The Death of a Constant Lover: A Nick Hoffman Mystery

Lev Raphael, Author Walker & Company $22.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8027-3326-9
If Nick Hoffman ever gets the tenure he craves at the State University of Michigan, the body count could be staggering. Raphael's latest is just the third in this bright series (after 1997's The Edith Wharton Murders), and already the campus is littered with corpses. Hoffman, who has just turned 40, teaches in the university's EAR (English, American Studies, Rhetoric) department and is very popular with his students--although somewhat less so with his supervisors, who understandably view him as a crime magnet. Nick might not be as cool a crime solver as Kate Fansler, the Harvard prof star of Amanda Cross's brainy mysteries, but he's refreshingly open about his sexual preference (gay), his religion (Jewish) and his lack of reverence for the world of academia. (Talking about a campus crime wave, he says, ""Assaults were up, bicycle thefts were up, and more flashers were reported in the library. As a bibliographer, I found that particularly depressing, because it was bound to give students the wrong idea about research."") When a vindictive student named Jesse Benevento is stabbed to death during a mini-riot, Hoffman and his novelist lover, Stefan Borowski, are plunged into a darkly amusing diversion involving French fiction (a novel by Benjamin Constant plays an important role) and professional and personal jealousies. This is sneaky, subversive fun--the perfect read to cut a class for. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-0-312-26496-3
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