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The sitting room looked as familiar as the back of his hand, and immediately Lenox took a liking to the young man who inhabited it. He saw several small artifacts of the missing student’s life---a frayed piece of string about two feet long of the sort you might bind a package with, half of a pulpy fried tomato, which was too far from the breakfast table to have been droppe The sitting room looked as familiar as the back of his hand, and immediately Lenox took a liking to the young man who inhabited it. He saw several small artifacts of the missing student’s life---a frayed piece of string about two feet long of the sort you might bind a package with, half of a pulpy fried tomato, which was too far from the breakfast table to have been dropped, a fountain pen, and lastly, a card which said on the front The September Society. . . . In the small hours of the morning one fall day in 1866, a frantic widow visits detective Charles Lenox. Lady Annabelle’s problem is simple: her beloved son, George, has vanished from his room at Oxford. When Lenox visits his alma mater to investigate, he discovers a series of bizarre clues, including a murdered cat and a card cryptically referring to the September Society. Then, just as Lenox realizes that the case may be deeper than it appears, a student dies, the victim of foul play. What could the September Society have to do with it? What specter, returned from the past, is haunting gentle Oxford? Lenox, with the support of his devoted friends in London’s upper crust, must race to discover the truth before it comes searching for him, and dangerously close to home.


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The sitting room looked as familiar as the back of his hand, and immediately Lenox took a liking to the young man who inhabited it. He saw several small artifacts of the missing student’s life---a frayed piece of string about two feet long of the sort you might bind a package with, half of a pulpy fried tomato, which was too far from the breakfast table to have been droppe The sitting room looked as familiar as the back of his hand, and immediately Lenox took a liking to the young man who inhabited it. He saw several small artifacts of the missing student’s life---a frayed piece of string about two feet long of the sort you might bind a package with, half of a pulpy fried tomato, which was too far from the breakfast table to have been dropped, a fountain pen, and lastly, a card which said on the front The September Society. . . . In the small hours of the morning one fall day in 1866, a frantic widow visits detective Charles Lenox. Lady Annabelle’s problem is simple: her beloved son, George, has vanished from his room at Oxford. When Lenox visits his alma mater to investigate, he discovers a series of bizarre clues, including a murdered cat and a card cryptically referring to the September Society. Then, just as Lenox realizes that the case may be deeper than it appears, a student dies, the victim of foul play. What could the September Society have to do with it? What specter, returned from the past, is haunting gentle Oxford? Lenox, with the support of his devoted friends in London’s upper crust, must race to discover the truth before it comes searching for him, and dangerously close to home.

30 review for The September Society

  1. 5 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    3.5 The first book didn't quite work for me. After reading this one, though, I am certain it was my fault. A case of wrong timing. I did recognize that at the time too, so there's that. It happens. I may revisit it some time in the future. The September Society mystery part is very good. It has its twists and turns, strange events and mysterious and bloody beginning. This is not a spoiler since what starts it all is in the prologue itself. The beginning of Lenox's case is in the distant past, in I 3.5 The first book didn't quite work for me. After reading this one, though, I am certain it was my fault. A case of wrong timing. I did recognize that at the time too, so there's that. It happens. I may revisit it some time in the future. The September Society mystery part is very good. It has its twists and turns, strange events and mysterious and bloody beginning. This is not a spoiler since what starts it all is in the prologue itself. The beginning of Lenox's case is in the distant past, in India. The best part is that even though you might think you understand what is going on and even solve parts of the mystery yourself, the resolution probably won't be what you expected. However, Charles Lenox is not in his element here. He is distracted. He has realized he loves his friend Lady Jane and, every now and then the story is interrupted with his thoughts on marriage, whether she will marry him, who is the man who is visiting her, about his life in general and so on. It was so frustrating seeing all those interrupted opportunities to ask her to marry him. I liked the story. Even with the distractions, it's pretty good. The September Society also introduces another aristocrat who wants to be a detective. I wouldn't mind reading a Lord John Dallington series at all. I hope he will appear in future books too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This was probably 3 stars, but I have to raise it one star for one specific reason. This book felt comforting to me and I couldn't quite figure out why until I was half way in. My high school years were a little turbulent. I found some Sherlock Holmes books back then that I read and re-read during those years. For some reason, this book had that same effect on me. This was a little nostalgic for me. Now, this is not Sherlock Holmes but the clue finding and collecting was reminiscent of that. I a This was probably 3 stars, but I have to raise it one star for one specific reason. This book felt comforting to me and I couldn't quite figure out why until I was half way in. My high school years were a little turbulent. I found some Sherlock Holmes books back then that I read and re-read during those years. For some reason, this book had that same effect on me. This was a little nostalgic for me. Now, this is not Sherlock Holmes but the clue finding and collecting was reminiscent of that. I actually liked that. I liked the MC, even though he was kind of needy. Usually I don't like that trait, but it seem to work for him. So I can't fault him for that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    I liked this book a lot more than the first, A Beautiful Blue Death, but still couldn't give it more than 3 stars. I like the main character, Charles Lenox, and I like the plots. However, Finch's tendency to beat certain points to death makes it a little hard to get through sometimes: in the first book, it was the stupid boots, and in the second, it was Lenox's love for Oxford, as well as his preoccupation with another matter that distracted him from the case. If he can learn to present these id I liked this book a lot more than the first, A Beautiful Blue Death, but still couldn't give it more than 3 stars. I like the main character, Charles Lenox, and I like the plots. However, Finch's tendency to beat certain points to death makes it a little hard to get through sometimes: in the first book, it was the stupid boots, and in the second, it was Lenox's love for Oxford, as well as his preoccupation with another matter that distracted him from the case. If he can learn to present these ideas a little more smoothly instead of constantly hitting me upside the head with them, I may eventually give him 4 stars....

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    The second book in this Victorian mystery series. Gentleman detective Charles Lenox is asked by Lady Annabelle to find her son George, who has gone missing from his room at Oxford. While the mystery was interesting, I really enjoyed reading about Charles Lenox, his friends, and the day to day doings of Victorian British society. The author is very good at descriptions, making the reader feel like they are right there with the characters. The style and pace of the story also remind me of fiction The second book in this Victorian mystery series. Gentleman detective Charles Lenox is asked by Lady Annabelle to find her son George, who has gone missing from his room at Oxford. While the mystery was interesting, I really enjoyed reading about Charles Lenox, his friends, and the day to day doings of Victorian British society. The author is very good at descriptions, making the reader feel like they are right there with the characters. The style and pace of the story also remind me of fiction written during the Victorian era, more influenced by Anthony Trollope than Wilkie Collins. An enjoyable read, if you're in the right mood.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate Baxter

    I do so love historical fiction and when you add a mystery, I am a relatively contented reader. This second installment in the Charles Lenox mystery series is well written and each of the characters is well developed. The setting is Victorian England, 1866 London and Oxford. What begins as a search for a missing person soon becomes a much greater tragedy with roots going back 19 years. The tension is sustained throughout the story and comes to a satisfying conclusion. I have to admit that I am a I do so love historical fiction and when you add a mystery, I am a relatively contented reader. This second installment in the Charles Lenox mystery series is well written and each of the characters is well developed. The setting is Victorian England, 1866 London and Oxford. What begins as a search for a missing person soon becomes a much greater tragedy with roots going back 19 years. The tension is sustained throughout the story and comes to a satisfying conclusion. I have to admit that I am a bit late to reading this series. Having read the three prequels initially, I am now starting the series from its beginning installments and am very much enjoying it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    I have time this day to write a review AND the writing bug has seen fit to bite me. So, lovlies, let's look at The September Society by the incredibly talented Charles Finch (Yale and Oxford, people. He got the education that still haunts the misty corners of my dreams). Without further ado, I present my much delayed review of The September Society. This novel is the sequel to the much beloved and praised A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries). That novel must be read first. Really, rea I have time this day to write a review AND the writing bug has seen fit to bite me. So, lovlies, let's look at The September Society by the incredibly talented Charles Finch (Yale and Oxford, people. He got the education that still haunts the misty corners of my dreams). Without further ado, I present my much delayed review of The September Society. This novel is the sequel to the much beloved and praised A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries). That novel must be read first. Really, reading a mystery series out of order is a no-no. It was nominated for an Agatha Award, so you know it's worth your time if you're into the mystery genre like I am. This novel, like its predecessor, is about gentleman detective Charles Lenox in Victorian England (so, naturally I'm all over this stuff). Here's a blurb from Goodreads: "In the small hours of the morning one fall day in 1866, a frantic widow visits detective Charles Lenox. Lady Annabelle's problem is simple: her beloved son, George, has vanished from his room at Oxford. When Lenox visits his alma mater to investigate, he discovers a series of bizarre clues, including a murdered cat and a card cryptically referring to the September Society." "Then, just as Lenox realizes that the case may be deeper than it appears, a student dies, the victim of foul play." What could the September Society have to do with it? What specter, returned from the past, is haunting gentle Oxford? Lenox, with the support of Lady Jane and his other devoted friends in London's upper crust, must race to discover the truth before it comes searching for him, and dangerously close to home." I found the novel very entertaining. Charles Lenox is like the functional Sherlock Holmes. However, I can't lie and say that it was fast-paced. It wasn't. It was dreadfully slow in the beginning. So. Slow. I was getting a bit antsy because I love Charles Lennox, really I do. He's very brilliant. And I love the characters. But they were stuck a plot that ran like a slow molasses. And then Dallington comes along and all is fine. JUST HOLD ON FOR DALLINGTON!!!! But really, it is very well written and very enlightening. I liked his first one better, to be honest, but I still really enjoyed this one. I got a nice education on Parliament which is very helpful, I must say. The setting takes place in Oxford and London--the descriptions of both are fantastic. I give it 3 and a half out of 5.