It was the best of times. It was the worst of crimes.
On a sweltering summer night, a woman dies mysteriously in her hospital bed in New York City. A thousand miles away, amateur sleuth and Midwestern University professor Beth Austin prepares for a class on The Mystery of Edwin Drood, when her mother drops a bombshell: Fifty years ago, she was involved in a similar Dickensian love triangle and unsolved murder at the University of Chicago.
As Beth soon discovers, it's the stuff of great fiction. A gorgeous coed was killed, no suspect was found, and her mother's once-tight college clique dissolved. Each had a motive for murder, now concealed in a morass of lies. Then the killer strikes again in New York, half a century later. Now Beth must re-create the scene of the crime to see if, as in Bleak House, beauty is its own punishment. To learn what her own mother cannot, or will not, tell her. And to risk her own life as the killer, determined to keep old secrets buried, prepares to strike again. . . .
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Devout Dickensians could feel slighted by this third book in Edith Skom's literary-slanted series of mysteries: despite a few mentions of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Bleak House, there's not much Dickens on view. But Skom creates such a lively picture of a group of women students at the University of Chicago in the 1940s that most readers will forgive her for not living up to their great expectations.
English professor Beth Austin is in fact working on a class about Drood for next semester when her mother drops a bombshell: there was a similar Dickensian love triangle and an unsolved murder on the UC campus when she was a student there 50 years before. A group of women known as the Fourth Floor Gang at the Dall Hall dormitory were first victimized by a sneak thief whose identity was widely known but never actually proved. Then came the murder of one of the students, which the police could never pin on anyone. Beth's interest is so piqued that she decides to do some digging. It quickly becomes a tale of two cities when the recent death in a New York hospital of one of the surviving members of the Fourth Floor Gang is linked to the first murder. Skom's first two books about Austin, The George Eliot Murders and The Mark Twain Murders, are available in paperback. --Dick AdlerFrom the Publisher:
Praise for the Beth Austin Mysteries:
"Just about perfect . . . even the walk-on characters are fully dimensional, and the puzzle is terrific. In Skom . . . we have a new star."
"[Skom] allows her heroine a keen independent intelligence. . . . This one fairly jumps into your bookbag."
--The New York Times Book Review
"In the vein of Amanda Cross and P.D. James-a literary mystery told with wit and skill."
--The Dallas Morning News
"High-spirited, literate fun, and a pleasure to read."
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Descrizione libro Dell, 1999. Mass Market Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0440217768
Descrizione libro Dell, 1999. Mass Market Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110440217768