Campus Crime Novels

Miss Pym Disposes

Miss Pym Disposes
$17.00

On any credible list of all time great mysteries, you'll find at least one novel by Joesphine Tey: Daughter of Time, Brat Farrar, The Franchise Affair. They're all fantastic.  My pick is Miss Pym Disposes, a brilliant and uncommonly perceptive novel that takes place at a women's college. Pop psychologist Lucy Pym is an alum.  She returns for a lecture and ends up staying on for a while, a respite from the hustle and bustle of fame, and she's enjoying the company of the young students. The novel is fascinating for so many reasons, not the least of which is the way in which Miss Pym applies her version of psychology to what she observes, and how the various characters are viewed sympathetically and unsympathetically.  The blurb below, which comes from the publsiher, does not do justice to the novel's complexities, especially to its elegant, stunning ending, which leaves us with much to consider, long after we turn the last page.

- Jim Huang, Bookshop Director


 

Miss Lucy Pym, a popular English psychologist, is guest lecturer at a physical training college. The year's term is nearly over, and Miss Pym -- inquisitive and observant -- detects a furtiveness in the behavior of one student during a final exam. She prevents the girl from cheating by destroying her crib notes. But Miss Pym's cover-up of one crime precipitates another -- a fatal "accident" that only her psychological theories can prove was really murder.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780684847511
Publication Date: 
August 18, 1998
Author: 
Publisher: 

Black Hour

Black Hour
$18.95
For Chicago sociology professor Amelia Emmet, violence was a research topic--until a student she'd never met shot her. He also shot himself. Now he's dead and she's back on campus, trying to keep up with her class schedule, a growing problem with painkillers, and a question she can't let go: Why? All she wants is for life to get back to normal, but normal is looking hard to come by. She's thirty-eight and hobbles with a cane. Her first student interaction ends in tears (hers). Her fellow faculty members seem uncomfortable with her, and her ex--whom she may or may not still love--has moved on. Enter Nathaniel Barber, a graduate student obsessed with Chicago's violent history. Nath is a serious scholar, but also a serious mess about his first heartbreak, his mother's death, and his father's disapproval. Assigned as Amelia's teaching assistant, Nath also takes on the investigative legwork that Amelia can't do. And meanwhile, he's hoping she'll approve his dissertation topic, the reason he came to grad school in the first place: the student attack on Amelia Emmet. Together and at cross-purposes, Amelia and Nathaniel stumble toward a truth that will explain the attack and take them both through the darkest hours of their lives.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781616148850
Publication Date: 
July 8, 2014
Author: 
Publisher: 

Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
$16.99

Midnight at the Bright Idea Bookstore meets The Bookshop of Yesterdays in a stunning debut following a librarian whose quiet life is turned upside down when a priceless manuscript goes missing. Soon she has to ask: what holds more secrets in the library--the ancient books shelved in the stacks, or the people who preserve them?

Liesl Weiss long ago learned to be content working behind the scenes in the distinguished rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she's left to run things, she discovers that the library's most prized manuscript is missing.

Liesl tries to sound the alarm and inform the police about the missing priceless book, but is told repeatedly to keep quiet, to keep the doors open and the donors happy. But then a librarian unexpectedly stops showing up to work. Liesl must investigate both disappearances, unspooling her colleagues' pasts like the threads of a rare book binding as it becomes clear that someone in the department must be responsible for the theft. What Liesl discovers about the dusty manuscripts she has worked among for so long--and about the people who care for and revere them--shakes the very foundation on which she has built her life.

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections is a sparkling book-club read about a woman struggling to step out from behind the shadows of powerful and unreliable men, and reveals the dark edge of obsession running through the most devoted bookworms.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781728238593
Publication Date: 
January 25, 2022
Author: 
Publisher: 

Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane

Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane
$16.99

"Gaudy Night stands out even among Miss Sayers's novels. And Miss Sayers has long stood in a class by herself." --Times Literary Supplement

The great Dorothy L. Sayers is considered by many to be the premier detective novelist of the Golden Age, and her dashing sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, one of mystery fiction's most enduring and endearing protagonists. Acclaimed author Ruth Rendell has expressed her admiration for Sayers's work, praising her "great fertility of invention, ingenuity, and wonderful eye for detail." The third Dorothy L. Sayers classic to feature mystery writer Harriet Vane, Gaudy Night features an introduction by Elizabeth George, herself a crime fiction master. Gaudy Night takes Harriet and her paramour, Lord Peter, to Oxford University, Harriet's alma mater, for a reunion, only to find themselves the targets of a nightmare of harassment and mysterious, murderous threats.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780062196538
Publication Date: 
October 16, 2012
Author: 
Publisher: 

Horizontal Man

Horizontal Man
$14.95
A philandering professor on the faculty of an Ivy League school is found murdered, setting off ripple effects of anxiety, suspicion, and panic in this Edgar Award-winning classic from 1946.

The Horizontal Man was Helen Eustis's only crime novel, and she won an Edgar Award for it, combining a wildly disparate set of elements into an enduringly fascinating work. In its way it is a classical whodunit that stands comparison with old-school practitioners such as Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers. This mystery transpires in the rarefied precincts of the English department of a venerable New England college, one very much of the restless postwar moment, echoing with references to Freud and Kafka. Eustis finds comedy high and low in a cavalcade of characters bursting at the seams with repressed sexual longings and simmering malice. Beyond the satire, she stirs up--with a narrative whose multiple viewpoints give the book a striking modernistic edge--a troubling sense of the mental chaos lurking just beneath the civilized surfaces of her academic setting.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781598536317
Publication Date: 
July 14, 2020
Author: 
Publisher: 

Lost Keats

Lost Keats
$16.00
Owen Keane, a seminarian in the wilds of southern Indiana, is at risk of failure. When an insightful priest offers him a chance at redemption by asking him to find a runaway classmate, mystery addict Keane turns the assignment into a search for a fabulous missing sonnet, an investigation into illicit drug trade, and a harrowing confrontation with his darkest fears.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781932325324
Publication Date: 
July 31, 2013
Author: 
Publisher: 

Name of the Rose

Name of the Rose
$16.99
An international sensation and winner of the Premio Strega and the Prix Médicis Étranger awards

The year is 1327. Benedictines in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon--all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where "the most interesting things happen at night."

"Like the labyrinthine library at its heart, this brilliant novel has many cunning passages and secret chambers . . . Fascinating . . . ingenious . . . dazzling." - Newsweek

ISBN/SKU: 
9780544176560
Publication Date: 
April 22, 2014
Author: 
Publisher: 

Theban Mysteries

Theban Mysteries
$7.99
For a century, wealthy New York girls have been trained for the rigors of upper class life at the Theban, an exclusive private school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Kate Fansler is lured back to her alma mater to teach a seminar on Antigone. But a hostile note addressed to Kate, the uniform mistrustfulness of her six, bright students, and the Dobermans that patrol the building at night suggest trouble on the spot. As Kate leads her class through the inexorable tragic unfolding of Antigone, a parallel nightmare envelops the school and everyone connected with it. . . .
ISBN/SKU: 
9780449007068
Publication Date: 
April 3, 2001
Author: 
Publisher: 

Thus Was Adonis Murdered

Thus Was Adonis Murdered
$7.99

Not, strictly speaking, a campus crime novel, but it's hard to imagine a more academic investigation: the principle narrator is an Oxford don who is explict about applying the tools of scholarship to crime solving.  This is the first of four thoroughly delightful mysteries by Sarah Caudwell featuring "a decorative little group" of lawyers in London.  Mawrters will find the series irresistable.

- Jim Huang, Bookshop Director


 

A young woman accused of murder whilst on holiday in Venice enlists a friend to come help her--but once they begin unraveling clues, there's no telling what else will come to light . . .

"A tour-de-force . . . a hilarious comedy of manners."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch

His was a body to die for . . .

Set to have a vacation away from her home life and the tax man, young barrister Julia Larwood takes a trip to Italy with her art-loving boyfriend. But when her personal copy of the current Finance Act is found a few metres away from a dead body, Julia finds herself caught up in a complex fight against the Inland Revenue.

Fortunately, she's able to call on her fellow colleagues who enlist the help of their friend Oxford professor Hilary Tamar. However, all is not what it seems. Could her boyfriend in fact be an employee of the establishment she has been trying to escape from? And how did her romantic luxurious holiday end in murder?

Don't miss any of Sarah Caudwell's riveting Hilary Tamar mysteries:
THUS WAS ADONIS MURDERED - THE SHORTEST WAY TO HADES - THE SIRENS SANG OF MURDER - THE SIBYL IN HER GRAVE

ISBN/SKU: 
9780440212317
Author: 
Publisher: 

Murder Is Academic

Murder Is Academic
$16.00

P.M. Carlson's campus crime novels are populated by lively, intelligent, good-humored students and grown-ups, just like the people whom we find on real campuses.  Carlson also gets how colleges work.  Her mysteries feel real, but they're also the best version of real: we wish we could be on Carlson's campuses, hanging out with her people.  Murder Is Academic is Carlson's second Maggie Ryan mystery -- a more conventional whodunit than the series opener, Audition for Murder, and a litlte darker.  Set in the late '60s and early '70s, they are terrific mysteries and engaging explorations of recent history.  Highly recommend, so highly that when the original publishers Avon and Bantam let them go, I brought all eight books back into print so that readers could get them all.

- Jim Huang, Bookshop Director



Vietnam, assassinations and riots. In the spring semester of 1968, a series of brutal attacks draws campus women together to study self-defense and the psychology of rape. Graduate student Mary Beth Nelson struggles to keep the Lords of Death at bay by immersing herself in researching Mayan languages. Her new housemate, Maggie Ryan, has her own secrets. When murder strikes close to home, Maggie investigates with a little help from her friends.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781932325232
Publication Date: 
October 1, 2012
Author: 
Publisher: