English professor Karen Pelletier is well known for her provocative manner and iconoclastic opinions, so it's no surprise that she perversely cites a commercial novel from the 1950s when asked to named the greatest book of the twentieth century. The only work by Mildred Deakin, who disappeared from public view shortly after its publication, Satan Mills quickly becomes the hottest book around. It's the center of contentious arguments in academic circles, climbs onto The New York Times bestseller list, and receives the coveted honor of being an Oprah Book Club selection. At the height of the frenzy, a reporter who discovers the reclusive author in rural upstate New York is found dead in her driveway. Could Deakin have been so protective of her privacy that she'd shoot someone to protect it?
Called in to help with the investigation, Karen learns that the scandalous happenings at the heart of Satan Mills were more autobiographical than its attractive young author wanted anyone to know. The intrepid professor deploys all her literary and investigative skills in an all-out effort to exonerate the embattled older woman and restore her peaceful existence. Detailed with Dobson's lethally witty pen, Karen's latest adventure is at once a deftly told mystery and a delightful debunking of polemical academics and pretentious intellectual windbags.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Cold and Pure and Very Dead||Series: A Karen Pelletier Mystery, , #4|
|Release Date: 11-10-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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Cold and Pure and Very Dead
At the request of the Enfield College Public Affairs Office, I was giving an interview to The New York Times about the Northbury Center, a research library for the study of American women writers soon to be established at the college. If Dr. Edith Hart’s last will and testament survived family lawsuits, I would someday be director of the center.
Martin Katz, the Times arts reporter, was young and jittery. His dark hair was cut close to his head, his sallow skin pulled tight over flat cheekbones. Although he was slight, and at least two inches shorter than his rigidly disciplined posture suggested he wanted to be, the black polo shirt hugged a buffed torso. “Novel in English, I mean,” he continued, as if he were, of course, intimately familiar with literary work in Urdu and Singhalese. As I considered my response, the journalist flipped a page of his long, skinny notebook and recorded the query. Then he glanced up at me impatiently. Interviewing an Enfield College Assistant Professor about a scholarly research center was not the ambitious Marty Katz’s idea of a cutting-edge assignment. He’d put in his dutiful half hour in my green vinyl office armchair, gotten the tedious academic facts, was concluding the interview with a throwaway question.
Afternoon sunlight spilled through my office windows and across the plush-covered cushions of the window seat, forming a luminous rectangle. The patch of sun crept across floorboards in the direction of Marty’s black-leather running shoes. When it touched his toes, the reporter yanked his feet back toward the safety of the cha...