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    This book barely deserves two stars. I'm being generous because I don't think any of the individual criticisms I'm about to dish out are particularly damning on their own, but together... Problems: 1. The plot is unforgivably weak for a mystery, both in the way that it structurally unfolds and in its pacing. As I was reading, I felt a strange sense of deja vu until I suddenly put my finger on it: this book reads like a Victorian role-playing game, where all the characters wander around with very l This book barely deserves two stars. I'm being generous because I don't think any of the individual criticisms I'm about to dish out are particularly damning on their own, but together... Problems: 1. The plot is unforgivably weak for a mystery, both in the way that it structurally unfolds and in its pacing. As I was reading, I felt a strange sense of deja vu until I suddenly put my finger on it: this book reads like a Victorian role-playing game, where all the characters wander around with very little direction, and then whenever something does happen they consistently roll very low numbers for initiative. If you have ever played D&D or some equivalent, you will know what I am talking about. If not, feel lucky. 2. The reader is expected to feel a deep fascination for every minor decision made by our distinguished protagonist, to the extent that we are frequently treated to sentences like this one: "At the Athenaeum Club he had turkey on the joint with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes--heavy but sustaining in the weather, which continued cold and wet--and read the Cambridge Journal of Roman History." I suspect this entire sentence was an excuse to use the phrase "which continued cold and wet" in order to demonstrate the author's facility with authentic period language (which I could complain about, as I find this facility only intermittently demonstrated, but I'll limit my whining.) 3. The characters are both unmemorable and unlikable. Another reviewer said compared this to "Sherlock Holmes" style mysteries, but I strongly disagree. Holmes jumps off the page as if a real and utterly fascinating person--he is full of energy, flaws, and personal style. The fact that this detective is Victorian gentlemen with a doctor friend who helps him solve crimes does NOT make this anything like a Sherlock Holmes mystery. In fact, the author could have vastly improved the book by shortening it to the length of a typical Sherlock Holmes short story and telling the story from outside the head of the protagonist, so that we aren't given a play-by-play of the detective's fruitless musings and inability to make any progress on the case despite numerous clues. I did enjoy the loving descriptions of Oxford. Maybe that's what bumped this review up to two stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides

    All right. I saw the "twist" coming right at the beginning, but maybe that's just because I'm beginning to be genre savvy with mysteries. (It took so long to actually arrive that I had persuaded myself I was wrong.) Still some issues with anachronistic language (I think; most egregious example: it surely wasn't current idiom to say that "real life" kept you from going other things?) and telling rather than showing. And awkward exposition. Oh, and needless cameos by famous dead guys. This guy shoul All right. I saw the "twist" coming right at the beginning, but maybe that's just because I'm beginning to be genre savvy with mysteries. (It took so long to actually arrive that I had persuaded myself I was wrong.) Still some issues with anachronistic language (I think; most egregious example: it surely wasn't current idiom to say that "real life" kept you from going other things?) and telling rather than showing. And awkward exposition. Oh, and needless cameos by famous dead guys. This guy should take lessons from Caroline Stevermer. It would help. >.> Oh! And speaking of being genre savvy, this book suffers by comparison to Dorothy Sayers's Peter Wimsey in general, and Gaudy Night in particular. It's probably fair to ask why I keep reading these. I suppose the answer is, I'm a sucker for historicals, and also, they are somewhat entertaining if not perfect.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    The September Society is one of those books that has so much potential, but doesn't quite seem to live up to it. The setting is well-portrayed, Victorian England with a strong focus on Oxford. The characters are fleshed-out fairly well, but unfortunately Lenox is a bit lacking in likability. Others add some color and make scenes more bearable, but mostly the book is Lenox with his thoughts, which can be tedious. I'll also admit to not appreciating the 'wrapped in a neat bow' ending that we're lef The September Society is one of those books that has so much potential, but doesn't quite seem to live up to it. The setting is well-portrayed, Victorian England with a strong focus on Oxford. The characters are fleshed-out fairly well, but unfortunately Lenox is a bit lacking in likability. Others add some color and make scenes more bearable, but mostly the book is Lenox with his thoughts, which can be tedious. I'll also admit to not appreciating the 'wrapped in a neat bow' ending that we're left with, where every question is answered perfectly (and rather outlandishly in several cases) and everything is settled perfectly for the main characters as well. Very "happily ever after." Perhaps this is common in mysteries, but I prefer a bit more ambiguity in my endings.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ☕Laura

