A Secret Dying: An Arnold Landon Mystery

Roy Lewis, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-312-08887-3
Assembling layer upon layer of details--historical, romantic and criminal--this British author of more than 30 novels brings an insidious cleverness to his latest offering. Historian/sleuth Arnold Landon, last seen in A Wisp of Smoke , ventures to Northumbria for the Department of Museums and Antiquities to investigate several medieval buildings, and there views a painting of Christ strikingly similar to images found on the Shroud of Turin. Landon's DMA predecessor disappeared shortly after examining the buildings; then the missing man's journalist wife and her lover are discovered murdered. Aided by romantic novelist Jane Wilson, the ever-bashful Arnold investigates, sweeping readers along in the fascinating process of dating the painting and unraveling mysteries both past and present. Lewis, who knows his historic architecture and can spot a false ceiling from a fair distance, deftly metes out the lore while keeping his plot primary. Although Landon seems destined to be eternally gormless in the presence of the fair sex, as an investigator he's canny enough to keep us enthralled. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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