The Escher Twist (Homer Kelly, #16)

ISBN: 0142001848
ISBN 13: 9780142001844
By: Jane Langton

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Barbie Fantasy Fiction Mysteries Mystery Mystery Couple Mystery Thriller Series To Read Vermont

About this book

An exhibit of the work of the Dutch artist M. C. Escher is being held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to amateur sleuths Homer and Mary Kelly and their friend Leonard Sheldrake. At the exhibit, Leonard, an avid Escher fan, falls instantly in love with a woman in a green coat who is equally enthralled by Escher's brilliance. To Leonard's dismay, she hurriedly leaves the exhibit, hinting to him that if he knew her better, he would not love her. Homer and Mary offer to help a now desperate Leonard find the woman but end up in an Escher-like labyrinth of their own. Enhanced with Escher illustrations throughout, Langton creates a world where every line, curve, and angle lead to murder.

Reader's Thoughts


If I could, I would give this book three and a half stars, since I really liked it overall, but found the dialogue a bit stilted. Still, a very literary academic mystery, with lots of great quotes by Escher and some appropriately surreal scenes.


For cozy mystery fans, give this one a try. Solving the crime is almost a subplot, but the characters are entertaining. Knowing a little bit about M.C. Escher is a plus. I read her Civil War mysteries (The Deserter and Steeplechase) afterwords, but liked this one the best.


A wonderful, intelligent mystery with a twist of the fantastic.Learning of MC Escher work a great bonus.


Good little mystery, with artsy interest.


Good read. Would try another Langton title.


One of the most satisfying mysteries I've ever read, not so much for the plot, which as so often in the genre is the weakest element, but because of the pace, the quality of the writing, and the humor. For once the rather clumsy coincidences on which mysteries tend to rely are woven into the structure of the book and don't feel silly. The main locale for the story is Mount Auburn Cemetery in Boston and in fact the novel explores the old conundrum of the relationship between the living and the dead in a very deft and unexpected way. Can't understand why this book appears to be out of print at the moment!

Gene Lecouteur

Langton is a favorite write. I read and reread her books. I visited Mt. Auburn Cemetary recently so rereading this was a must since much of the book takes place there.


I'm fond of the eccentric Homer and Mary Kelly. I also like the ways the author incorporates areas around Boston and Concord into her narratives. She goes into great detail on narrow subjects and makes you want to read more about them. Here it's the artist MC Escher but also the Mount Auburn cemetery in Cambridge. It's a good read, as much as for the descriptions as the story.


Older book that the library was purging. I read it when Rebecca was reading The Fragile Flag and the Fledgling and everything Jane Langton wrote. It was fun to re-read. I am going to check into getting some of her other books. I like the connection to Concord, transcendentalists, Harvard, etc., all kind of fun. This particular book combines works a lot in about art and is quite interesting.


I really like this gentle series starring husband and wife sleuths Homer and Mary Kelly. Each one features a cultural theme (obviously Escher this time) which adds the fillip of learning a bit while being entertained. The plots are well mapped and the violence is muted.

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