THE WRITING CLASS by Jincy Willett


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Aspiring writers meet a grisly end in the latest from Willett (Winner of the National Book Award, 2003, etc.).

Amy Gallup used to be a promising young author. Now, her three novels are out-of-print and she pays the bills by teaching would-be writers in a university extension course. One class is so much like the last that she has to use a crib sheet to keep her students straight, but this term is a little different. This term, there’s a killer in the classroom, and Amy’s class is filled with potential victims—and potential suspects. This is an entertaining premise for a cozy mystery, but the book is not a cozy mystery. The first corpse appears about 200 pages in. The sluggish pace gives readers ample time to notice the flimsiness of the characters. The bored reader may also reflect upon the utter implausibility of Willett’s narrative. The author seems to encourage us to wonder why more than a dozen ostensibly sane adults would insist on finishing a class when an anonymous, demonstrably homicidal sociopath is targeting fellow students.

A murder mystery written by someone who maybe doesn’t like, and definitely doesn’t understand, murder mysteries.

Pub Date: June 10th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-33066-8
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2008