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Murder Is Academic
All is not well at Cambridge University's St. Ethelreda's College. The head of the English Department is dead, and Professor Cassandra James is appointed the task of running the department. Faced with the choice of whipping her underperforming colleagues into shape or losing the much-needed funding for the program, Cassandra resigns herself to the challenge. However, when ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 15th 2004 by Minotaur Books
(first published January 1st 2002)
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Being an academic mystery fan I can't resist snatching them off the library shelves when I see them. I should have left this one on the shelf. The writing is not crisp and the story just did not hold my interest. I did finish it...just.
Murder mystery (not a police procedural) based around multiple deaths in and around a Cambridge College. The plot is very convoluted and the role of the principal (a divorced lecturer battling for her job, carrying a baby, and in a complex romantic relationship) rather implausible. Very slow in the middle and involving the introduction of bizarre story-lines including seances and the occult. I struggled through it, but the poor writing, lack of character development, and weirdly the clunky forma ...more
To be honest, this book was a chore to get through. The writing was clunky, the characters (with the minimal exclusion of the lead) weren't really developed, and the ending was a hot, rushed mess. If you want to challenge yourself by trying to get through a dull book, be my guest. Otherwise, it'd be best to stay away from this particular novel.
Set in the English department of one of the Cambridge University colleges, the detective, Cassandra James, is a professor who specializes in Victorian authors. All it takes is a slight exaggeration of the normal wrangling within the typical college or university to imagine a motive for murder. An entertaining read but probably more interesting to readers tuned into academic settings.
A nice debut mystery novel. I very much liked the setting and the professor / sleuth, Dr. Cassandra James. The book drags a tiny bit in the middle but builds to a nice climax in which the killer was not at all who I was suspecting. I hope there are more books in the series.
Christine Poulson was born and brought up in North Yorkshire, England. She is now a research fellow at the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies at Sheffield University and chair of the William Morris Society. She has written widely on 19th-century art and literature, and her most recent work of non-fiction was a book on Arthurian legend in British art from 1840 to 1920. She lives with her family ...more
Other books in the series
Cassandra James in Cambridge (3 books)