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Theoretically Dead Paperback – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: New Victoria Publishers (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892281163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892281166
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,431,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Tinker Marks is the pen name for two professors at Grinnell college - one a philosophy professor and the other in economics. This is their first foray into the field of fiction.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Tinker Marks is a nom de plume for a husband and wife professor team, Mark Montgomery and Irene Powell. Both are professors of economics at Grinnell College.
For anyone working in the field of academics, whether as an academic themselves or in a support staff capacity, there is much to make fun of. Montgomery and Powell use a Philosophy Department conference as the setting for this hilariously funny, ribald and comedic mystery. Using the name of Erik Weber (pronounced "Vee-bur" in true Teutonic form), this husband and wife team pull out all the stops to make for a delightful cosy thriller.
Set at Hammond College (all names are meticulously close to the mark while still being fictitious), Professor Claire Sinclair, professor of economics and lesbian mate of famed philosopher Emma Harrington, finds herself in the middle of a theater of the absurd murder mystery as she strives to stay as far away as possible from Emma's upcoming conference. This conference, of course, may make or break Emma's chance at a new chair, which would enable her to continue her appointment at Hammond. As the administration strive to deal with keeping public relations under control after Professor Weber's body is found, Claire finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into the quagmire:
"Claire,' Jack said, I guess that leaves you as the logical choice to talk to the media. Would you be wiling to do that?' I couldn't believe my ears. Would I be willing to run a press conference on the subject of Weber's death? Hell no, I wouldn't! I didn't have anything to do with Philosophy, I didn't have any knowledge of Weber's life, and I didn't have any experience dealing with the press. On the other hand, I didn't have tenure.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Beverly on March 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Tinker Mark's book happens right here in Iowa....with references to my hometown. The two main characters were real in their every day emotions and life. As a whodunit...it kept me waiting until it was almost too late. Imagine running all over town trying to keep a test tube frozen! And then the humanitarian side where they assist their elderly neighbors in coping with a gay son. It was suspenseful, funny, and heartwarming. Loved it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is GREAT!!! Easy-to-read, and hillarious. The plot keeps you glued to the book. The character of Claire comes up with the most remarkable sayings as she tryies to find out who killed a world-famous philosopher at an Iowa college symposium. This is a must-read for anyone who likes a good mystery wrapped in a humorous style.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Judy Bennett on November 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Theoretically Dead is a most engaging read. A Philosophy conference on the campus of a small midwestern college provides a setting ripe with possibilities for murder. Academic rivalries, love, loyalty, and professional ambitions all come into play when a distiguished, but eccentric, philosopher turns up dead.
Whereas the notion of following the shenanigans of a cadre of philosophers at an academic conference might seem dry to some readers, the charming but beleaguered narrator keeps the tone light and the perspective amusingly mundane. We are put at ease by her own admission of disinterest in the subject.
Theoretically Dead provides a refreshingly personal view of academic life. It peels away the academic stereotypes and presents individuals with distinguished professional careers and quirky insecurities. The characters are well drawn, and they linger in your mind.
The Midwestern college setting provides a rich sense of place that reminds me of A Cunning Man or The Rebel Angel by Robertson Davies. Tinker Marks is clearly at home on campus.
Like a good Miss Marple tale, this mystery snares the reader more out of curiosity than out of dramatic tension. I found myself taking off from work early to get back to the book. The crime's resolution was both surprising and satisfying. I was able to deduce the who of the whodunnit, as I usually do. I missed by a mile on the why. I wouldn't have it any other way.
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