Berkley, Jan 2003, 5.99, 272 pp.
Tallahassee reporter McLeod Delaney of the Star of Florida newspaper is still in shock after receiving notification that she won the Pulitzer Prize for a series of reports on welfare families. Just when she thinks nothing can surprise her anymore she is invited to apply for a lectureship on non-fiction writing at Princeton University. She immediately applies for the position and is quickly accepted. Once she arrives there the faculty makes her feel at home by inviting her to their homes for dinner.
She becomes friendly with a friend of her late husband Professor Archie Alexander, gets along with her department head Dexter Kincaid who is noted for drinking cosmopolitans at every social function, and thinks all her students have a bright future ahead of them. At a faculty party, Archie drinks a cosmopolitan and dies. At a luncheon, somebody makes a cosmopolitan for Dexter and he dies a few days later. McLeod and her students conclude the two deaths are linked but the only person who can tell them who mixed the cosmopolitans is strangled in his own office. They tell their theory to the police who think there is no links between the three deaths but McLeod continues her investigation and almost becomes victim number four.
The theme of THE PRINCETON MURDERS is very creative but the pacing is very slow, which means action readers will tend to lose interest very quickly. McLeod and her students are very likable and interesting characters but the rest of the support cast seen two-dimensional. The mystery itself is well designed and the perpetrator will come as a shock to those readers who stay the entire semester.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner