Dunne, April 2004, 23.95, 288 pp
A professor at St. Ethelreda's College at Cambridge University, Cassandra James is quite content with the life she has made for herself. She is in an exclusive relationship with Stephen, a well known lawyer, and lives in quaint cottage with her cat. One day when she goes to the home of the head of her department Margaret she finds papers lying on the ground in no particular order and in the swimming pool. She tries to get them out but sees Margaret lying lifeless in the pool.
At her husband's request, she goes through Margaret's papers and finds that her head was having an affair with her student Lucy. Lucy died several months ago climbing down a cliff. The authorities think she slipped and hit her head. Cassandra wonders if two deaths could be linked but keeps her suspicions to herself that is until a second student is attacked and later dies. Cassandra has her hands full because she is made the acting head of her department and is pregnant but she still has time to see if the three deaths are connected and if so who is behind the killings.
Readers who adore academic mysteries will like MURDER IS ACADEMIC an amateur sleuth tale that is filled with unexpected twists and turns and plenty of red herrings. The cast is simply brilliant as well as realistic because they behave in ways according to their character. The heroine's relationship with her lover evolves over the course of Christine Poulson's tale and readers will find themselves reading for them to make their relationship legal, that is if she can survive her current crisis. MURDER IS ACADEMIC is a treat for mystery fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner