I've missed about five novels in this series, so there have been quite a few changes in Charles Lenox's situation, but the author is skillful enough for this novel to stand alone without having read the previous entries. And I truly appreciate the way Lenox's character has developed.
I really liked the first novel in this series (A Beautiful Blue Death), but didn't care for the second one as much (The September Society). Now that I've read Home by Nightfall, I want to catch up on the books I've missed.
In 1876, Lenox and his new detective agency are (along with all of London) captivated by the disappearance of a famous pianist. It appears to be a locked room mystery.
At the same time, however, Lenox is worried about his brother Edmund whose wife has recently died. Worried enough that he believes it is more important to return to his childhood home for a while to spend time with Edmund-- even though his business partners are reluctant for him to be absent. Lenox's love for his brother and his childhood reminiscences illustrate such a change from the first two novels I read. Lenox has become a more interesting character with greater depth--which is why I would like to read the novels I've missed that will detail more of Lenox's growth as a character.
While Lenox is staying with Edmund, a village mystery crops up. Edmund becomes intrigued and accompanies Lenox in his investigation; the only times Edmund surfaces from his grief is when attempting to solve the puzzle.
Back in London, the missing German pianist is still all the news, and Lenox's detective agency becomes involved.
As in previous books, Charles Finch evokes a fine image of the time period, both in the country village and in London. Even his minor characters have details that bring them to life. I'm glad to have rediscovered this series!
Review scheduled for Oct. 21
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books
Historical Mystery. Nov. 10. Print length: 304 pages.