The Headmaster's Wife (Gregor Demarkian Series #20) [NOOK Book]


Mark DeAvecca is a brilliant fifteen-year-old in his first year at the exclusive private academy, Windsor School. Mark, the son of noted commentator Liz Tolliver, grew up in very different circumstances and could not fit in less well. With its hundred-year-old history, Windsor is rife with tradition, nasty rumors, petty jealousies and long buried resentments. The most savage of those unpleasant undercurrents swirl around the headmaster's wife - currently rumored, with good reason, to be having an affair with ...
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The Headmaster's Wife (Gregor Demarkian Series #20)

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Mark DeAvecca is a brilliant fifteen-year-old in his first year at the exclusive private academy, Windsor School. Mark, the son of noted commentator Liz Tolliver, grew up in very different circumstances and could not fit in less well. With its hundred-year-old history, Windsor is rife with tradition, nasty rumors, petty jealousies and long buried resentments. The most savage of those unpleasant undercurrents swirl around the headmaster's wife - currently rumored, with good reason, to be having an affair with Mark's roommate, a street-tough scholarship student. Mark, however, has his own problems - he feels himself slowly losing his grip on reality and the staff widely believes him to be just another prep school burnout headed for an unpleasant end. So when Mark returns from a late-winter ramble about the campus to find his roommate dead, hanging from the ceiling of their room, he's reached the end of his own metaphorical rope.

Even though he's no longer sure about the line between fantasy and reality, Mark is fairly certain that something is going on at the school and there's more to the death than the official declaration of suicide. With nowhere else to turn, Mark calls retired FBI agent Gregor Demarkian to ask for help. Sensing the crisis in Mark's dulled voice, Demarkian arrives to find Mark in dire physical and mental state, and a school only too eager to sweep his roommate's death under the rug. In what quickly becomes one of the most complex and challenging cases in his career, Demarkian must untangle truth from fiction, fantasy from reality, before another life is lost.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Suspicion falls on an unstable prep school student who finds his roommate (rumored to have been having an affair with the headmaster's wife) hanged in their room. The suspect's famous mom hires retired FBI agent Demarkian (Conspiracy Theory) to look into the matter. The latest in a solid series. Haddam lives in Connecticut. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Dear old bloody school days. Smugly egalitarian Windsor, a Massachusetts boarding school where every rich boy is equal to every other rich boy and there is a precisely calibrated ratio of minorities, accepts Mark DeAvecca, perhaps hoping for an endowment from his superwealthy mom, writer/media nabob Liz Toliver, and stepdad, rock idol Jimmy Card. Mark, however, is soon blacking out, spacing out and acting like a world-class druggie. He's so addled he can't tell what's real and what's not, and when he finds his roommate Michael Feyre hanging from the sprinkler pipes, most of the faculty think he caused the death and should be expelled. Unable to defend himself, feeling sicker by the minute, Mark calls on family friend Gregor Demarkian (Conspiracy Theory, 2003, etc.), who arrives just in time to have Mark sent to the hospital, where caffeine and arsenic poisoning are diagnosed. Headmaster Peter Makepeace tries to keep a lid on the scandals, but more follow quickly. Makepeace's flamboyant wife Alice has picked out a different boy each year to have sex with. One teacher is a closeted gay, another has easy access to student allowances, another has a secret identity and another ingests cyanide and falls from the library catwalk. An in-depth study of educational elitism, emotion versus intellect, and the question of what women really want. In a contest against Elizabeth George for Most Long-Winded, Haddam would win on style points.
From the Publisher

"Gregor, like the series itself, shows no signs of stopping."--Booklist

"Sharp, intelligent, and inventive…the kind of mysteries a Dorothy L. Sayers or a Josephine Tey might have been proud to come up with in the genre's so-called Golden Age…like a good cabinet maker, Haddam knows exactly how to cut and polish her material into art."--Chicago Tribune

"Fans of Jane Haddam's Gregor Demarkian mystery stories will be pleased that the celebrated FBI agent is back to crack another case…intelligently written and well-paced…Haddam handles multiple murders and complex story lines in a masterful way that makes this tale a worthwhile read."--Indianapolis Star

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429904957
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Series: Gregor Demarkian Series , #20
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 154,424
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Jane Haddam is the author of twenty novels featuring Gregor Demarkian, as well as a few suspense novels written under her given name of Orania Papazoglou. A finalist for the Anthony and the Edgar Awards, she lives with her sons in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 1, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Not worth reading at all

    This is the first book I have read by this author and I was very disappointed. I'm amazed she she has had so many books published! It had the setting and idea for a good read, too bad the author couldn't write her way out of a paper bag. The characters had no depth, she was extremely repetitive in her descriptions to the point where I felt this repetitiveness was just filler because she really didn't know how to explain a situation in an interesting way. This book could have easily been edited down to 100 pages but even then there would have been no hope for it being an intriguing story. I do have to say one good thing about the book, I bought it in the bargain section of B&N! Maybe some of her other books are much better, but I'm not usually one to read another book by an author that has pretty much burned her bridge with such a dud the first go around.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fantastic Gregor Demarkian mystery

    Mark DeAvecca is a first year student at Windsor Prep but isn¿t feeling well; his hands shake, he hallucinates and has memory loss. Everyone on the campus assumes he is doing drugs because his roommate Michael Feyre is a drug dealer. One night he thinks he sees somebody lying down on the ground but when he goes to investigate nobody is there. Worried about his health, he calls his mother¿s friend, former FBI agent Gregor Demarkian. --- Gregor notices right away that Mark is not himself but he doesn¿t believe he¿s taking drugs. He takes him to his hotel for a meal and some sleep and when Mark wakes up he returns to the school. When Gregor goes to find him, he sees Mark convulsing on the floor. He calls 911 and after some tests are made they learn he is suffering from caffeine and arsenic poisoning. They don¿t know who gave it to him or who wants him dead but Gregor thinks it is linked to the ¿suicide¿ death of his roommate. Gregor leads the local police in the direction he believes is the right one to catch the perpetrators. --- Jane Haddam has written another fantastic Gregor Demarkian mystery only in this book his role is more of an observer than an active participant. Gregor is more concerned with his lover¿s revelation to his offhand comment about getting married and he uses the crimes as a way of escaping from Bennis¿s odd mood. The HEADMASTER¿S WIFE is filled with eccentric and oddball characters, with secrets to hide. Gregor¿s job is to figure out which one is desperate enough to kill to keep the secret buried.--- Harriet Klausner

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