Thursday, January 31, 2013

Publish or Perish: Margot Kinberg

The setting is academia: a university in Pennsylvania. I always enjoy a good academic mystery. Professors and  students are interesting, but I hope all of them are not as back-biting and immoral as the ones here. I know that the academic setting is a competitive one, although I have no first-hand knowledge of this. (I do work for a community college, but do not work directly with academics.)


Here we get a picture of a particularly divisive department and what can go wrong when promotion and status are too important.

This is a quickly paced, entertaining read. I liked the semi-amateur detective, Joel Williams, who treads very lightly as he works to help the police with their investigation of the death of a graduate student.  I describe him as semi-amateur because he is an ex-policeman who now teaches in the university's Department of Criminal Justice.

It is nice to read a detective story where the policemen (and ex-policemen) are likeable and mature and not scarred by their life. There is also a good subplot about a group of students investigating the murder. The cover of the book hints at the crime being related to computer technology. A traditional mystery in a contemporary setting.

All of the books I have read in January (to this point) have been under 300 pages, and some have been under 200 pages. I have enjoyed reading some quick, pithy books vs. the overly long books that have become more prevalent lately. This one is just over 200 pages. A quick read. I read it in a day, and that is always a good sign for me. I highly recommend this book.

From Margot Kinberg's page at Goodreads:
 The second in Kinberg's Joel Williams series is B-Very Flat, in which Williams helps to solve the murder of a young violin virtuosa who dies suddenly on the night of an important musical competition.
I am looking forward to reading that novel also.

10 comments:

  1. It is nice to read a detective story where the policemen (and ex-policemen) are likeable and mature and not scarred by their life.

    Thank God. I am tired of novels where the police/ detectives etc. are fighting personal demons.

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    1. Some of my favorite series with policemen like that are Inspector Barnaby of the Caroline Graham books and D.I. Charlie Priest of the Stuart Pawson books. I have read all of the first series and only a few of the 2nd.

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  2. "It is nice to read a detective story where the policemen (and ex-policemen) are likeable and mature and not scarred by their life"

    It is rare, too! I think that is why I like Louise Penny's novels so much. Her main protagonist, Chief Inspector Gamache, is a mature and grounded man who is devoted to his wife and treats his subordinates with respect. Makes for an interesting level of engagement for the reader.

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    1. That is a series I have read only one of but have several in my TBR pile... some of which I will be reading this year.

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  3. I have a soft spot for academic mysteries as we don't really get them over here in the UK. I enjoyed this book a lot and you've reminded me to get hold of book 2 and read that, especially as I believe that books 3 and 4 have been written.

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    1. Yes, I plan to get to that book later this year.

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  4. Tracy, I am looking forward to reading Ms. Kinberg's books soon. She is such a versatile writer and blogger on crime fiction. In this particular book, I like the idea of a subplot where the students try and investigate the murder on their own.

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    1. Hope you can do that soon. I know you will enjoy her books.

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  5. Tracy - Thank you so much for the kind words *deep blush*. That means a great deal to me. I'm so glad you enjoyed the novel. Folks, thanks much for your kind words too :-)

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    1. You deserve all the praise. Looking forward to reading many more of your books.

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