THE ESCHER TWIST: A Homer Kelly Mystery

Jane Langton, Author . Viking $22.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-670-03067-5

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)

FYI:Langton is the winner of the Bouchercon 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Reviewed on: 12/24/2001
Release date: 02/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-14-200184-4
Hardcover - 228 pages - 978-1-57490-451-2
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-78408-661-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-0674-3
Ebook - 248 pages - 978-1-4532-4760-0
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