I've been watching the career of author L. C. Lang for several years now. Her stories keep getting better with each book.
THE PAINTING is a novel in the Marcie Jackson mysteries series. Now Marcie is a private investigator, after her job with the state police has turned sour. Her Great-aunt Maggie, at whose home she spent many happy summer days in her girlhood, has died, and Marcie is sent to clean out the house Maggie had rented for twenty years. The previous owner, a young widow with a seven-year-old deaf-mute son, had disappeared suddenly, and when the current owner--her sister--learns that Marcie is a PI, she hires her to get to the bottom of the story.
I could almost see Marcie patiently ferreting out the clues, one by one, in her search for the truth. Except for the last, elusive fact that would help her solve the mystery. A good tale, indeed, full of art and artifice, sleuthing and shrubbery, and the mysterious "M."
Perfectionists, beware. There ARE several places you will bump into grammatical lapses and a need for more thorough editing, but if you can overlook those in favor of the well-plotted story, you'll come away as satisfied as Marcie by the end of the book.