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Murder at the Gardner (Homer Kelly #7)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  191 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Tadpoles in the fountain lead to murder in the corridor of Boston's IsabellaStewart Gardner Museum. The trustees call in Homer Kelly, ex-cop and Harvardlecturer, to solve the case.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 7th 1989 by Penguin Books (first published 1988)
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Jul 04, 2014 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
A well-written mystery taking place in the (non-fictional) Gardner Museum in Boston. The story is written in a humorous, tongue-in-cheek style, with the author's drawings of the museum and its collections adding a unique touch and greater understanding of the environment. In the book, the museum is being hit by what seems to be a series of practical jokes - music that seems to be coming from paintings; paintings going missing and turning up in inappropriate places (a toilet and a pub). The direc ...more
Jul 17, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it
#7 in the Homer Kelly series.

Homer Kelly series - Strange and faintly ominous things are happening at Boston's Isabella Gardner Museum, an Italianate palace chock-full of masterpieces from centuries past. Seemingly harmless pranks at first, hardly serious enough to worry the museum's seven trustees, they soon escalate into the murder of art patron Madeline Hepplewhite, who had apparently caught the perpetrator in an act of mischief. Newly appointed director Titus Moon, security chief Charlie Tib
Katherine Rowland
Oct 21, 2015 Katherine Rowland rated it it was ok
So wordy. So very wordy. The premise of this book is fine, and the mystery is adequate, but whole passages desperately needed to be pruned. Rather than being content to be a mystery, this book struggles and fails to say Important And Clever Things while propping itself up with the mystery. Engaging characters and an interesting setting, but not recommended.
Jun 06, 2008 Nadia rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Having been to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum on numerous occasions, I was thrilled to pick up this mystery. The premise of the mystery is that pranks that threaten the future of the museum are being perpetrated and Homer Kelly is pulled in to help track down the culprit.

There is a lot of description of the museum's artwork and it is an added bonus if you have a familiarity with some of the works of art, there are also line drawings in the book that add to that. The story unfolds slowly an
Kathy Moberg
Nov 11, 2014 Kathy Moberg rated it really liked it
This was fun, especially since it takes place in Boston's Gardner Museum which I have visited. It's been years since I read one of Jane Langton's mysteries, and that was a mistake on my part! I'm going to have to make time to read more of them. Her children's books, especially The Diamond in the Window, are among my very favorites.
Apr 12, 2009 Jim rated it it was ok
A murder mystery that had promise, but in the end, left me cold. Homer Kelly is hired by the Gardner Museum (a real place, by the way) to investigate some mischievous happenings, and eventually a couple of murders.

For a man who is supposed to be a great detective, he is not very clever and does very little investigating. It goes on and on and on and nothing is ever solved, until the end, when our glorious detective has an insightful moment that is almost preposterous and a bit of a reach.

The cha
Sep 22, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
The new curator of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum loves his job, but he--and the board of trustees--are dismayed by strange incidents that have been plaguing the Boston institution. So far, they're not serious, insofar as a breach of security in a museum can ever be trivial. But the strange, and true, provisions of Mrs. Gardner's will make them a matter for concern. When Homer Kelly becomes a museum member, the curator decides to enlist the scholar and former police detective before things ...more
Apr 09, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Museum in Boston.
Mary is taking a course and Homer is on his own.
Takes him forever to solve the case.
Cute, but I missed Mary.
Casey Dawes
Mar 24, 2014 Casey Dawes rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
It's old fashioned, and does sag a bit in the middle, but what a delightful change! I will be searching for more...
I read the first 200 pages rather slowly. I learned a lot about the Gardner Museum, it's directors, its staff, it's beautiful court yard garden, and it's works of art. It started to get really interesting, when I thought a character I liked, had been killed, when she was thrown out a window. It became a page turner for the pages after 200. I really enjoyed the last pages of the book. I did a google search for the Gardner Museum in Boston. I found some very beautiful works of art, and I loved the ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Patricia rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I read this one years ago, before I started volunteering at the Gardner. Published in 1988, two years before the theft, it was interesting to see how the staff at the Gardner was depicted as eccentric and a bit amateur - probably closer to the mark at the time than anyone would like to admit! The plot was a bit silly and the writing dated, but the museum and the art work were accurately and lovingly represented and Langton obviously did her homework.
Sep 29, 2011 Vikki rated it it was amazing
I read this book right after I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston. I loved the museum and was delighted when I got back to Kansas to find that a book had been written by Jane Langton about the museum. Fiction and mystery. I could just picture the museum when I read the book. I sure wish those four paintings will be found someday.
Dec 04, 2012 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
It was fun to read about the Gardner Museum. The line drawings of works of art and spaces added a lot, as did the floor plans. Written twenty-five years ago, there were now-nostalgic mentions of banks of pay phones and of messages sent by postal letter.
Nov 30, 2009 Joanne rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Slow-paced (VERY slow-paced) mystery enjoyable because it's set at the Isabella Stuart Gardner museum in Boston, which provides some erudition about art. Otherwise the plot is pretty silly.
Aug 22, 2008 Joyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
One of my favorites in the series, in part because I love the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum and this took me back there over and over.
Sep 22, 2008 Kaylynn rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
A rather lackluster mystery where the detective did very little and the murderer was obvious. I did like all the stuff about art, though.
Jun 07, 2013 Sandra rated it liked it
I love the Gardner museum and I think that is what mostly kept me hanging on until the end. This was not a real page turner for me.
Dec 13, 2009 Molly rated it it was ok
Eh, an OK mystery. I think she could have done a better job building up the suspense
Feb 15, 2011 Amyem added it
Shelves: bookcrossing, own

I own a copy and bookcrossed a copy.
Dec 22, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Part of a series based on historical buildings.
Dec 19, 2012 Jean rated it liked it
Gardner Museum mystery
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Langton was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She studied astronomy at Wellesley College and the University of Michigan, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1944. She received an M.A. in art history from the University of Michigan in 1945, and another M.A. from Radcliffe College in 1948. She studied at the Boston Museum School from 1958 to 1959.

In 1961 Langton wrote and illustrated her first book for ch
More about Jane Langton...

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