prequel, it is actually something like the thirteenth if you count the novellas. The writing is superb, the characters are fully developed and relatable, and the story is fast-paced, engrossing and detailed.

    We are introduced to a young Charles Lenox, just

    WOW! I am in awe of Charles Finch and his writing and I'd give this book more than 5-stars if I could. This has to be the absolute best book of the Charles Lenox Mystery series so far. While it is shown as book #0 in the series because it is a prequel, it is actually something like the thirteenth if you count the novellas. The writing is superb, the characters are fully developed and relatable, and the story is fast-paced, engrossing and detailed.

    We are introduced to a young Charles Lenox, just twenty-three years of age and newly living in London on his own. He desperately wants to be a detective, but his few forays into it and his interactions with Scotland Yard have been very disappointing. However, being the tenacious young man that he is, Charles perseveres by honing his knowledge of crimes in London, how they are solved and the details behind them. He does that by buying copies of all of the newspapers and cutting all of the crime related articles out and filing them away.

    When one of those newspapers carry the text of a letter claiming that the writer had already committed one ‘perfect’ murder and would be committing another soon, Charles knew he had to be involved. He and his valet, Graham, use the timeline given in the letter and find the case the letter writer must be claiming as his perfect crime. They are off to Scotland Yard to show them their conjecture and to offer their services. Of course, Scotland Yard wants no part of their help, but that doesn’t deter Charles. As he digs and learns more and more – he shares it all with Scotland Yard.

    While the murder plot was interesting, detailed and engrossing, I think my favorite parts of the book were the more personal parts. Those are skillfully written and poignant, heartwarming, emotional and sad. We meet Charles’ mother and father and learn of the father, Edward’s, medical diagnosis. How Charles, his mother, and brother Edmund - his father too - deal with that is so bittersweet and lovely. I absolutely adored his father and the efforts he made to ensure that he spent time with each of the family members individually and that they knew he loved them. I loved the descriptions of his fence painting – and I loved that when he finally spoke to Charles about his leaving them he said – “The hardest part of losing a person, Charles, is that grief is only an absence. There is nowhere to go to touch it.”

    It was fun to meet the younger, more immature versions of people we’ll get to know and love throughout the series. There is Jane, of course. She’s married to someone else and Charles is heartbroken over that. Graham, of course, is one of my favorite people. Then, we meet a very young and very mischievous John Dallington.

    I usually don’t read prequels, especially if I know that someone doesn’t last through the series – especially because of a bad end. I am so very, very happy that I made an exception for this book. It is so well written, so well developed and just such a wonderful read that I cannot imagine having missed it.

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    "I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher."

  • Sophia

    After spending time following along with the intuitive, Victorian era, middle-aged detective and his friends, I was more than eager when I discovered that this latest release would take readers back to the early days of Charles Lenox's first celebrated case.

    The Woman of the Water is a late prequel to a long-standing series and works just fine as a beginning read to the series or for taking it in release order.

    The story opens with a much younger Charles leaving his university days behind and cho

    After spending time following along with the intuitive, Victorian era, middle-aged detective and his friends, I was more than eager when I discovered that this latest release would take readers back to the early days of Charles Lenox's first celebrated case.

    The Woman of the Water is a late prequel to a long-standing series and works just fine as a beginning read to the series or for taking it in release order.

    The story opens with a much younger Charles leaving his university days behind and choosing to stun polite society with the news that he is going to be a consulting detective. Two provocative letters in the newspaper and a dead body give him the break he needs to assist the London police and show he can do it. It's a particularly poignant time because he waited too long to tell the woman he loved his feelings and she accepted someone else whom she loves and he is made aware that his father only has a few months left after a growth is discovered.

    From the first book in the series, I have been taken with Charles Lennox, Graham, Lady Jane, Thomas O'Donnell, and others in Charles' circle. I loved that this book goes back to the beginning when they were all much younger and how things came to be the way they are. Lennox was written with his brilliance and heart, but more of a touch of youthful fire and confidence that the difficult murder case threatens to dampen and put out entirely.

    The historical detail and how it blends into the plot was done amazingly well. I always feel like I'm right there in Charles' Victorian world when I read this series and this book was no exception.

    The mystery is clever and twisting. I loved following along and discovering the significance of the clues. I totally missed on the solution, but had a great time trying.

    The depth of friendship, family, and personal growth that melded with the mystery for this one was probably more compelling than the cunning murder. My emotions were engaged several times even beyond my mind on the mystery. I had the urge to go back and re-read the series after this one.

    I heartily recommend this book/series to those who particularly enjoy historical mysteries.

