From Publishers Weekly
Lively prose and a vivid picture of the ancient English city of Bath—in particular, its vaults, tunnels, bunkers and cellars—lift Helton's second mystery to feature artist and PI Chris Honeysett (after 2005's Headcase
). Fans of Jonathan Gash's Lovejoy will appreciate the scheme that Honeysett, who's a bit of a scalawag, concocts to handle an insurance payoff to art thieves—and the connections Honeysett has to some bohemian characters. A sadistic killer has already struck once in Bath and has kidnapped a second victim. When our hero, embarked on a completely different task, stumbles on the killer's lair, the killer seeks vengeance on Honeysett by making one of the artist's companions his third victim. Honeysett and his allies must play a deadly game to keep their friend alive while they seek the killer's new hiding place. Meanwhile, the thieves Honeysett conned also want a piece of him. Readers will look forward to further installments in this offbeat series. (July)
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The ancient city of Bath, England, affords a great setting for sleuthing, with its well-preserved Roman and Regency sites almost elbowing out the bland present. In the past 10 years, fictional private eyes with an archaeological (Roman baths) or literary/historical (Jane Austen, Beau Brummel) bent have prowled through Bath. Helton introduced a new Bath part-time sleuth, artist Chris Honeysett, in Headcase
(2005). This second Honeysett caper follows the sleuth as he tracks down some art thieves for an insurance company. During his ramblings through Bath, Honeysett stumbles upon a woman imprisoned under an abandoned railway station. This woman has been systematically starved by a murderer police refer to as Dr. Atkins. The MO here fits with the murder of another woman a few weeks before. The Bath setting, Helton's insights into art forgeries, and the unconventional tactics of Honeysett's somewhat dodgy team of an ex-burglar, ex-forger, and art student add up to sheer fun. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved