Monday, January 8, 2018

Academic Affairs: A Poisoned Apple

By Peter Likins
Darby Books    2017
150 pages     Cozy Mystery

Peter Likins, the author of Academic Affairs: A Poisoned Apple is a distinguished educator—former president of the University of Arizona. In retirement, he has written several books, the newest of which is this cozy mystery.

Academic Affairs is set at a small Christian college in Alabama and features the death of the school’s president and the murder of the Dean and his administrative assistant. The county sheriff runs the shop with his son and daughter, but they seem unable to solve the murder. A young professor with journalistic aspirations also works on the case, but it is the Black hairdressers and maids who solve the murders. They are privy to more details than are the others as they are in the background of every situation at the college and in the community. This is the South in the 1930s.

The most interesting part of the mystery in the discussion of sexual harassment on the college campus. Surely harassment was seldom discussed openly at a Christian college in the South in the 1930s. Prior to his murder, the Dean was a womanizer, and all the new female staff members were warned about him when they came to campus. Sound familiar? Timely?

This is just a dear little cozy mystery, short and sweet. It is made even more dear because it is the result of the retirement hobby of its author. It came to me from his publicist.

Peter Likins website.

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