Landscape of Murder by Michael Jecks: 4****

The second book in author, Michael Jecks Art of Murder series is a real step forward. I enjoyed the first book in the series, but things really picked up in the second book. we follow the exploits of artist Nick Morris, whose fame in London is for his drawings of cats. You gotta love this! He is well known for drawing all these cats, yet he dislikes, cats immensely. So when his friend Geoff gives him a lead to do a painting for wealthy computer mogul, Derek Swann, dear old Nick is off to Tissington where he will be doing a painting of a house and landscape for Swann before Swann departs the country. Once he arrives nothing quite goes according to plan. This book is filled with many memorable characters, and Morris gets himself in more predicaments, all of which make this highly enjoyable book.

Yes we have a murder, a young boy, approximately 18 years of age is killed and we need to find out who has done this dastardly deed, but what makes this book so interesting is that once the murder is discovered, Jecks then writes about all the other criminal activities that are going on beneath the surface. You almost forget that there’s a murder that has to be solved because we are so wrapped up in nitrous oxide, drug deals, along with two men who are constantly hounding Morris, Morris’s own broken down automobile, and all in all somehow the painting of the landscape and house never quite comes to fruition. Not that he doesn’t try, but for one reason or the other, he has once again not gotten paid for hisnwork. This is a theme of these books, since in the end Morris is always back in London painting cats! Morris is an interesting character, the supporting characters are believable, the plot is very well done, and we learn all about Tissington, including their well dressing ceremonies, and the rumors of hidden gold or coins from ancient times. All in all this series is progressing beautifully and I look forward to more books in this series.

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