    I rec'd this book through Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  • Diane S ☔

    A historical mystery series, set during the Victorian age, that I have read from the first. This though is a prequel, and we meet a young Lennox, when he is only 23, starting out in his crime solving career.

    When a letter to the newspapers, boasting about committing the perfect crime, comes to the attention of Lennox, he sets off, with his trusty valet, sidekick, to solve the murder. It will soon be two bodies of women found, each staged in unusual ways.

    When reading about the solving of crimes i

    A historical mystery series, set during the Victorian age, that I have read from the first. This though is a prequel, and we meet a young Lennox, when he is only 23, starting out in his crime solving career.

    When a letter to the newspapers, boasting about committing the perfect crime, comes to the attention of Lennox, he sets off, with his trusty valet, sidekick, to solve the murder. It will soon be two bodies of women found, each staged in unusual ways.

    When reading about the solving of crimes in the past, I am reminded of how difficult it was for those who job this was. Much more traveling, chasing down clues, chasing down witnesses, so time consuming. Took more talent though to piece together all the information, and then decide the who, how and why. In this outing, we get to see a young man of privileged background, fighting for a chance to do what interested him. There is also a personal, rather sad revelation. We also find out how he first met McConnell, who would become a good friend and prove integral to many of the stories that come after.

    Well written, tightly plotted, this should bring new readers to this worthy series, or at least I hope so.

    ARC from Netgalley.

  • Susan Johnson

    For the eleventh entry in the Charles Lenox series, the author has written an entertaining prequel that sets up the characters well. Lenox is 23 and just done with Oxford. As the second son of a baronet, he is at loose ends with no need to earn money and two desires- to travel and to solve crimes. He decides to open his own private detective agency, an almost unheard of career. Scotland Yard is new itself so this is a brand new undertaking.

    A murdered woman is discovered and a letter to the new

    For the eleventh entry in the Charles Lenox series, the author has written an entertaining prequel that sets up the characters well. Lenox is 23 and just done with Oxford. As the second son of a baronet, he is at loose ends with no need to earn money and two desires- to travel and to solve crimes. He decides to open his own private detective agency, an almost unheard of career. Scotland Yard is new itself so this is a brand new undertaking.

    A murdered woman is discovered and a letter to the newspaper promises another "perfect" crime. Lenox has found his passion, He wants to discover the murderer and gets hired as a consultant to Scotland Yard's investigation. Horrified to be receiving a salary for heavens sake, he and his valet, Graham, rush to solve the crime but are too late. Another body turns up with lots of clues that make little sense.

    This a really interesting mystery with an unexpected ending. It's a great placed to start the series if you haven't read him before because it's essentially the beginning. For long time readers, it's fun to see how relationships started. It's also quite interesting to read about the beginning of crime investigations. Reading how coroners operators worked was interesting and the history (1850) was informative.

    Overall, this was an entertaining book well worth the read. I highly recommend it.

    Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.

  • JanB

    It's the Victorian Age, and Charles Lenox, a member of the upper class, is fresh out of Oxford and interested in a career as an investigator with the police department. Being a new profession, he’s having trouble being taken seriously by Scotland Yard. Then along comes a series of letters boasting of the perfect murder(s), and Charles has a case that offers him a chance to prove himself.

    As a prequel to the series, I enjoyed getting to know Charles and his valet Graham, as well as his family and

    It's the Victorian Age, and Charles Lenox, a member of the upper class, is fresh out of Oxford and interested in a career as an investigator with the police department. Being a new profession, he’s having trouble being taken seriously by Scotland Yard. Then along comes a series of letters boasting of the perfect murder(s), and Charles has a case that offers him a chance to prove himself.

    As a prequel to the series, I enjoyed getting to know Charles and his valet Graham, as well as his family and others in his social circle. Charles has some challenges in his personal life that brought some tender and heartwarming scenes. The murder mystery and resolution was clever, while the insights into the early days of crime investigations were interesting from a historical aspect. The old-fashioned detective work was a refreshing change from crime novels set in the current day.

    This was my first introduction to Charles Lenox and I’m definitely interested in continuing the series. Highly recommended for fans of historical mysteries.

    *many thanks to Netgalley for a copy of the book for review.

  • LJ

    First Sentence: For a little more than an hour on the May morning in 1850, the only sound in the flat in St. James’ Square was the rustling of newspapers, punctuated occasionally by the crisp shear of a pair of sharpened scissors through newsprint.

