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.
From the witty title on the cover to the unexpected ending, this is a delightfully energetic, crisp book that keeps you thoroughly entertained.
Cleaner Lena is a very likeable, go-ahead kind of heroine. As a settled immigrant, still something of an outsider, she thus casts a sharper, more critical and occasionally merciless eye on her surroundings. She also comes across hints of discrimination, which adds authenticity. She deals tactfully and resourcefully with all and any obstacles she faces.
Lena’s cousin, the person whom Lena delegated to lock up the art gallery, becomes the prime suspect for a valuable painting’s disappearance. The gallery manager, who should have been the one to take responsibility for its security, seems only too relieved to have a scapegoat, especially a ‘foreign’ one. Everyone is quite happy to jump on board with him so Lena has her work cut out to find out the truth.
Despite the seriousness of a few issues touched up by having an expat heroine, there is plenty of humour, wit and quirky cleverness in this novel. The plot is swift-moving and well thought out, and our cast of characters is irresistibly fascinating. The book serves up everything you want from a cosy mystery, and a little more in terms of its fresh approach with this particular heroine.
Really excellent and enjoyable.
Purchase Link – amzn.to/2VWJ3ZD
About the author
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.
Social Media Links –
Please enter the giveaway!
Giveaway to Win a Winsor & Newton pocket sized Watercolour set and a signed copy of A Clean Canvas. UK Only
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.