Academic Bodyby Shirley S. Allen
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Retired theatrical director Paul Godwin longs for the life of a college professor, but can he woo his famous wife away from the New York stage to become part of his academic life in small-town Maine? Not easily, especially after the dean accuses him of having a fling with a student and then is found dead in circumstances that make Paul a prime suspect in the investigation.
Paul's efforts to discover the real culprit provoke dangerous reprisals, but he must succeed to save his new career, his marriage - and perhaps his life.
Praise for Academic Body:
"Shirley Allen has used her expertise as a writer and a former academician to write a little gem of a mystery in the tradition of Agatha Christie. Ms. Allen has assembled a cast of suspects, each with a distinctive voice (and vice), to lead the reader sniffing through clues like a rat in a maze. The result, Academic Body, is both entertaining and thought-provoking." Dr. Barry Friedman
"When the blackmailing dean of Weaver College is suddenly murdered, all who saw him that night become suspects. Retired stage director Paul Godwin, lately turned professor, and his actress wife Lenore ponder the dean's death with the theatrical knowledge of given circumstances, personal motivation, and a thorough comprehension of Shakespeare's classic tragedies....A hilarious farce about college life delivers us to the circumstances that lead to murder most foul." Kathleen Keena
- Anne R. Allen
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Meet the Author
Shirley S. Allen was born in Oak Park Illinois and graduated from Oak Park High School. She received a B.A. from Carleton College and a Ph.D in English and Latin from Bryn Mawr College.
Married to Archibald W. Allen, a professor of classics at Yale, Colby, and Wesleyan, she brought up three children before becoming a professor of English at the University of Connecticut.
Among her scholarly publications was a book on the stage history of Shakespearean drama Samuel Phelps and Sadlers Wells Theatre. After retiring to California, she became a political columnist and fiction writer. Her first novel, Roxanna Britton, was published in 2001.
Shirley died in in Berkeley CA, in December of 2013 at the age of 92, surrounded by her loving family. She is survived by her daughters Anne R. Allen and Elizabeth L. Allen and three grandsons, Daniel, William, and Christopher Mullaney.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The story was slightly dragged out but still quite interesting. However, the ending was very sloppy.It appears the author ran out of ideas ad just cut it off. She threw in a scene that didn't even fit.There was a lot of crude language that was totally unnecessary. If the main character, a theatre director and acting teacher, can keep his language clean why in the world wouldn't university professors?
In my opinion, the most important part of a cozy mystery is the *characters*. Unfortunately, we never get to know the characters in this book at all. All we know about the main character isthat he has a bad heart and is 'older'. We know even less about his wife - she's a theater actress and it's casually mentionedthat she has an ex-husband who became famous after they divorced butthat's about it. I can't say I enjoy pages upon pages of description but *something* would have been nice. As it was, I could never get a picture in my mind of the characters, therefore I never got emotionally invested in them. And the mystery itself left me confused.
I found this book hard to put down. It is well written with a likable main character and cleverly plotted with a suspenseful conclusion. Shirley Allen has done a good job with this Maine mystery.