    I am really enjoying this series, the second book even more than the first! I am excited to have so many still ahead of me! Ratings: Writing 4 Story line 4 Characters 4.5 Impact 4.5 Overall rating 4.25

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emma Rose Ribbons

    I had to look up where Charles Finch was as a student because this book has one of the warmest, most realistic accounts of what it feels like to study at Oxford that I've ever read. Sure enough, the author read English at Oxford (I'm guessing Balliol or Merton) and he currently resides in the city. I'll briefly mention that reading about a place you've lived and studied in is like coming home and nothing beats this feeling of comfort and move on to the plot and characters. I was first of all sur I had to look up where Charles Finch was as a student because this book has one of the warmest, most realistic accounts of what it feels like to study at Oxford that I've ever read. Sure enough, the author read English at Oxford (I'm guessing Balliol or Merton) and he currently resides in the city. I'll briefly mention that reading about a place you've lived and studied in is like coming home and nothing beats this feeling of comfort and move on to the plot and characters. I was first of all surprised that Charles decided very early on in the novel to propose to Lady Jane. While the first book made it clear those two loved each other, I wouldn't have said they were in love, and it's a little surprising to have their relationship change so quickly - after all, we are told repeatedly in the first book that their devoted friendship, however peculiar, is accepted as such by themselves and society at large. I liked that unconventional bond and didn't warm up to the idea of marriage straight away. Luckily, there are many books left ahead to convince me that it was a necessary turn of events. The end of the book is very lovely for Charles seeing as he has new career prospects, which I'm very curious to see enfold (how will that affect his detective work?). The characters are very well-drawn and frankly charming (I want to see more of Graham) and Charles' musings are smart and heartfelt, which makes him one of the most endearing characters I've met. The plot is uneven, I find - I guessed the motive straight away and it's frustrating to have to wait for the resolution to be told that one was right all along. On the other hand, I would never have guessed the various twists and turns the story took and the myriad vivid characters and clever clues that were scattered were deeply engaging and kept me riveted. This is a really good installment in the series and I felt a little sad to find out that the main detective has resolved many a murder since the first book which the author simply alludes to but doesn't develop. It felt very Sherlockian in this way and I can only hope that a book of stories is in the works for at least some of those cases. This is a really good series I plan to see through until the end (not too soon, pretty please, I'm enjoying it too much!)

