Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour A Clean Canvas by Elizabeth Mundy. It’s a cosy crime mystery with a main character who has to navigate life as an immigrant.
Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised five children on a chicken farm in Indiana. An English Literature graduate from Edinburgh University, Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. A Clean Canvas is the second book in the Lena Szarka mystery series about a Hungarian cleaner who turns detective.
Crime always leaves a stain…
Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner, dusts off her detective skills when a masterpiece is stolen from a gallery she cleans with her cousin Sarika. When Sarika goes missing too, accusations start to fly.
Convinced her cousin is innocent, Lena sweeps her way through the secrets of the London art scene. But with the evidence against Sarika mounting and the police on her trail, Lena needs to track down the missing painting if she is to clear her cousin.
Embroiling herself in the sketchy world of thwarted talents, unpaid debts and elegant fraudsters, Lena finds that there’s more to this gallery than meets the eye.
This is the second book in the Lena Szarka series and can be read as a standalone novel. There are a few references made to the first book, but nothing that disturbs the flow of this read.
Lena isn’t exactly your standard sleuth, in fact she sort of accidentally falls into the role of detective again to clear the name of Sarika. It is also of utmost importance to ensure the survival of her cleaning company. She doesn’t need a bad reputation, especially not the kind of reputation that comes with the disappearance of an expensive piece of art.
It’s a cosy crime mystery with a main character who has to navigate life as an immigrant. A stranger in a country where she is judged for her origins and accent. Given the side-eye when employers misplace valuable items and in general is an undervalued individual. At the same time Lena isn’t someone to be underestimated. She is nothing less than fierce when she is fighting for someone she cares about.
I thought the theft plot was a little on the weak side and not on par with the attention Mundy pays to the characters. Each one of them is far more developed than the whole painting goes missing scenario, then again that’s maybe because I do like a good dead body and was it Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick story. It’s a pleasant uncomplicated read with a feisty main character.
Buy A Clean Canvas (Lena Szarka Mystery #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Constable; pub date 3 Jan. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Little Brown.
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