The Lena Szarka Mysteries

When you clean people’s houses you learn their dirty secrets.
Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, knows that all too well. Follow her exploits as she solves crimes in this new cosy crime series with a gritty urban edge.




There are some crimes you can’t sweep under the carpet.

IN STRANGERS’ HOUSES introduces Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner with an eye for detection. When her friend Timea disappears, she suspects one of her clients is to blame.The police don’t share her suspicions and it is left to Lena to turn sleuth and find her friend.

Searching through their houses as she scrubs their floors, Lena desperately tries to find out what has happened. But only Cartwright, a police constable new to the job, believes that this will lead to the truth. Together they uncover more of Islington’s seedy underbelly than they bargained for.

‘Lena’s tenacity and common sense illuminate this engaging story’ Daily Mail

‘Beautiful writing, a fine debut’ The Sun

‘Terrific and heartwarming; a charming debut’ Daisy Waugh

warmly-crafted crime debut, perfect for our multicultural age’ Vaseem Khan

‘Poignant, funny and races effortlessly along’ Elodie Harper


ACC cover


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. But 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. With the evidence mounting against Sarika 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.

A deliciously light and amusing souffle of a book, the second in a series that is bound to run and run’ Irish Independent

Witty and warm but with an unsentimental core of steel in its chronicling of London’s guest workers, this looks set to become a highly popular series‘ Morning Star

‘This second in the series crackles along with a fresh sense of fun’ Vaseem Khan

‘This is a witty and engaging story, as warm and satisfying as a bowl of goulash‘ LC Tyler

‘An intriguing mystery, memorable characters and a highly entertaining romp through the London art world’ Jackie Kabler

AMessyAffair_BFINALA MESSY AFFAIR: out now

The only way is murder…

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, is forced to brush up on her detective skills for a third time when her cousin Sarika is plunged into danger.

Sarika and her reality TV star boyfriend Terry both receive threatening notes.  When Terry stops calling, Lena assumes he’s lost interest. Until he turns up. Dead. Lena knows she must act fast to keep her cousin from the same fate.

Scrubbing her way through the grubby world of reality television, online dating and betrayed lovers, Lena finds it harder than she thought to discern what’s real – and what’s just for the cameras.

cwa-logo-member-black (1)