  12. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    THE SEPTEMBER SOCIETY (Ama Sleuth/Trad Mys-Charles Lenox-England-Victorian) – G+ Finch, Charles – 2nd in series St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780312359782 First sentence: The first murders were committed nineteen years before the second, on a dry and unremarkable day along the Sutlej Frontier in Punjab. Charles Lenox returns to his alma mater when the wealthy mother of an Oxford student appeals to Lenox to find her missing son, George Payson is missing. Lenox finds one of George THE SEPTEMBER SOCIETY (Ama Sleuth/Trad Mys-Charles Lenox-England-Victorian) – G+ Finch, Charles – 2nd in series St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780312359782 First sentence: The first murders were committed nineteen years before the second, on a dry and unremarkable day along the Sutlej Frontier in Punjab. Charles Lenox returns to his alma mater when the wealthy mother of an Oxford student appeals to Lenox to find her missing son, George Payson is missing. Lenox finds one of George’s best friends is also missing. The common clue is a card on which is the name “The September Society.” The biggest issue I had this with book was due to the apparent lack of a good editor. There was a lot of repetition. For me, it was distracting. On the plus side is a cast of wonderful, realistic characters; Lenox, his manservant and friend Goodman in particular. I like that Lenox is taking on Dallington, the third, somewhat wastrel, son of a nobleman, as an apprentice and wonder whether this portends a shift in the series. I learned a lot reading this book. There is a wonderful blend of creating a sense of the story’s time and place-- the book also made me hungry as Finch would describe the menu of most of the meals--with providing historical information as well. I didn’t know John Wesley and his followers were named “Methodists,” originally a pejorative term, at Lincoln College, Oxford because of their dull, methodical ways as viewed by others. The author also includes information on the beginning of ballistic analysis. I enjoy Finch’s style for interjecting brief parenthetical information or explanations on things the reader may have noted or wondered about; i.e., “On the train once more that evening (the trips were becoming tedious)…” The climax was a bit abrupt, but the ending had a very good twist. Overall, I certainly enjoyed the book and shall certainly read more by Finch.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Glad I gave this series another chance! Enjoyed this second entry and will continue on through the series. Lennox and friends appear to grow on you...😊 An interesting mystery and being led to more of an understanding of the central characters was key for me here.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Rating: 3.25* of five Jesus God, Charles, MAN UP AND ASK HER TO MARRY YOU! I got very, very, very tired of his pussfied wishywashying about whether or not to ask this perfectly lovely long-term widow, who **moved next door to him** after her husband died, if she would consent to marry him. Dude...she's been WAITING for you to do it for like ten years!! She's never even looked at another man! HELLO?!? Yeeesh. So he does, after yet another book's-worth of annoying shillyshallying, and she says yes (g Rating: 3.25* of five Jesus God, Charles, MAN UP AND ASK HER TO MARRY YOU! I got very, very, very tired of his pussfied wishywashying about whether or not to ask this perfectly lovely long-term widow, who **moved next door to him** after her husband died, if she would consent to marry him. Dude...she's been WAITING for you to do it for like ten years!! She's never even looked at another man! HELLO?!? Yeeesh. So he does, after yet another book's-worth of annoying shillyshallying, and she says yes (gasp), and I lost all interest in the series. I just do not care a whit about this charming, adorable, suffocatingly cozy world any more. Oh...this mystery is set largely in Oxford, which is always lovely, and the London bits that don't involve the romantic idiocy were set in a nasty club of murdering swine, the September Society, who were covering up their illicit possession of a huge hoard of gems that they'd killed this one kid's father to protect the secret of its existence. Only they didn't, see, because he fooled 'em good! He hid for 20 years to protect his abused wife and newborn son! Oh God. Who the hell cares. I read it, I swear, from cover-to-cover, and I wondered as I read WHY I felt I needed to finish it. Charles Finch has some voodoo or another that made me want to finish it up. I did. Poke me with a fork, I'm done now. For good. If you need a cozy fix, and you're more wimp-tolerant than I am, go on and read it. Otherwise, Xanax is a better tranq and peyote takes you on a better trip.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Ah, is there anything more sad than a lovelorn English aristocrat?? It's a good thing he had a missing Oxford student to look for! This series is as delightful as Lord Peter, but with all the meat of an Inspector Morse. (These poor benighted policemen. What would they do without aristocrats to solve their crimes among their betters?) Also, without footmen, doormen, and porters, how would they solve the crimes? Oh, well, on to find the next one. Ah, is there anything more sad than a lovelorn English aristocrat?? It's a good thing he had a missing Oxford student to look for! This series is as delightful as Lord Peter, but with all the meat of an Inspector Morse. (These poor benighted policemen. What would they do without aristocrats to solve their crimes among their betters?) Also, without footmen, doormen, and porters, how would they solve the crimes? Oh, well, on to find the next one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    Oooooooooooooooooo!!!! Didn't see THAT coming!!! Ooooooooooooooo!!! This was such a good read/listen. I totally thought I knew what was going on and I was totally and completely wrong. W R O N G!!! Hugely. I almost danced around my room. I love being wrong in a murder mystery. Charles Finch, you hit a huge home run with this one. I so just want to dive into the next one!!! Oooooooooooooooooo!!!! Didn't see THAT coming!!! Ooooooooooooooo!!! This was such a good read/listen. I totally thought I knew what was going on and I was totally and completely wrong. W R O N G!!! Hugely. I almost danced around my room. I love being wrong in a murder mystery. Charles Finch, you hit a huge home run with this one. I so just want to dive into the next one!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matt Schiariti

