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.

Fancy a ‘deliciously light and amusing souffle of a book’?

The Irish Independent is fast becoming my favourite newspaper! This weekend they ran a lovely review of A CLEAN CANVAS in their Book Brief section.  Myles McWeeney described it as ‘a deliciously light and amusing souffle of a book, the second in a series that is bound to run and run’.

And in case you missed it, last weekend they compared Lena to Agatha Raisin and described her as ‘formidable and funny’.

Clearly the Irish have excellent taste in books!

Full review here…

‘Lena Szarka is an ambitious young Hungarian immigrant working as a cleaner in London, ever open to new opportunities and seldom downcast by misfortune. One of Lena’s clients is Pietro Agnoletti, co-owner of the Agnoletti Archer Gallery in Islington. When a modern masterpiece, ‘A Study in Purple’ by Trudy Weincamp, goes missing after the opening night, suspicion falls on Lena’s young cousin Sarika, who has also disappeared. Convinced Sarika is innocent, Lena must embroil herself in the sketchy world of thwarted talents, unpaid debts and elegant fraudsters to clear her. A deliciously light and amusing souffle of a book, the second in a series that is bound to run and run.’

 

 

 

 

Forget cold hard crime, Cozy is just as thrilling

There was a lovely piece in the Sunday Independent in Ireland by Anne Marie Scanlon about cozy crime last weekend, describing it as the perfect way to ‘banish the bleaks’ of the cold winter months.

A CLEAN CANVAS is described as ‘the second of a, hopefully long, series featuring Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner and amateur detective by Elizabeth Mundy.’ Scanlon compares Lena Szarka to Agatha Raisin: both are ‘formidable and funny women who like men’.

Get your own dose of warming cozy crime here, or if you’re still to be convinced you can read the full article here.

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

 

IN STRANGERS’ HOUSES reviewed in The Sun

IN STRANGERS’ HOUSES had a lovely 4.5 star review from Natasha Harding in The Sun today. I’m absolutely delighted with her judgement: ‘Beautiful writing, a fine debut.’

‘LENA SZARKA, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, takes huge pride in her job – even though the people she works for rarely notice her existence.

When her friend Timea disappears, she suspects one of her clients. The police don’t share her suspicions so Lena beings her own investigation.

She quickly discovers a whole world she didn’t know anything about – and it frightens the life out of her

Beautiful writing, a fine debut.’

IN STRANGERS’ HOUSES reviewed by the Daily Mail

IN STRANGERS’ HOUSES is reviewed by Geoffrey Wassell in the BOOKS FICTION CRIME section of the Daily Mail today. I’m thrilled that he says ‘Lena’s tenacity and common sense illuminate this engaging story.’

IN STRANGERS’ HOUSES
by Elizabeth Mundy

THE heroine of this debut novel is a Hungarian Immigrant, Lena Szarka, who works in fashionable North London, cleaning rich people’s houses. When her fellow cleaner, another migrant named Timea, goes missing, Lena immediately suspects that one of their clients is to blame. They all seem to have secrets to hide.

At first, the police do not seem interested, so Lena starts to investigate herself. Then Timea’s body turns up and the case suddenly takes a darker turn.

Lena’s tenacity and common sense illuminate this engaging story by the granddaughter of a Hungarian immigrant to the U.S., who now works at a London investment bank.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-5422889/CRIME.html