Review: Miss Seeton Paints the Town, by Hamilton Crane, Heron Carvic. Farrago.

There is much ado in Miss Seeton’s little village of Plummergen in Kent. It’s time for the Best Kept Village completion, and all the Plummergen residents are united in their efforts to beat their archrivals in Murreystone.

Miss Seeton is busy being a substitute art teacher for the local school children, but she still finds time to help her neighbors by joining Sir George Colvedon in making a Before and After portfolio, with Sir George providing the Before photos and Miss Seeton applying her artistry to imagining improved After scenes.

But there is also a crime wave in the area, involving arson, thefts, and vandalism to Plummergen’s gardens, including an apparent village-wide invasion of moles digging up lawns and flowers, and thefts of ornamental ironwork.

Fire becomes a recurrent theme in the story, with Miss Seeton finding difficulty doing her Yoga exercise gazing upon a lighted candle. Then, she uses candle smoke to create an art exercise for the children. The police and Scotland Yard have, so far, taken a breather from involving Miss Seeton in resolution of the current crime problems. But we all know what happens when Miss Seeton starts drawing her signature cartoons, and it doesn’t take long for Inspector Delphick to see clues in her latest art efforts. When one picture shows the lower end of the village overtaken by flames, the police and villagers are on full alert.

It really does take a village, in this case, to resolve the various dilemmas, In addition to all the regulars we know and love, there are some new characters in this story, starting with Mr. Alexander, a mysterious Russian, his pair of energetic Russian wolfhounds (Boris and Sasha), the secretive Miss Ursula Hawkes who seems to do odd things at odd times, and an odiferous mole catcher, Jacob Chickney. It’s all very witty, and great fun, and once again Miss Seeton does not disappoint.

Once again, my thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for making this delightful book available for me to read and review.

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