The Headmaster's Wife (Gregor Demarkian Series #20)

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In the tradition of P.D. James, Jane Haddam's novels combine compelling story lines with a keen-eyed, complex sense of the character's psychology and sharp, evocative sense of place?

THE HEADMASTER'S WIFE
Windsor Academy ranks as one of the best New England prep schools money can buy. From its Gothic arches to its ethnic diversity, it looks picture perfect...as long as nobody notices that the headmaster's ...

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The Headmaster's Wife (Gregor Demarkian Series #20)

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Overview

In the tradition of P.D. James, Jane Haddam's novels combine compelling story lines with a keen-eyed, complex sense of the character's psychology and sharp, evocative sense of place…

THE HEADMASTER'S WIFE
Windsor Academy ranks as one of the best New England prep schools money can buy. From its Gothic arches to its ethnic diversity, it looks picture perfect...as long as nobody notices that the headmaster's wife has a student lover and drugs are as available as candy. And when freshman Mark DeAvecca looks out a faux medieval window and sees a body across the campus, he wonders if he's hallucinating--especially when no corpse is found. Since everyone thinks that Mark is a druggie, they all ignore him--until he returns to his dorm room to discover his roommate dead, hanged by the neck from the ceiling.

Desperate, Mark calls his mother's friend Gregor Demarkian, former FBI agent and the one person Mark knows will listen. Demarkian is world-weary and ready to retire from his investigative career, yet he can't turn down a plea from a scared kid. And it doesn't take long before Gregor knows something is very wrong at Windsor Academy...something like manipulation, dirty tricks, and murder.

"Compelling...campus politics and intrigue intermingle with sex, suicide and possibly murder in Haddam's searing 20th Gregor Demarkian mystery."
--Publishers Weekly starred review

"Intelligently written…masterful."
--IndianapolisStar

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Editorial Reviews

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

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312989118
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/7/2006
  • Series: Gregor Demarkian Series , #20
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

JANE HADDAM is the author of many previous novels, most featuring Gregor Demarkian, as well as numerous articles and stories published widely. Her novels have been finalists for both the Edgar and Anthony Awards. She lives with her family in Litchfield Country, Connecticut.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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( 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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