    Twenty-three-year-old Charles Lenox is trying, with the assistance of his valet Graham, to establish himself as a detective, but is having little success until an anonymous writer’s letter appears in the newspaper. The author claims to have committed t

    First Sentence: For a little more than an hour on the May morning in 1850, the only sound in the flat in St. James’ Square was the rustling of newspapers, punctuated occasionally by the crisp shear of a pair of sharpened scissors through newsprint.

    Twenty-three-year-old Charles Lenox is trying, with the assistance of his valet Graham, to establish himself as a detective, but is having little success until an anonymous writer’s letter appears in the newspaper. The author claims to have committed the perfect murder, and that he will kill again. After insinuating himself into the Yard’s investigation, and with locating a second victim, the killer threatens directly threatens Lenox and those he holds dear.

    Establishing a sense of time from the start moves one from being a reader to feeling part of the story—“There were two men at the highly polished breakfast table by the window… Both were too intent upon their work to glance out…at the panoramic view of the soft spring day; the shy sunlight; the irregular outlines of the two nearby parks, lying serene within the smoke and stone of the city; the new leaves upon the trees, making their innocent green way into life, on branches still so skinny that they quivered like the legs of foal.” The introduction of Lenox and Graham defines their relationship and expands on the feeling of being a participant. One is also introduced to Elizabeth, Lenox’ friend, and to Finch’s wonderful voice and wry humor.

    It is nice getting to know the young Lenox and his family. The banter with his mother and housekeeper allow for lightness against the darkness of the plot. It is also nice to see how he developed as a detective.

    The information on the distinction of the classes is worked in very cleverly through a tactful conversation with Graham—“We were smacked on the hand if we wrote crookedly, at Harrow, with the chalk. In its chalk-holder, a great long wooden rod.” “Sir?” Lenox elaborated. “Well, it’s only at the free schools that one is taught to write line upon line.” Learning how the name of Scotland Yard came to be is an interesting bit of history. Still, one has to be amused at Lenox’ irritation at the ungrammatical headline—“Nevertheless, the headline had managed an error in its scant seven words. On the Thames River – doubtful, Lenox thought, that anyone had been murdered on the Thames River.”

    The case itself is intriguing, particularly with the second victim. There is an interesting twist related to the killer and the victims. The climax is exciting and very clever.

    “The Woman in the Water” was a delightful look into how it all began. Finch played fair with the reader, but the clues were subtle and easy to miss, particularly with the emotional aspect of the story demanding our attention.

    THE WOMAN IN THE WATER (Hist Mys-Charles Lenox-London-1850) - VG

    Finch, Charles – Series Prequel

    Minotaur Books – Feb 2018

  • Beata

    A light summer read for fans of Charles Lenox and a Victorian mystery. Lenox is in his early twenties and has just started his amateur career as a detective. Liked both the characters & the language.

  • megs_bookrack

    My final rating is 3.5-stars for this book. The Woman in the Water is a prequel to the Charles Lenox Mysteries series, of which there are currently 10 books. I have read the first book in the series, A Beautiful Blue Death, and enjoyed it quite a bit. When I saw that a prequel was coming out, I figured I would read it before the rest of the series. This was a good book but I did not enjoy it as much as ABBD. For me, the investigative matters were secondary to the rest of the character developmen

    My final rating is 3.5-stars for this book. The Woman in the Water is a prequel to the Charles Lenox Mysteries series, of which there are currently 10 books. I have read the first book in the series, A Beautiful Blue Death, and enjoyed it quite a bit. When I saw that a prequel was coming out, I figured I would read it before the rest of the series. This was a good book but I did not enjoy it as much as ABBD. For me, the investigative matters were secondary to the rest of the character development and I really think that the murder investigation should have been front and center. I did feel the second half of the book was a lot stronger than the first half and the ending was satisfying.

    Prequels to me are either necessary or not necessary. I don't really feel this one is necessary in order to enjoy the rest of the series. I didn't pull too much new information about our protagonist, Charles Lenox, from this that I couldn't have gleaned from the books in the main series. One aspect of this that I did enjoy a lot however was the relationship between Charles and his right-hand man, Graham. I feel that Graham's contribution to Lenox's work and life was really highlighted here and that was nice to see. I also enjoyed the exploration of Charles relationship with his father -some of those details were truly beautiful to read.

    Overall, this is a good book, I do enjoy a Victorian mystery, especially with a gentleman detective. However, in my opinion the story could have been stronger if it stuck more to the traditional 'whodunnit' format throughout. I will definitely continue reading the books in the Charles Lenox series! Thank you so much to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for providing me with the opportunity to read this book and share my opinions!

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