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Die Tote Von Harvard
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Die Tote Von Harvard (A Kate Fansler Mystery #6)

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  410 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Translation = Death in a Tenured Position
Published (first published 1981)
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I am not certain what I think about this. I did not enjoy it very much.

I liked the points of view on feminism, from Janet who thinks it is all nonsense and doesn't believe sexism exists, to the women's separatist commune, to Moon whom if we met him now would seem rather sexist (although if he continued to develop he might have become a respectable feminist ally), to Kate herself who looks at all these shades thoughtfully and considers them in their contexts.

But I thought the mystery itself (view
The last of the three Amanda Cross books I've been given to read. I liked this one the least, though I still enjoyed reading it. I think another thing that I enjoy about her books are the unusual, eccentric characters one meets. In this book Harvard is almost the villain! Lots of women's issues in it.
I thought the book was great. While short, it was interesting and well-written all the way through. It is the first book by Amanda Cross that I have read, having been "assigned" in a Book Group, but it won’t be the last. It was great to find an author I had not heard of previously, and to read a book with well-written sentences and paragraphs, with no wondering about who was speaking or what period was being discussed. While there were plenty of literary references, they were not of the confusin ...more
This mystery really captured realities about universities and how faculty behave and function together with an historical period (when women were breaking into the professorate in Ivy League Universities in the 1970's).
Lukasz Pruski
Amanda Cross is the pen name of Carolyn Gold Heilbrun, an English literature professor who taught at Columbia from the Sixties to the Nineties. "Death in a Tenured Position" is a part of a 14-book series featuring Kate Fansler, an English literature professor from an established New York university.

Kate is asked to investigate the strange case of Janet Mandelbaum, the first female literature professor in the English department at Harvard, who was found drunk and asleep in a bathtub along anothe
I first heard about Amanda Cross when I was reading an old review of one of my all-time favorite mysteries, "Death of a Harvard Freshman" by Victoria Silver. The reviewer compared Silver's intellectual mystery style to the earlier writings of Cross while also noting their link to Harvard.
With an Amanda Cross book, the character and the literary references are more intriguing, and more important, than the mystery.
I post this particular novel here because it was the first I read and the first

I knew nothing about Amanda Cross' Death in a Tenured Position except that it was a murder mystery set in academia with a really lurid title. I did not know, for example, that it served as a statement against the sexism and homophobia that characterized Harvard (the book was published in 1981 and takes place in 1979). I also did not know that Amanda Cross was a psuedonym for Carolyn Heilbrun, who was a prominent professor of English at Columbia and wr
Tom Dye
Who done it?

If you can manage to read past about chapter eight of this leisurely paced Kate Fansler crime novel, you will probably be able to guess the answer to the aforementioned question. About chapter eight is where the story picks up the pace too, for about a chapter and a half. The book has an unlucky 13 Chapters, not by accident I suspect, since there is also a prologue and an epilogue that are not numbered.

Did I like this book?

I can answer that question with about as much suspense as De
the ending is lame. not literarily speaking, in terms of hte writing... it was a bad end to a mystery. but then again, the mystery thing isn't what's necessarily important here i don't think. something i liked about it is that it is the victim whose character developes throughout the story. the protagonist is kind of flat. and frankly neither likable nor unlikable. and characters ought to be either one. (though i'll add that i did not like her). if you're interested in feminism and the movement ...more
This was my book group's read for June, and it is a fun academic mystery written by feminist scholar Carolyn Heilbrun under a pseudonym. It's a neat look at gender politics in the academic world of the '70s.
Dana Stabenow
Reminded me of Dorothy L. Sayers' Gaudy Night and Sarah Caudwell's Thus Was Adonis Murdered, although both are much better writers than Cross, and Caudwell is much, much funnier. Some acute observations in this book, though, like

She had often noticed that when people with large libraries fell into trouble, the fact that the books had not risen en masse to help them always seemed to give those without books comfort.

