- 35,00 kr
With her sense of “abandon and play,” Langton sends her scholar/sleuth Homer Kelly up the down staircase on a labyrinthine search for a missing art lover (Eudora Welty).
Leonard Sheldrake knows little about Frieda except that he loves her. A Harvard professor and admirer of the bizarre engravings of M. C. Escher, Leonard is visiting a Cambridge exhibition of the artist’s work when he meets Frieda and falls instantly in love. As they trade remarks about the artwork, he learns a few brief things about her. Though young, she is a widow, an orphan, and has a terrible secret in her past. It is only after she vanishes that he realizes he didn’t even learn her last name. Leonard enlists fellow professor Homer Kelly, the amateur sleuth, to help find this beguiling young widow. But as they comb Cambridge for the woman in the green coat, Homer and his friend find themselves slipping into a mysterious labyrinth, whose treacherous dimensions are as impossible to grasp as anything dreamed up by the late, great M. C. Escher himself.
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. FYI:Langton is the winner of the Bouchercon 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award.