    I'm very much enjoying the Charles Lennox series becoming a fan as soon as I got engrossed in a Beautiful Blue death. September features more twists and turns than the previous effort. I found the book to be a little bit on the slow side at the beginning which is why I didn't rate it higher. Two murders nearly 20 years apart. The first in India among a group of dispatched English military officers, the second, 20 years later in Oxford University. What ties them together? A mysterious organization I'm very much enjoying the Charles Lennox series becoming a fan as soon as I got engrossed in a Beautiful Blue death. September features more twists and turns than the previous effort. I found the book to be a little bit on the slow side at the beginning which is why I didn't rate it higher. Two murders nearly 20 years apart. The first in India among a group of dispatched English military officers, the second, 20 years later in Oxford University. What ties them together? A mysterious organization called the September Society. That's the premise of the September Society. Of course we have the return of Charles Lennox who gets involved in the case when the mother of the recently murdered Oxford student seeks him out. A series of strange clues was left in the victim's apartment but who left them and what do they mean? The mystery itself is pretty engrossing and there are PLENTY of twists and turns and secret identities and turncoats that are revealed in the latter part of the book which makes for a pretty fast paced and exciting conclusion. The only thing that kept the book from being a full five stars was the investigation during Lennox's trip to Oxford. This happens during the beginning third of the book, give or take and I found it to move along rather slowly. A lot of reliving old memories of his University days. That's all fine and good and it helps to further flesh out and humanize an already interesting and endearing character, but I think too much time was spent on it. Other than that it's a good follow up to Beautiful with some interesting character developments OUTSIDE of the mystery itself. With the return of many familiar faces (Lady Jane, Graham, Edmund) and the addition of a few new and interesting characters, a far reaching and clever mystery with plenty of twists and turns, September is a very good addition to what will hopefully be a long running series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ginia

    The definition of a cozy mystery. There must a dead body. There must be a murderer of said dead body. Also, you must have a smart, determined amateur detective with flaws. There must be clues and lots of questions that create suspense. Mix in a great setting that you want to go back to in a time machine and there you have The September Society by Charles Finch. An admirable page turner. I was guessing all the way to the end, but I wish that Graham the trustworthy valet wasn't left hanging around at The definition of a cozy mystery. There must a dead body. There must be a murderer of said dead body. Also, you must have a smart, determined amateur detective with flaws. There must be clues and lots of questions that create suspense. Mix in a great setting that you want to go back to in a time machine and there you have The September Society by Charles Finch. An admirable page turner. I was guessing all the way to the end, but I wish that Graham the trustworthy valet wasn't left hanging around at Oxford. He needed more to do... And, I wish that Lady Jane had more to do as well. Perhaps in the next book. Wonderful series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Charles Lenox investigates the disappearance and murder of an Oxford student where mysterious clues point to a small group of military officers stationed in India who call themselves "The September Society." Lenox reminisces about his own time spent at Oxford. His interest in Lady Jane Gray provides a secondary plot. The mystery seems very similar in plot to others I've read. I loved James Langton's narration though! Charles Lenox investigates the disappearance and murder of an Oxford student where mysterious clues point to a small group of military officers stationed in India who call themselves "The September Society." Lenox reminisces about his own time spent at Oxford. His interest in Lady Jane Gray provides a secondary plot. The mystery seems very similar in plot to others I've read. I loved James Langton's narration though!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    This is the second book with Charles Lennox as the detective. I love historical mystery fiction and I like the author's detective and all the supporting characters of family, friends, and misfits that he has added. The descriptive information of the time and place appeared very accurate to me. The plots are twisted enough to make the solution hidden until the end. I recommend this author and this series wholeheartedly for someone who likes an English cozy read. This is the second book with Charles Lennox as the detective. I love historical mystery fiction and I like the author's detective and all the supporting characters of family, friends, and misfits that he has added. The descriptive information of the time and place appeared very accurate to me. The plots are twisted enough to make the solution hidden until the end. I recommend this author and this series wholeheartedly for someone who likes an English cozy read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andree

