Murder in a New York college dormitory once more complicates the life of its assistant director.
Life has finally led ex–teen pop star Heather Wells (Size 14 Is Not Fat Either, 2006, etc.) into relatively calm waters. She’s passed her probationary period as assistant director of New York College’s Fischer Hall even though the period was marked by two unrelated homicides, and she’s using her tuition-remission privileges toward a degree in criminal justice. The guy she pines for, private eye Cooper Cartwright, refuses to serve as her rebound man, but she’s settled into a comfortable (if technically rule-breaking) relationship with Tad Tocco, her aggressively vegan math instructor. Waters in “Death Dorm” are never calm for long, however, and Heather returns from a Belgian waffle binge in the cafeteria to find the brains of her boss, interim director Owen Veatch, splattered all over his Garfield calendar. Sebastian Blumenthal, head of the Graduate Students’ Collective, is arrested when police find a gun in his manbag. But Heather’s grad assistant Sarah persuades her that Sebastian’s arrest on the eve of a GSC strike for healthcare benefits is a little too convenient. Torn between her loyalty to her students and pressure from above—President Allington has yoked her with public-relations twinkle Muffy Fowler in representing New York College to the media—Heather does what she does best: investigate.
Cabot (Queen of Babble in the Big City, 2007, etc.) continues to charm as Heather tries even harder to get it right.