Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews

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Irish Tenure by Ralph McInerny

St. Martin's Minotaur, Dec., 1999.
Hardcover, 246 pages.
ISBN: 0312203454.
Ordering information:

Irish Tenure
by Ralph McInerny In the scholarly halls of Notre Dame University, two young professors are vying for only one tenure spot. Amanda Pick and Hans Wiener are both known to Professor Roger Knight, who hates to see the backbiting and name calling that seem to surround situations like this. Meanwhile, rumors have surfaced that a heretofore unpublished manuscript by G. K. Chesterton has been found in the Notre Dame archives. Many people are on the trail of the valuable manuscript, including Chesterton scholar Professor Sean Pottery (who is quite enamored with Amanda Pick) and rare book dealer Noah Beispiel. When Amanda is found murdered, Roger Knight determines to find the murderer.

Irish Tenure is the third book in the series starring Professor Roger Knight and his p.i brother Phil. As Professor Knight investigates, we get a detailed picture of faculty life at Notre Dame which amuses and intrigues. Although the plot is not terribly complicated, the atmosphere more than makes up for that fact. Fans of cozies and a gentle satire of academic life will find Professor Knight's latest outing a perfect adventure.

Ransom Unpaid by Fred Hunter

St. Martin's Press, Nov., 1999.
Hardcover, 216 pages.
ISBN: 0312242336.
Ordering information:

Ransom Unpaid
by Fred Hunter Emily Charters agrees to act as temporary companion for Abigail Pearson, an elderly lady who claims to have seen her deceased husband walking through her home in the middle of the night. The spooky incident lands Abigail in the hospital with heart palpitations. Emily brings in her good friend, Chicago police detective Jeremy Ransom to look at the house. Ransom quickly determines that someone has been inside the house, and seems to be intent on making the old lady seem mentally unfit, or giving her a fatal heart attack. Abigail herself seems to be hiding something, and her grown children all seem to have motives for sending their mother to an early grave. Then a killer strikes, but Abigail is not the target. The more Emily and Jeremy delve into the past of this rather unusual family, the more secrets they dig up. Will they find out the truth before a killer strikes again?

Emily Charters and Jeremy Ransom make an unusual detecting duo. Emily is an elderly lady with a flair for detecting, and Jeremy is a homicide detective. Together, they make a formidable team. Their latest adventure has them in the thick of a family drama that is about to erupt into murder. Emily and Ransom are well up to the task put to them, as is Hunter with his sly humor and smooth writing style.

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