    This mystery set in Oxford was interesting enough. I will say that the sense of place wasn't quite as well done as say, Dorothy L. Sayers' Oxford, but very little is. The mystery itself was creditable enough, right up until the ending. (view spoiler)[Neither son nor long lost father is dead! Cue the tearful reunion! And the less said about the poor boy who actually did die the better; he was less interesting, and clearly essentially canon fodder from the get go. (hide spoiler)] Also, apparently This mystery set in Oxford was interesting enough. I will say that the sense of place wasn't quite as well done as say, Dorothy L. Sayers' Oxford, but very little is. The mystery itself was creditable enough, right up until the ending. (view spoiler)[Neither son nor long lost father is dead! Cue the tearful reunion! And the less said about the poor boy who actually did die the better; he was less interesting, and clearly essentially canon fodder from the get go. (hide spoiler)] Also, apparently Lenox is getting a seat in Parliament (or running for one anyway), his dream... It was just a lot. I was a bit entertained by how the romance is handled in this. In the first chapter we're essentially told that Lenox seems to have suddenly realized he's in love with his best friend and next door neighbour and intends to propose. The reason this is hilarious to me is that I got to the end of the first one and thought, "Well, they're basically married already... they should just get married." Thing is, authors usually draw that out a bit. In this case it really feels like the author reread his first book and thought, "Oh, yeah, they should just be married." And then had Lenox come to that conclusion in the opening chapter. It made me laugh, but it was also kind of refreshing in a way. Which is one of the things I like about this series, it's kind of refreshing in its simplicity. It's just fairly nice. Although, it may start veering towards sentimentality at some point. Also, the author is clearly enamoured of gentlemen's clubs.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brenda H

    The September Society is the 2nd book in the Charles Lenox Mysteries series by Charles Finch. Charles Lenox, a Victorian gentleman and avid would-be traveler, is known in his circles for his detective skills and is often called on by friends to help solve mysteries. It is because of this reputation that Lady Annabelle requests Lenox’s assistance when her beloved son, George, goes missing from his rooms at Oxford. Lenox travels to Oxford, his alma mater, and finds a strange scene upon entering Geo The September Society is the 2nd book in the Charles Lenox Mysteries series by Charles Finch. Charles Lenox, a Victorian gentleman and avid would-be traveler, is known in his circles for his detective skills and is often called on by friends to help solve mysteries. It is because of this reputation that Lady Annabelle requests Lenox’s assistance when her beloved son, George, goes missing from his rooms at Oxford. Lenox travels to Oxford, his alma mater, and finds a strange scene upon entering George’s rooms. In addition to a dead cat impaled to the floor with a letter opener, there are other odd bits and pieces strewn about the floor – thread, a tomato, a fountain pen and a card with the name of a club – “The September Society”. Not long after Lenox begins his investigation, the body of a student is found. Lenox, along with his friends from London – including Thomas, Edmund, Graham and a potential apprentice, must unravel the meaning of these bizarre clues and find out what the September Society’s involvement may be before another student dies. I listened to this book on audio and the narrator, James Langton, did a great job with the various characters. While the story was interesting and the personalities of the various characters was entertaining (especially Thomas and Graham), this 2nd book was much slower and, I have to say it, boring. compared to the first. There were also a couple of reveals that seemed to come out of nowhere as there wasn’t adequate foreshadowing or build-up. This is a series that I will continue as it is entertaining and keeps the reader guessing…I’m going to assume this was just the “sophomore slump”. Rating: 3 stars

