Sunday, September 06, 2015
Review of "Moon Over Tangier" by Janice Law - A Thoroughly Entertaining Murder Mstery
I really enjoy Janice Law's artistic use of the Queen's English. In her Francis Bacon Mystery series, she places poor Francis in a series of compromising and harrowing situations, often as a result of ill-considered choices on his part. In "Moon Over Tangier," he has travelled from London to Morocco to follow his abusive friend, David. David, recovering from the traumas in WWII, is slowly drinking himself into oblivion. Francis tries to save him, but is caught in a tangled web of art forgery, smuggling, murder and multi-nation spying. The adventures he undergoes are vividly described, often with Ms. Law's acerbic wit on full display. She paints with words as effortlessly as her protagonist paints with oils. The splendors and the dinginess of Tangier are palpable in the meticulously described scenes that take place, with themes of class struggles being explored with great gusto. Just as Picasso created cubism to force the viewer to view subjects in a different light, Ms. Law paints a wry and distorted picture of the British ex-patriot community in North Africa to encourage the reader to think differently about the remnants of the once great British Empire in its decline.
The result of the author's labors is a superbly entertaining murder mystery of the first order. I plan to read the other books in this series.