Witty and warm with an unsentimental core of steel

I’d be rather pleased if someone described me like this, so I was delighted with this review of A CLEAN CANVAS from Mat Coward at the Morning Star!

He goes on to say that the Lena Szarka mysteries ‘looks set to become a highly popular series.’

I hope he’s right.

Here’s the full review:

Elizabeth Mundy’s A CLEAN CANVAS is the second outing for Lena, a Hungarian cleaner living in North London.

This time she’s forced to investigate the theft of a painting from the Islington gallery she’s working at, when her unreliable cousin vanishes immediately after the robbery.

The only way to prove her innocence is to find the real culprit among the inhabitants of the weird world of art collectors, using the detective skills she’s learned from her domestic work.

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.

IN STRANGERS’ HOUSES reviewed on Reviewing the Evidence

There’s a very insightful review from Larissa Kyzer on Reviewing the Evidence. She describes IN STRANGERS’ HOUSES as “the perfect of-our-moment set-up that would be compelling even if it weren’t for the crime plot”.

“As a rule, the fundamental premise for most mystery series featuring an amateur detective is a shaky one. After all, elderly spinsters, small town librarians, and mystery authors don’t generally live the kind of lives that lead them to get mixed up with one violent crime, let alone many. This, then, is one of the fundamental delights of Elizabeth Mundy’s debut IN STRANGERS’ HOUSES: her protagonist—the plucky and ambitious Lena Szarka—literally goes through other people’s dirty laundry for a living.

Lena is a Hungarian cleaner in London, living a version of that all-too-common and none-too-glamorous immigrant experience. Namely, she works exhausting hours at an unskilled, low-paying job while living with multiple roommates and dreaming of the day that she’ll finally get a foothold in her adopted home. Add to that the fact that she’s an Eastern European in post-Brexit London, forced weather all manner of oblique microagressions and blatant discriminations (“You’re Romanian, too, aren’t you? You come here to beg”), and you have the perfect of-our-moment set-up that would be compelling even if it weren’t for the crime plot.” Read more

 

How to create a heroine for our time – Writers & Artists

Before I even started writing my first murder mystery novel, I knew I wanted a strong woman as my heroine. I was sick of female victims suffering and femmes fatales seducing. I wanted a modern woman solving crimes.

So I was delighted to be asked to write a piece about creating a strong, modern heroine for the Writers & Artists website.

Read the full article here.