February 28, 2021

Art of Death – Laurence Anholt

Hello! I have ventured back onto Netgalley (even though I swore I was done with it)… The lure of pre-release books was just too much!

My first acceptance was for Art of Death by Laurence Anholt. Now, this particular book has already been released but it came up in my recommendations and I loved the idea behind it so much it was a no-brainer to request it.

Here’s the blurb:

Buddhism, love, art and murder – welcome to the world of the Mindful Detective

When a famously narcissistic performance artist is found floating in a tank of formaldehyde at her own private view, suspicion falls on those closest to her . . .

Leading the murder investigation is DI Shanti Joyce, recently transferred from London to Yeovil following the collapse of her marriage and a case that went wrong. She soon concludes that the mystery requires left-field thinking, and when a colleague at the station suggests Vince Caine, aka the Mindful Detective, Shanti tracks him down to his remote cabin on the Undercliff at Lyme Regis.

The pair delve into the artist’s Bohemian circle and discover a hotbed of resentment and jealousy stretching all the way back to her scandalous art school days in Falmouth. But as they soon realise, the murderer is both canny and elusive – someone with a complex, warped motive who will do anything to point them elsewhere.

Has Shanti made the wrong decision enlisting the unconventional and enigmatic Caine? Can the unlikely mix of her down-to-earth pragmatism and his otherworldly intuition really prove a winning combination?

Or will a killer escape justice and leave Shanti’s reputation in tatters?

The Mindful Detective. I just love this idea!

Kristal Havfruen has been unveiled, dead in a tank of formaldehyde at the re-launch of her career. Was this her final shocking farewell or was it murder? As the story goes on we find out more about Kristal, her shock art (think Damien Hurst), her family and her son, A Boy Named Art. Art was conceived on stage, born on stage (yes, really. Told you – shock art) and his whole life has been part of Kristal’s ‘Art’…

Detective in charge of the case is DI Shanti Joyce. She has been moved from Camden, London following the failure of a previous case. The details aren’t revealed in this particular book so I’m hopeful that The Mindful Detective becomes a proper series. It has been billed as the first in a series so fingers crossed.

Shanti is assisted by Vincent Caine, or The Veggie Cop as he is known around the station. Having been off work ‘sick’ for months, it is decided that this case will be his comeback. Again his ‘sickness’ isn’t really revealed – something else for the sequel. Caine is considered weird by normal standards but the author has made, in my eyes, Caine to be the perfect ‘good cop’. Practicing Buddhism he is able to get under the skin of suspects and get the best out of them, whether that’s a confession or a better understanding of their motives and involvement in crimes. I loved him.

My only small gripe with this novel was the fact that Shanti and Caine may end up as a couple. In my view that would damage the stories in the future, Art of Death is a wonderful story because they work so well together. Were they a couple is it likely that they would be able to work together?

If you read this blog regularly you’ll know the love I have for a police procedural. The Mindful Detective has the potential to become a firm favourite.

Released: July 2019

Publisher: Constable/ Little Brown Book Group

Genre: Crime / Police Procedural

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from Netgalley.

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