  23. 4 out of 5

    Olivermagnus

    This is the second book in the Charles Lenox series by Charles Finch. Lenox is an English aristocrat whose fortune enables him to work as an amateur detective without payment or taking credit away from Scotland Yard. When he is asked by a distressed woman to locate her missing son, a student at his alma mater Oxford, he agrees to make inquiries. When he visits George's room he finds some odd clues, including a dead cat and notes that make no sense. There is also card from some group called the S This is the second book in the Charles Lenox series by Charles Finch. Lenox is an English aristocrat whose fortune enables him to work as an amateur detective without payment or taking credit away from Scotland Yard. When he is asked by a distressed woman to locate her missing son, a student at his alma mater Oxford, he agrees to make inquiries. When he visits George's room he finds some odd clues, including a dead cat and notes that make no sense. There is also card from some group called the September Society. Further investigation reveals this society is an elite group of retired military men who once served in the Punjab region of India. I became much more comfortable with Charles in this book and the writing just seems to flow much better. I found the mystery to be more complex and it kept me engrossed with plenty of twists and turns. I enjoyed his nervousness as he puts together plans to ask his long time friend and next door neighbor, Lady Jane Grey, to marry him. If you are looking for a deep, dark mystery set in Victorian times this won't be the novel for you. This is more of a cozy style mystery where the poverty and dirtiness of that era is mostly missing. I completely love some of the characters that appear to be recurring now: his butler, Graham, and Dr. McConnell and his wife, ToTo. There is also a new and interesting character, Dallilngton, now working as Charles' apprentice. I plan to continue this series. I was so-so with the first one, A Beautiful Blue Death, but now I want to find out what Charles' future holds for him so I'll pick up The Fleet Street Murders next.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    This is the second in the Charles Lenox series, and my personal favorite. It's set largely in Oxford, a city I have a great fondness for, and which feels almost like its own character. The Charles Lenox series is one, I think, fans of mystery and historical fiction will truly enjoy because it blends both genres together so elegantly, and never feels as though it is just a dry block of facts upon facts, as some historical fiction sadly does. The story centers around the disappearance of a young ma This is the second in the Charles Lenox series, and my personal favorite. It's set largely in Oxford, a city I have a great fondness for, and which feels almost like its own character. The Charles Lenox series is one, I think, fans of mystery and historical fiction will truly enjoy because it blends both genres together so elegantly, and never feels as though it is just a dry block of facts upon facts, as some historical fiction sadly does. The story centers around the disappearance of a young man, George, from his rooms at Oxford and Lenox is called on to investigate. An Oxford graduate himself, Lenox returns to the city to discover the presence of an eerie secret club, the September Society. I won't give away any more, but it's a very cleverly plotted story and well worth reading. Further, Lenox is just a lovely character; kind, intelligent, and competent. He is one of those characters I wish was real so I could meet him:) Dallington, his new assistant is another solid addition to the series. he provides a bit of humor and gives Lenox someone new to work with and bounce ideas off of. All in all, a very enjoyable addition to an accomplished series. Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charla Wilson

    This is the second book in the series by Charles Finch and the second book that I have read by him. I must admit that I loved this book more than I did the first one. I think the author became much more comfortable with the character's personality in this book and the writing just seems to flow much better. I promise that this story will keep you guessing until the very end. Every time I just knew that I had it figured out, I would discover that I was wrong! If you grew to love Lenox, Lady Jane, This is the second book in the series by Charles Finch and the second book that I have read by him. I must admit that I loved this book more than I did the first one. I think the author became much more comfortable with the character's personality in this book and the writing just seems to flow much better. I promise that this story will keep you guessing until the very end. Every time I just knew that I had it figured out, I would discover that I was wrong! If you grew to love Lenox, Lady Jane, and Graham in the first book, you will love them even more in this one, plus there is a new character that I really loved and his name is Dallington. I hope to see more of Dallington in the future stories. If you love British mysteries set in the Victorian Era, you will love this story!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    A pleasant diversion. Read via audiobook so it kept me entertained while doing mindless tasks. I hadn't loved the first book in the series and wasn't going to go on with it, but it was available at the library when I needed something to listen to. How's that for a hearty recommendation? A pleasant diversion. Read via audiobook so it kept me entertained while doing mindless tasks. I hadn't loved the first book in the series and wasn't going to go on with it, but it was available at the library when I needed something to listen to. How's that for a hearty recommendation?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Hicks

    Getting better! I so want to like this series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Ally

    No spoilers here, but the ending was almost too happily-ever-after for me. What kind of a cynic have I become? It’s probably a bad time to write a review - after 6 Christmas cookies, 1 donut, a croissant and a cup of refried beans - it’s no wonder I’m curling my lip at good old fashioned English sentiment.

  29. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Well there are certainly some twisted and dangerous paths Charles is following here. As always his rumination S just keep on endearing him to me. I love his memories of being an Oxford man, the places he affectionately remembers. A young man is missing under strange circumstances, and his mother has asked Charles to investigate. Charles continues to wait for the right moment to take his friendship with Lady Jane to another level. That's the biggest mystery! I did not see the ending, in its entire Well there are certainly some twisted and dangerous paths Charles is following here. As always his rumination S just keep on endearing him to me. I love his memories of being an Oxford man, the places he affectionately remembers. A young man is missing under strange circumstances, and his mother has asked Charles to investigate. Charles continues to wait for the right moment to take his friendship with Lady Jane to another level. That's the biggest mystery! I did not see the ending, in its entirety coming. Am so hooked on Charles Lennox!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This is book 2 in the Charles Lenox series, set in 1866. A widow comes to Charles asking him to find her son, an Oxford student, who has disappeared from his rooms. This is a complicated story, with several twists at the end. I enjoyed it and will continue with the series.

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