Killing Words

Diana Ramsay, Author
Diana Ramsay, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (186p) ISBN 978-0-312-11015-4
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
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Anonymous letters and an apparent suicide throw the smug, insular world of a rural liberal arts college into turmoil in Ramsay's ( Four Steps to Death ) witty puzzler. Faculty wife Amelia Cunningham, fed up by the latest round of self-satisfied posturing at a gathering of faculty wives, thoughtlessly suggests that a few well-directed notes of the ``I know what you've been up to'' variety might bring out some less than lovely truths at Vermont's Northvale College. Soon, someone has sent 17 such letters to members of the college community, one of which leads to the apparent suicide of Katherine Ellsworth, wife of the ultra-charming chairman of the English Department. Feelings of guilt move Amelia to investigate; soon she and her friend Suzanne are focusing on the womanizing widower as the likely killer, even though he is Amelia's husband's boss. While the women track their suspect, Amelia's apparently happy marriage begins to fall apart. Ramsay neatly skewers academic and social folly while delineating some of the pitfalls of academic marriages. (July)
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