and some nice dialogue, like

“If you get everything wrong, how can you be a reporte
Set in late 70's, very early 80's this is more an atmospheric mystery than a whodunnit mystery. Kate Fansler comes to the rescue of the first tenured English Literature woman professor at Havard when she finds herself involve in a scandal. Was she set up? Professor Mandelbaum can't really defend herself after she is found dead in the men's bathroom. Who did it? And why? is less interesting than the politics and shenanigans behind the scenes at a prestigious university once the private playing gr ...more
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Jul 23, 2007 Peter rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: campus novels, esp. mystery lovers
Interesting, but not a good 'mystery', in that the sharp, witty, highly literary dialogue takes precedence over plotting. Worth reading for that, I suppose. Characters are interestingly eccentric; red herrings are few - there are about 3 credible suspects, but all fairly obvious, and under-motivated to pop off the emotionally stunted, collegially isolated victim. (Can you guess that I thought the denouement was a cop-out?)
Dated (I assume!) in its references to the early-80s entrenched chauvinism
A friend of mine is waiting for the three Kate Fansler novels which I acquired at a book sale, and have now totally read. This one seemed a little more interesting than the other two--better plotted. This time she is persuaded to go to Harvard for a term to help figure out who murdered the first female professor to hold a chair of literature. Her husband, Reed Amherst, is being a police consultant in Africa, so there is no problem with what to do with him. There are some interesting characters-- ...more
Not really much of a mystery story, more of a political screed about the lack of female professors in Ivy League Universities in the late 1970's, when the book was written. I'm not saying that it wasn't a legitimate issue, just that I didn't really enjoy reading about it. It didn't help the novel that all the characters, including the 'hero' Kate Fansler, were pretty unsympathetic; you know the kind: never left the Washington/New York/Boston corridor, never had a job outside academia or governme ...more
I adore Carolyn Heilbrun, so I thought I'd love this mystery under her pseudonym. This one drags through every preposterous murder scenario it's possible for the human mind to invent, and then settles on the least interesting.

Maybe I blame it for reminding me how dreary sexism was in the 70s -- or how little editing used to be employed. Either way, I'll try reading at least one more Amanda Cross (hopefully, one with a more straightforward murder) before I give up.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
And some people in our book club didn't like Sayers' "Gaudy Night"! I found this very difficult to finish. Very wordy. Kind of preachy about the women's lib issues (quite boring--written in 1981, but living in a slightly earlier time) I simply could not warm up to any of the characters, and didn't even care if the 'victim' had been murdered or not! Not much to like here...
Galen Johnson
Kate Fansler travels to Harvard for a semester to investigate the harassment, then death, of the first tenured female professor in the English Department.

Fantastic; intelligent, feminist, biting, and fun to read. Highly recommended mystery for the picky reader.
I like this title of the series best of what I've read so far, because the characters are marginally different from each other and although certainly not a suspenseful book, the ending was partially a surprise.
this is a really interesting book, when i read it i imagioned the life of carolyne heilbrun step by step.
Instead of listing all the book...if you enjoy an mystery that includes literature you like Amanda Cross.
Michele bookloverforever
love her character, kate fansler. read this many years ago. recently reread. worth the time and effort.
Sophisticated sleuth solves a kind of "men versus women" mystery in collegiate surroundings.
Bev Hankins
A literate academic mystery! What could be better?
This book was written for me. Thanks, Carolyn.
stinko, pretentious, total cop-out
I want to be Kate!
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A psuedonym of Carolyn G. Heilbrun.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Amanda Cross...

Other Books in the Series

A Kate Fansler Mystery (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • In the Last Analysis (A Kate Fansler Mystery #1)
  • The James Joyce Murder (A Kate Fansler Mystery #2)
  • Poetic Justice (A Kate Fansler Mystery #3)
  • The Theban Mysteries (A Kate Fansler Mystery #4)
  • The Question of Max (A Kate Fansler Mystery #5)
  • Sweet Death, Kind Death (A Kate Fansler Mystery #7)
  • No Word from Winifred (A Kate Fansler Mystery #8)
  • A Trap for Fools (A Kate Fansler Mystery #9)
  • The Players Come Again (A Kate Fansler Mystery #10)
  • An Imperfect Spy (A Kate Fansler Mystery #11)
In the Last Analysis (A Kate Fansler Mystery #1) Poetic Justice (A Kate Fansler Mystery #3) The James Joyce Murder (A Kate Fansler Mystery #2) The Theban Mysteries (A Kate Fansler Mystery #4) No Word from Winifred (A Kate Fansler Mystery #8)

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