Dead Clever (Lily Pascale Series #1)


Lily Pascale is the hippest new heroine to come from London since Bridget Jones.

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Lily Pascale is the hippest new heroine to come from London since Bridget Jones.

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Editorial Reviews

USA Today
What sets Thomas' work apart is that she pushes her plot into the realm of science fiction when the motive behind the students' deaths is exposed. It's spooky and slightly far-fetched but very Mary Shelley-ish in its expositions. It's sure to satisfy readers who prefer a more literary crime novel. Lilly is Nancy Drew and Miss Marple rolled into one. — Carol Memmott
Publishers Weekly
British author Thomas (Going Out) puts a hip spin on the English cozy in this engaging mystery (the first of a trilogy), full of attractive characters in a lovingly evoked setting. Bored and unsuccessful at teaching, bartending and acting, Lily Pascale leaves noisy, noisome London and her cheating boyfriend for her native picturesque Devon. When she applies for an English department vacancy at the local university, Lily is, to her amazement, hired on the spot to teach her specialties-crime and horror fiction as well as creative writing. But the campus is in turmoil. A student has recently been decapitated in the woods, another student is missing, a colleague to whom Lily is attracted disappears and Lily's department head, Professor Valentine, is oddly uncommunicative. When the distraught missing student surfaces, Lily is the last person to see him before he turns up dead, supposedly a suicide. Lily suspects foul play and resolves to investigate. When she discovers an insidious drug cult on campus with a sinister leader, what was hitherto a tale of amateur detection becomes a Sax Rohmer-type thriller. The leader's identity and who's behind the murders may be a little too obvious for some, but everyone will welcome the sassy, self-reliant and smart Lily to the ranks of independent, contemporary female sleuths. (Feb. 1) Forecast: As the first mystery title from a new imprint (see PW's Mystery Category Closeup, "Everything's OKate," Oct. 21), this is bound to attract extra attention. Cozy fans won't be put off, since the sensible Lily, unlike swinging female crime-solvers such as Lauren Henderson's Sam Jones, isn't into promiscuous sex, drugs or booze. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Having dumped her boyfriend, job, and London flat to return home to Devon, Lily Pascale takes on part-time work at the local university, filling in for an instructor who quit. On her first day, a student is brutally raped and murdered. Lily begins sleuthing when another student, who tried to tell her that he witnessed the girl's murder, dies of a purported drug overdose. A possible love interest comes under police scrutiny, and quirky characters and mom provide welcome complications, while solid narrative and engaging dialog hold it all together. A cross between Bridget Jones and Samantha Jones (heroine of Lauren Henderson's Black Rubber Dress), Lily will appeal to mystery fans who like their English girl detectives a bit more modern and trendy than Miss Marple. Give in to temptation and enjoy this first entry of Thomas's trilogy. [Justin, Charles & Co., a new Boston-based publisher, has coordinated with a Cambridge bookstore to create a mystery imprint that will import new British crime fiction, as well as release new thrillers, police procedurals, and mystery series.-Ed.] Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The first of a trilogy inaugurating the Kate’s Mystery Books imprint features unimpressive Lily Pascale, who hightails it back to Devon when she tires of her nonsuccess in London—a boyfriend who cheats on her and auditions that never lead to parts. Her mum finds her a job teaching pop culture (i.e., detective fiction) at the local college, where her students are obsessing over the murder of 19-year-old Stephanie, whose corpse was missing its head. Especially overcome is Steph’s would-be beau Jason, who utters a few cryptic words, then expires of an Ecstasy overdose behind the Blue Dolphin club, a druggie hangout owned by the brother of Dale, an old school chum of Lily’s who’s now putting the moves on her. Within a week, Lily, perhaps goaded into detective mode by her reading, is the last person to see devilishly handsome instructor Fenn Baker before he does a runner; has a crack at decoding Jason’s dying utterance; and winds up taking Dale to the hospital after a drug mishap of his own. More snooping reveals skullduggery in the college’s science department and promises made to the college dean, Professor Valentine, who attends midnight cult meetings as Freddy Future, architect of new life processes based on experiments in which that missing head plays a prominent role. Outthinking the cops, Lily connects all the criminal dots, effects a dramatic moors rescue, and receives a £20,000 reward for her efforts. Nice for her, right? But the drab heroine and the preposterous plot she’s mired in make this debut less than auspicious.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932112016
  • Publisher: Justin, Charles & Co.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2002
  • Series: Lily Pascale Series , #1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 4, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I think I liked this book but ....

    some of the main characters characteristics such as constantly smoking was annoying at times. Otherwise she was a likeable heroine.

    The story wasn't bad, I liked "Lily" the main character and I liked her brother, mother and other friends. Lily's job as an assistant professor of english with a specialty in crime/horror fiction stories and writing was especially a good mention but I thought it could have been used more in the storyline and it wasn't. If the author is using this as a background for future storylines then I guess it was okay. I just wanted more reference to crime/horror fiction.

    But as the storyline got into more about lab made drugs and names and abbreviations of drugs was mentioned, then the author kinda lost me. It was too much and I found myself skimming to get back to the storyline.

    I may look into more in this series just to see what story lines the author has done recently since this book is from 2002.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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