From New York Times bestselling author of A Cat in the Stacks mystery series, a novel about murder, fiction and the deep, deep South…
A Deep South Mystery (#3)
For Andy Carpenter, graduate school is stressful enough without adding romantic complications to the mix. First, Andy has to contend with the presence of Rob Hayward, newly enrolled in the history PhD program. He thought Rob was out of his life for good, but now he has to confront his unresolved feelings and not let his work suffer.
When Andy discovers the body of fellow graduate student Charlie Harper in the university library, his ex, Rob, looks like the chief suspect in the murder. And just what was the relationship between Rob and Charlie?
Andy and his best friend, Maggie McLendon, agree that Rob isn't a murderer, and they decide the best way to exonerate him is to figure out who really killed Charlie. Who else might have had a motive for murder? When a second murder occurs, Andy, Maggie, and Rob must work quickly to find the killer before Rob ends up charged with two murders he didn't commit…or even worse, dead!
“The earnest, wry Andy makes an appealing narrator.” –Publishers Weekly
“…a compelling mystery in the Carolyn Hart tradition.” –Margaret Maron
Graduate student Maggie McLendon, who had a starring role in James's Cruel as the Grave (2000), returns to play a secondary role in this uneven tale of academic skullduggery. Andy Carpenter's routine is totally disrupted when the Houston Ph.D. candidate (in medieval history) discovers sharp-tongued fellow grad student Charlie Harper lying on a couch in the university library with his head bashed in. The campus police, who have primary responsibility for investigating this crime and a subsequent murder, don't hold a candle to Andy, whose seemingly insatiable appetite for gossip leads him into a morass of sexual liaisons (mostly kinky or gay), plagiarism, blackmail and intellectual theft. If the supporting cast is largely one-dimensional and unengaging, the earnest, wry Andy makes an appealing narrator. And if the Nancy Drew-ish sleuthing doesn't mesh particularly well with the graduate-school setting, James keeps the killer's identity shrouded to the end as motives and opportunities apply to any number of suspects. and two other books in his Simon Kirby-Jones gay vampire mystery series. He manages the specialty bookstore Murder by the Book in Houston, Tex.