THE MARK TWAIN MURDERS by Edith Skom

THE MARK TWAIN MURDERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This introduction to the Brown Bag mystery series features skulduggery in the library, throwaway quotes from John Stuart Mill, references to Martin Chuzzlewitt and Daisy Miller, and slyly wicked commentary on university foibles: publish or perish; tenure; departmental bickering. Pretty English professor Beth Austin is sure that student Marilou Peacock plagarized her Mark Twain essay; but just as she sets out to prove it, the girl is murdered in the high-tech library's ladies' room. Most likely suspects: Marilou's passel of English professors; the department chairman; the department secretary. Beth and FBI agent Gil Bailey (called in to stop the major pilfering at the library) patrol the stacks and scan the microfiche, but make little headway before Prof. Potter, a body-language expert, is murdered in his library carrel; more books disappear; and Beth is stalked and almost killed. Several faculty confrontations later, Beth and Gil learn that: Marilou was not the plagiarist, a favorite faculty member was, and another was masterminding the book thefts for exemplary reasons. Certainly not done with the deftest narrative touch, but there are appealing pokes here at a Harvard grad's pomposity, and a rather nifty pacemaker scam. Grade: C-minus.

Pub Date: May 10th, 1989
ISBN: 933031-17-3
Publisher: Council Oak
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