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Cold and Pure and Very Dead (Professor Karen Pelletier Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2001


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Cold and Pure and Very Dead (Professor Karen Pelletier Mysteries) + Death Without Tenure (Professor Karen Pelletier Mysteries) + The Raven and the Nightingale
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Fans of Amanda Cross’s delicious academic mysteries really must meet Professor Karen Pelletier!”
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

“Amanda Cross, move over. There’s a new literary mystery novelist in town.”
Great Neck Record

“Dobson’s sparkling tale lures readers through enough bait-and-switch red herrings to guarantee a riveting curiosity about who’s who.”
Kirkus Reviews

“For a modern mystery of academic proportions, you can’t beat Joanne Dobson’s series!”
Mystery Lovers Bookshop News


Don’t miss these other books in Joanne Dobson’s acclaimed series
featuring Professor Karen Pelletier:

The Raven and the Nightingale

“Richly textured ... witty and withering.”
Mystery Lovers Bookshop News

Quieter Than Sleep
Nominated for the Agatha Award

“A truly stunning academic mystery.”
Mystery Lovers Bookshop News

The Northbury Papers

“One of the year’s best mysteries.”
Salon magazine

From the Inside Flap

The Agatha Award-Nominated Author of Quieter Than Sleep

Professor Karen Pelletier has made a name for herself as one of the leading scholars of literature at exclusive Enfield College. But when an offhand comment sets off a firestorm of controversy, she finds herself embroiled in a scandal that began with a notorious novel from the 1950s ? and ends with a very real murder....

When a New York Times reporter ends an interview with Karen by asking her to name the best novel of the twentieth century, she glibly picks the steamy potboiler Oblivion Falls, a long-forgotten tome that caused a sensation forty years ago.

After Karen?s comment renews interest in Oblivion Falls, the book quickly climbs onto the bestseller charts ? and now everyone wants to know what became of the book?s long-vanished author, Mildred Deakin. The reporter who broke the story finally tracks her down ? and is rewarded for his efforts by being shot dead in the writer?s driveway.

When Mildred is arrested for murder, Karen feels obligated to investigate further. And what she discovers, as she probes the long-forgotten publishing drama surrounding Oblivion Falls, is almost as shocking as the book itself ? and far more deadly.
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Product Details

  • Series: Professor Karen Pelletier Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553580027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553580020
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanne Dobson's latest novel, The Kashmiri Shawl, is her first venture into the genre of historical fiction. The novel tells an evocative tale of Anne Wheeler's epic journey from the sultry climes of 19th c. India to the cosmopolitan chaos of New York City, in search of a lost daughter and a forbidden love. The Kashmiri Shawl has been met with great enthusiasm by readers.

Joanne is also a mystery novelist and a scholar of American literature. Her six-book Professor Karen Pelletier mystery series won her an Agatha nomination and a Noted Author of the Year award from the New York State Library Association.

Formerly a tenured professor of American Literature at Fordham University, Joanne now teaches in National Endowment for the Humanities and Fulbright Fellowship International summer programs at Amherst College. She also teaches Creative Writing at the Hudson Valley Writers Center in Sleepy Hollow, NY. In 2014, Joanne was honored by the Writer's Center as Noted Woman of Letters.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Moe811 on October 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
While being interviewed by a NYT reporter Dr. Karen Pelletier states her opinion that the best book of the 20th century was an obscure book from the fifties, called Oblivion Falls. It was based on a true scandal in a college town. The author disappeared a few years later never to be heard from again. After the interview, sales of the book skyrocketed, and the reporter searched for Mildred Deakens, the author. He found her and ended up dead in her driveway. Millie was arrested, but claims to be innocent. Letters from her to Karen have been stolen, and there are rumors about her and a visiting writer.
This is a very good addition to the series. All of the characters from the previous novels have been developed more fully and so has Karen's relationship with Lt. Piotrowski. I really loved this one and finished it in one sitting.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
First of all, I have to admit I am not a great fan of academic mysteries. I don't find petty faculty politics interesting. This novel could have used some good editing. It seemed to be thrown together without a lot of thought. If an author is going to use a real place as a setting (Chatham, NY, in this case), it is a good idea to do some research and spend some time there. Dobson probably drove through and had lunch. She got a lot of things wrong.She also kept switching who arrested Deakin and where she was jailed. First it was the Chatham police, who would not have had jurisdiction over a neighboring town, no matter how small. It would have been the County Sheriff, and eventually (as happened in the novel), the State Police.

Excerpts from Deakin's novel embedded in the mystery are horribly written.

One of Karen's daughter's friends asks Karen for advice because her life is dragging her down. Karen basically tells her she hasn't got it so bad and mentions other people who made it in spite of obstacles. She's lucky the young woman didn't go shoot herself.

The supposed dynamic final lines from Jake's great novel are purple prose.

Dobson confuses hanged and hung. She also seems to think it is plausible that Karen would not be able to differentiate Columbia and Colombia.

Why did the police hire Karen, anyway. She just went around interviewing people the police could have talked to themselves. None of her alleged expertise in the literary field helped solve the case. In fact, nothing helped solve the case. Karen accidentally ran into the killer just in time to be threatened at the end. This kind of coincidental solving is a big mystery no-no.

The voices are silly. The two female police officers sound like thugs from da Bronx...
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So, get a glass of Cava out, a few crackers, a little cheese. This little mystery should give you a pleasant evening.

what Dodson is best at, imho, is drawing h
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I like mysteries with an academic setting. I enjoy the literary references and the description of academic life that is portrayed.
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By H. Potter on November 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first in a really great mystery series involving an English professor. The characters are great. The mysteries are very interesting and always involve some sort of literary puzzle. And the satire of academia is very entertaining. How does anyone take that literary jargon seriously?

Great books!
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Cold and Pure and Very Dead (Professor Karen Pelletier Mysteries)
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