Simon & Schuster, June 2004, 24.00, 288
Harvard University Economics Afro-American professor Nikki Chase is presently at Princeton to give a paper at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She isn't looking forward to doing it but if she wants tenure, this is one of the prices she has to pay. While there she visits her brother Eric and his new girlfriend Kayla as well as her mentor Professor Earl Stokes, head of the African-America studies and the economics department of the New Jersey school.
Internationally renowned Earl has written a best seller, Color Counts, which is one of the reasons Harvard wants him to chair the Economics Department. Nikki would love that since she doesn't get along with the current acting head of Economics. Earl isn't sure what he wants to do especially since Princeton is building an African-American study center. All plans go up in smoke when the building burns to the ground and Earl's body is found, the victim of murder. Unable to leave well enough alone, Nikki investigates and if she is not more cautious could become another murder victim.
The Broncos and Syracuse U are not part of this tale. Instead academic politics can get ugly even leading to murders as demonstrated in ORANGE CRUSHED. The heroine plunges head long into the investigation in order to forget her break up with a man she cares about and in the process finds herself attracted to Earl's son. The protagonist has solved homicide cases before (see A DARKER SHADE OF CRIMSON) but this investigation is her toughest because the suspects all wear masks pretending to be something they are not. Pamela Thomas-Graham has written a fantastic academic mystery.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner