July 6, 2016

Summer Reading: Some Academic Mystery Novels

Ms. Mentor (the nom d'academe of retired LSU English professor Emily Toth) has published her annual academic novel summer reading list here, and as usual, I wonder which academic mystery novels I would compile for such a list.

Carolyn Heilbrun (Amanda Cross)'s Kate Fansler's wonderful novels are obvious choices, but what to add? There are Alfred Alcorn's mysteries set in an academic museum, a couple of Stephen Carter's novels, and (my favorites) those of Pamela Thomas-Graham. Here's a list to get started.

Alcorn, Alfred, Murder in the Museum of Man, Zoland Books, 1997.

Alcorn, Alfred, The Love Potion Murders in the Museum of Man, Zoland Books, 2009. 

Alcorn, Alfred, The Counterfeit Murder in the Museum of Man, Zoland Books, 2010. 

Carter, Stephen L., The Emperor of Ocean Park, Penguin, 2003.

Carter, Stephen L., New England White, Borzoi, 2007.

Cross, Amanda, Death in  a Tenured Position, Dutton, 1981.

Cross, Amanda, The Edge of Doom, Ballentine, 2002.

Cross, Amanda, Honest Doubt, Ballentine, 2000.

Cross, Amanda, The James Joyce Murder, Virago Press, 1989.

Cross, Amanda, An Imperfect Spy, Ballantine, 1995.

Cross, Amanda, In the Last Analysis, Thorndyke Press, 1979.

Cross, Amanda, No Word From Winifred, Dutton, 1986.

Cross, Amanda, The Players Come Again, Random House, 1990.

Cross, Amanda, Poetic Justice, Knopf, 1970.

Cross, Amanda, Puzzled Heart, 1998.

Cross, Amanda, The Question of Max, Dutton, 1984.

Cross, Amanda, Sweet Death, Kind Death, Dutton, 1984.

Cross, Amanda, A Trap For Fools, Dutton, 1989.

Dexter, Colin, Last Bus to Woodstock, Ivy Books, 1995 (paperback edition). The Inspector Morse novels are set in Oxford and often have a substantial connection to the university. Filmed with John Thaw as the taciturn Inspector; available streaming on Amazon Prime and Netflix and on DVD. A prequel, Endeavour, is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

MacLeod, Charlotte, Rest You Merry, Otto Penzler Books, 1993. The Peter Shandy mysteries by Charlotte MacLeod are set at fictional Balaclava Agricultural College. Ten in the series.

Martinez, Guillermo, The Oxford Murders, Penguin, 2006.  Adapted for film; available for streaming on Amazon Prime and on DVD.

Thomas-Graham, A Darker Shade of Crimson, Simon and Schuster, 1998. Set at Harvard.

Thomas-Graham, Pamela, Blue Blood, Simon and Schuster, 1999.

Thomas-Graham, Orange Crushed, Simon and Schuster, 2004.

Also check out the substantial listing of Oxford-Cambridge-Harvard related mystery novels here.  The BYU Libraries have compiled a listing of mystery novels in their own collections involving universities, faculty and/or students here.

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