CS Lewis Web
The Lewis Legacy-Issue 71, Winter 1997
A New Oxford Mystery
By: Kathryn Lindskoog
The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing
January 1, 1997

Jane Langton is the successful author of a dozen breezy detective novels featuring an American academic named Homer Kelly. She illustrates them with her excellent drawings.

The Dante Game (1991) tells about a new American School for Florentine Studies, where Kelly is teaching Dante. "Boston's detective-turned-Harvard-professor is hard at work in Dante's divine but deadly Florence." Langton quotes frequently from Dorothy Sayers' translation of The Divine Comedy.

Langton's Dead as a Dodo (1996), is full of Darwin and Lewis Carroll and set at Oxford University, where Kelly is a lecturer. She includes lots of science, history, and local color. "Homer looked around the narrow room... Isn't this C.S. Lewis's old pub? Where he met those other guys of similar literary and theological persuasion?'

"'That's what it says on the wall,' said Mary. ...I was a big Lewis fan once....'" They discuss Lewis and dismiss him.

But Lewis pops up again. On the bedside table of a murder victim Kelly finds three significant books: a Bible, The Origin of Species, and Lewis's Mere Christianity.