In Helton’s suspenseful, well-plotted sixth Chris Honeysett mystery (after 2013’s Worthless Remains), the painter and PI reluctantly agrees to take on a temporary job as tutor at the Bath Art Academy after the school’s head, John Birtwhistle, dies of a heart attack at the wheel of his car. Between mentoring students, contacting previous instructors, and arranging an exhibition of works by the school’s past faculty and present students, Honeysett hardly has time to track down the culprit who has vandalized one exhibitor’s studio and sabotaged Birtwhistle’s memorial service with a giant mechanical spider. When another exhibitor is murdered, the police view Honeysett as the leading suspect. Despite a couple of twisty subplots, the pace never falters, and Honeysett’s good-humored, unpretentious narration takes the edge off the violence. The “collection of nutters” associated with the art school come across as credible individuals. Those interested in the contemporary English art scene will have a lot of fun. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/15/2014 Release date: 11/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
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