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Poetic Justice (Kate Fansler Novels) Mass Market Paperback – January 30, 2001

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Product Details

  • Series: Kate Fansler Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (January 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449007030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449007037
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,370,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[A] dazzling display of elegance of language."
--The New York Times Book Review

From the Inside Flap

Student riots have ravaged the distinguished New York City university where Kate Fansler teaches.  In the ensuing disarray, the survival of the university's plebeian stepchild, University College, seems doubtful. President Jeremiah Cudlipp is snobbishly determined to ax it; and as sycophantic professors fall in line behind him, the rally of Kate and few rebellious colleagues seems doomed. It is a fight to the death, and only a miracle--or perhaps a murder--can save their beloved institution. . . .

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of Amanda Cross's best, wittiest, best conceived mysteries. The characters are well drawn and three dimensional. Some of her descriptions were so true to type that I laughed until I cried. It may be her most literary novel. Each chapter is introduced by a quotation from the great English poet, W.H. Auden and Auden is present --though generally in absentia -- throughout the novel. The mysterious death of one of the University's most bigoted faculty members is presented against an accurate picture of University politics, during the Columbia student revolt of the last '60s. (The author, AKA Carolyn G. Heilbrun, is Professor Emeritus from Columbia, where she was awarded an endowed Chair in Humanities after teaching Victorian literature for many years.) Lionel Trilling, the great American literary critic and scholar appears, thinly disguised as "Frederick Cremance." Trilling/Cremance coined and popularized the expression "the life of the mind." Heinlein was one of his students, though he doubted that women were capable of having a "life of the mind." As Kate Fansler she has an opportunity to challenge him at long last. The writing is graceful, literary and tasteful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Moe811 on December 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel is set during the turbulent student uprisings. Kate is charged with saving the University College, sort of like NYU's New School, primarily for adults returning to finish their education. The powers that be do not want the school to continue, the reasons are not clear. The leader of the movement is Professor Cudlipp, a stereotypical academic snob, he appears in all of these novels in one form or another. Predictably, he is murdered and Kate and Reed are bound to find out the truth.
I usually enjoy these academic mysteries, but this one is just too dated for my taste. The radicals of this time were the repressed conservative professors of my time, and this mystery doesn't age as well as her others. The writing and mystery are still fine, but the setting is old fashioned, but not enough to be historical or quaint yet.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Professor Kate Fansler teaches Victorian Literature at a NYC University. I always get a kick out of the political machinations in academia. They may tend to think of themselves above or at least apart from the sordid world, but, heavens, insularity can breed the worst traits, just like in any family.

It's 1970, the year after students took over the administration offices and real and imaginary changes have been made or proposed to make the university more accountable to the students, or at least more attentive to their gentle murmerings. Surprisingly, in light of that, the new battle is about whether or not to close the University College, an adjunct school that is geared more to the adult student returning to college.

Feelings among the faculty and administration are strong on both sides. Does the University College dilute the brand for prospective 18 year-olds, and, more importantly, the parents and alumni with the checkbooks? Or, does the College increase the brand with a new type of dedicated student more often making sacrifices to get her degree?

Professor Jeremiah Cudlipp, Chairman of the University English Department, is one of those adamant of the closure. And it just so happens that he dies at the faculty party celebrating Kate's engagement to Reed Amhearst, of the D.A.'s office. Cudlipp is allergic to aspirin, and someone managed to slip him two. And how is that tied into the elevators suddenly stopping between floors when they were trying to rush Cudlipp to the hospital?

Kate and Reed investigate. "Poetic Justice" is very intelligently written and also made me laugh out loud at the description of one student's dissertation. The poet W.H.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elimatta on May 26, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Academic novels are often great fun, but this one is rather laboured. Did academics in English literature around 1970 quote poetry as often as this suggests? That would've been motive enough for more fatal pills.
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