Perseverance Press, Sept 2004, 13.95, 216 pp.
Although he doesn't have tenure, Professor Nick Hoffman teaches in the English, American studies and Rhetoric Department. The group is tense with in fighting over whom the next chair will be. The provost appoints a new head and makes other reorganization changes without getting feedback from the group. Sick of the anxiety and angst the announcements brings, Nick and his lover Stefan decide to get away from their worries and pack up to go an a vacation to Caribbean island Serenity, a Club Med resort.
While there they met someone they know, Peter de Jonge, a graduate student who wants Nick to investigate his wife, father-in-law and his assistant because their activities are very strange. They used to own the island but depleted fortunes forced them to sell it. The Club Med manager wants to write a book about the family and the island but they refuse. When Stefan and Nick take a walk at night they find the dead body of the manager floating in the water. Nick intends to prove murder occurred, having solving many homicides in the past.
It has been much too long since a Nick Hoffman but was published but fans of the series will be elated that he is back more mature and less anxious. Lev Raphael has written a delightful and charming mystery that takes place in a tropical paradise but the murder makes it seem like the snake entering Eden. TROPIC OF MURDER in a cerebral who-done-it that stimulates the readers to figure out who the killer is before the hero does. There is subtle humor imbued throughout the storyline and the audiences will find themselves chuckling out lout at unexpected moments.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner