Let's Get Criminal: An Academic Mystery

Lev Raphael, Author
Lev Raphael, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-13999-5
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-312-15160-7
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-1-59021-204-2
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The ivory tower looks a bit chipped in Raphael's portrayal of a state university set in the fictional town of Michiganapolis. Nick Hoffman has everything he has ever wanted: a teaching job, a nice house, a solid relationship with his lover, Stefan Borowski, a brilliant novelist and the university's writer in residence. But when Perry Cross shows up, Nick's peace of mind is shattered. Not only does he have to share his office with the nefarious Perry, who managed to weasel his way into a tenured position without qualification, he also discovers that Perry played a destructive role in Stefan's past. Nick, who teaches basic writing courses, is a self-confessed gossip and isn't above creating a little drama of his own when Stefan invites Perry to dinner. The next morning, Perry turns up dead. Nick wonders if Stefan might have had something to do with it while the campus security force is wondering the same about Nick. Nearly all the faculty members and a couple of grad students have something unsavory in their pasts they'd rather not broadcast. Despite laying it on a bit thick with his narrating Nick (who immediately thinks of Ceausescu's overthrow in Bucharest when he sees a broken window), Raphael (Winter Eyes, 1992) delivers literate, witty, mildly suspenseful goods. (Apr.)
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