I loved this! It is the 3rd in a series of which I haven't read the first two (this is very unusual for me; I almost always read series in order) but it didn't dampen my enjoyment at all. There were a few references to events in the earlier books, and some characters are the same, but it didn't matter except to make me anxious to go back and read those two.
A well-written and nicely plotted story, deeper than many mysteries I've read lately. Karen Pelletier is a sympathetic character who overcame a difficult childhood to become an English professor at the fictional Enfield College in New England, out near the Five-College area in Western Mass (brings back memories of my college experience :-). It was interesting and amusing to meet some of her students and their excuses for turning in work late, e.g. the fact that many grandmothers seem to expire in November each year right around Thanksgiving ;-).
The story itself is a study of Poe and, specifically, his poem The Raven - with a fictional contemporary poet of his who plays an important role . The victim is, of course, (this you can usually count on in a cozy-type mystery) a narcissistic and nasty colleague of Karen who gets what's coming to him - but why? A look into his background explains many things.
I highly recommend this book!
An unexpected bequest sends waves of violence through the placid groves of academe in Joanne Dobson's third mystery to feature Professor Karen Pelletier.
Still untenured, and therefore on shaky academic ground, feisty young Enfield College professor Pelletier finds herself going head-to-head with the resident Edgar Allan Poe expert, Elliot Corbin, an academic windbag of monumental proportions who is lobbying to be appointed to the much-coveted and recently vacated Palaver Chair. So when Karen receives a serendipitous bonanza in the form of never-before-seen manuscripts and journals by the nineteenth-century poet Emmeline Foster, who is rumored to have killed herself for the love of Poe, Corbin is predictably put out.
Subsequently, the corrosive Corbin is stabbed to death in his home on Thanksgiving Day. Karen has an airtight alibi, but other suspects abound--from the head of the women's studies program, who also pines for the Palaver Chair; to Visiting Poet Jane Birdwort, whose history with Corbin turns out to be far longer (and closer) than anyone had known; to the perpetually disgruntled department secretary; to a young female adjunct professor whose unbridled ambition will not be denied.
Then Karen's office is ransacked, and a number of the Emmeline Foster journals and poems are stolen, so it looks more and more as if Corbin's death may be inextricably entwined with the muse of his life--poet of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. The undeniably attractive Lieutenant Piotrowski is called in, and, as in the past, he solicits Karen's help, involving her once more in the thankless task of investigating her not-always-so-collegial colleagues.
As she did in her first two widely acclaimed novels, Joanne Dobson uses her savvy insider's knowledge of academic politics and her considerable talent for complex plotting to produce a witty and eminently satisfying entertainment.
Released 3 yrs ago (2/12/2015 UTC) at Little Free Library, 111 Arlington St. in Medford, Massachusetts USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Left at about 2:00. Hope it will find a new reader!
Released for 2015 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) release challenge hosted by GoryDetails.
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