A visit to Cambridge University is educational in more ways than one.
Anglophile expat American sleuth Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt, have come to Cambridge, where Alan is speaking at a police conference and Dorothy plans to enjoy the beauty and soak up the atmosphere. But Dorothy gets lost while looking for Newton Hall, site of the conference at St. Stephen’s College, and stumbles into a laboratory with a pool of blood on the floor, where she gets the barest glimpse of someone in a lab coat vanishing through a door. Although there are many possible explanations, Alan doesn't take Dorothy’s fears lightly and introduces her to Superintendent Elaine Barker, who understands her concerns but must tread lightly in a city where the colleges, each with its own security staff, shun that sort of publicity. Dorothy continues to sleuth, and Elaine’s nephew, science student Tom Grenfell, makes some suggestions. Perhaps, after all, it’s merely an undergraduate prank. An African student experimenting with rats seems to be hiding something, but it’s only when Grenfell goes missing that the whole matter is taken seriously. Fortunately, Dorothy finds clues in a few of her favorite Dorothy L. Sayers mysteries, including Gaudy Night, that help lead to a solution.
Cambridge science takes center stage in this latest cozy in Dams’ traveling series (Days of Vengeance, 2014, etc.). It's an average mystery saved, especially for Anglophiles, by an atmospheric look at the famous university.