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Death Without Tenure (Professor Karen Pelletier Mysteries) Hardcover – January 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
installment. The entire series is wonderful--the best in academic mystery. Without giving anything
away, it is set in small, exclusive Enfield College. Karen is brave, brilliant, and resilient. She
is not your typical English professor at a snooty school! This book is very 2010--with attention to
social issues and a very clever use of Facebook. I would definitely recommend this book and would
also hope that people would go back to the beginning and read the entire series.
has written another fascinating insider tale about the machinations of the very
private and often arcane world of higher academia. The novel, sixth in the series,
is set in the rarified world of Enfield College, a private high priced and high
minded institution of higher learning.
While college and collegial are from the same root, and college administrations and
faculties try to project an aura of patience, calm and reasoned discourse, we all
know, when we stop to think about it, it ain't always so.
Karen Pelletier is six years into her faculty position in the English Department at
Enfield.. She is beset by an incompetent department chair and a colleague who gives
her the willies. It is tenure decision time. In the academic faculty world, one's
position is essentially temporary until the faculty, deans and ultimately the college
administration, makes a proffer of tenure. Tenure usually means one has a life-time
appointment, so it's a pretty big deal. What's more, if you aren't awarded tenure,
you have to leave the institution. Pelletier is in the midst of collecting and
refining her tenure materials for timely presentation. There are two professors up
for tenure and only one position available. Then her competition is murdered. With
law enforcement looking intently her way, the intrepid professor has to deal with a
raft of odd characters, out-of-the-norm students, political incorrectness and most of
the other ills that occasionally beset college campuses.
Author Dobson is peerless in her depiction of the nuanced atmosphere and language of
the college.Read more ›
As the book opens, Karen is commiserating with colleague Miles Jewell, the first clue to a longtime series fan that things have changed. Jill, Karen's best friend at Enfield, appears only briefly here. We do find out what happens to Karen's daughter, Amanda after she graduates, as well as several other students who played major roles in earlier books. Established characters, like Trooper Felicity Schultz and Enfield President Avery Mitchell play roles, as well.
Things have changed since I went to college a decade ago, and the author has fun parodying them. `Writing' like `print' is passe," a student informs Karen proudly as she's filling in for her deceased colleague. "Our texts include Facebook and YouTube." Fortunately, though, Facebook proves handy when Karen needs to investigate her colleague's background and solve the mystery. Overall, this latest in the series is a satisfying read, though it seems a little rushed in places.
Upset by what she knows is unfair treatment, Karen is also anxious about her daughter Amanda who is in Kathmandu, Nepal and her boyfriend U.S. National Guard Bureau Lieutenant and State Police Investigator as a civilian Charles Piotrowski deployed to Iraq. When Joe dies from apparent peyote poisoning, the police suspect Karen as she had plenty to gain with the competition removed. Not one to sit by idly, Karen puts aside her personal concerns made worse by a jealous "Person" in the department to investigate and soon locates other suspects from among the faculty, staff and student bodies.
Professor Pelletier's latest amateur sleuth (see The Maltese Manuscript) is a fascinating whodunit that starts off a bit slow as Karen whines about the unfairness of academic life, but accelerates once the heroine gets out of her funk to investigate the homicide. The story line somewhat lampoons the college world as Karen's inquiries lead to stereotype characters from all lines of academia and their related issues. Fans will enjoy the New England English professor who puts aside her companion The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson to investigate who killed her rival.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was kind and gave it two stars! Really predictable and rather tedious. Character is a complainer and a very familiar type along with the stereotypes of campus characters. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Samantha Betts
Great read, keeps you interested most of the way & you really do care about the characters.Published 17 months ago by PRF
Predictable character, trifling plot, unbelievable solutionPublished 18 months ago by Slick Bullard
This is a classic mystery set in an academic setting. The sense of place is firm, so if you are familiar with Amherst, Ma., you will experience a special pleasure. Read morePublished on June 8, 2013 by Thomas Anderson
I've been sharing the Professors stories with my sis in Texas...so I got to send it to her Kindle this time. That works out well for both of us.Published on May 15, 2013 by James Messerli
This was a spellbinding story and well written. I like the continued development of her characters and will read more of Joanne Dobson's books.Published on April 12, 2013 by Peter Foster
It had been a long time since I last read a Joanne Dobson novel. Good plot but not as sophisticated wring as I seem to recall. I'll read her again, though.Published on December 23, 2012 by P. Morris
Haven't read Dobson for awhile, so really enjoyed catching up with Professor Karne Pelletier and all the foibles of academe!Published on September 28, 2012 by terry culross
I had to read this for a literature class and I did not find it enjoyable at all.
As a mystery, this book is lacking. Read more