A Kate Fansler mystery. I've read one other book in this series, many years ago, and remember being a bit disappointed by it. But I wanted to give the author (Amanda Cross was the pseudonym of feminist literary critic Carolyn Heilbrun) another chance. Sad to say, this book was even less satisfying than the first. I read it right through, fairly quickly (for me), waiting for the promised mystery to develop. But, except for a possible long-ago murder mentioned in the book's last pages, this was a pretty standard tale of literary research.
The book did have a number of interesting characters, several of them older women -- a very unusual and welcome occurrence. But the dialogue was disturbingly unrealistic and pretentious, even for academic and literary types. Every time someone opens his or her mouth, a literary reference or quote pops out.
Altogether, I'd say this is not really one I'd recommend. Not exactly boring, just disappointing if you're looking for real suspense.