ORANGE CRUSHED: An Ivy League Mystery
In her third assured Ivy League mystery (after 1999's Blue Blood ), Thomas-Graham makes some telling points about race and social justice. When 30-year-old African-American Harvard economics professor Nikki Chase comes to Princeton to present a paper, she also visits her brother, Erik, and their friend and mentor, "Professor Earl Stokes, the country's leading scholar on urban economics and rumored to be an impending addition to Harvard's Afro-American Studies Department." (The parallel with Harvard's wooing of Cornel West is bound to intrigue readers with an interest in that real-life cause célèbre.) When the secretive Earl perishes in a suspicious fire at the site of the new Afro-Am Building, Nikki decides to camp out at Erik's dorm room until the funeral is over and some troubling questions have been answered. As the tension builds, Nikki must not only defend Earl's scholarly reputation but also absolve him of the charge that the fire was of his own making. Thomas-Graham effortlessly reveals the inner workings of a prestigious university in a provocative novel sure to appeal well beyond the ivory tower. Agent, Esther Newberg at ICM. (June 21)
Forecast: Profiled in Ms. as a woman of the year in 2003, the author is a natural for the promotion circuit, but her position as president and CEO of CNBC may not allow her much time.
Release date: 06/01/2004