An exhibit of the work of the Dutch artist M. C. Escher is being held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to amateur sleuths Homer and Mary Kelly and their friend Leonard Sheldrake. At the exhibit, Leonard, an avid Escher fan, falls instantly in love with a woman in a green coat who is equally enthralled by Escher's brilliance. To Leonard's dismay, she hurriedly leaves the exhibit, hinting to him that if he knew her better, he would not love her. Homer and Mary offer to help a now desperate Leonard find the woman but end up in an Escher-like labyrinth of their own. Enhanced with Escher illustrations throughout, Langton creates a world where every line, curve, and angle lead to murder.
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Jane Langton is the author of fifteen other Homer Kelly mysteries, and a well-known children's author.From Publishers Weekly:
Relying on the illusory art of Dutch printmaker M.C. Escher as a binding device and a source of clues, Langton's 16th offbeat Homer Kelly book follows crystallographer Leonard Sheldrake as he pursues the enigmatic Frieda, who disappears after they meet at an Escher exhibition at a Cambridge, Mass., art gallery. The mystery here is less about the murders that crop up occasionally in this whimsical narrative than about identity. Who is this Frieda, and who is her vindictive cousin Kitty? There's a dead baby in the past, but whose? And who was responsible for its death? Amateur sleuths Homer and wife Mary help Leonard in his search, while Leonard's own personality blurs as he drifts between reality and the twisted world of Escher's art. Langton deftly describes Cambridge and environs, given shading, as it were, by Escher's images, though readers unfamiliar with the region may be puzzled by passing allusions to such local landmarks as the T and the ship Old Ironsides. The characters hold interest throughout, except for Homer himself, whose disposition hasn't improved since his last outing, Murder at Monticello (2001). Here he's reduced to "grumbling," "growling," "glowering" and "gloom." Langton fans will lament the absence of her own charming drawings, but the Escher artwork that decorates the text offsets this loss. The geometrically challenged gazebo on the cover is a real eyecatcher. Those with a taste for lighter detective fare will find this an eerily quirky read for a winter's night. (Feb. 4)Achievement Award.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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