Delacorte, Feb 2004, 22.95, 324 pp.
Eastern Oklahoma University visiting poetry professor Jay Morgan wakes up to find Annie Walsh sleeping so soundly she seems dead in his bed. However, before he can wake her up, Dean Whittaker orders him to come to his office where Jay is assigned a task that only would go to a professor considered lower than the bottom rung of the food chain. In other words as a visiting teacher with a one year contract that can lead to abuse and misuse, Jay must edit the poetry of grumpy geriatric Fred Jones.
Morgan detests the works of amateur wannabes who make up much of the poetry groups and contributors at universities, but loathes even more student reporters assigned to harangue him. Shockingly Jones actually has talent as a poet and at body disposal as the girl in Jay's bed sleeps like a corpse because she is a corpse. Other people also are killed as Jay finds himself in the milieu of a true dead poet's society caused by stolen dope leading to the thief hiding as a student.
Though the story line seems thirty degrees beyond improbable, readers will not care as THE PISTOL POETS is an amusing irreverent who-done-it tale that satirizes universities and amateur sleuth mysteries. Jay with the help of Jones keeps the tale somewhat focused though clearly even they perform as stand up comics. Not for everyone, readers who get pleasure from a jocular academic mystery with a joke a sentence including some about people that died will want to read this multi-plotted story in which each subplot adds to the humor and ridicule of icons.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner