The Hanging A Maggie MacGowen Mystery

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Overview

When her television series is abruptly canceled, investigative filmmaker Maggie MacGowen accepts a short-term contract to teach film production at a local community college-an interesting diversion, she thinks, until the next TV gig comes along. But if Maggie expects her sojourn in the ivory tower to be peaceful, she is dead wrong. Instead, she finds herself in the middle of an explosive power struggle.

In the current era of budget cuts and fee increases, community college ...

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The Hanging: A Maggie MacGowen Mystery

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Overview

When her television series is abruptly canceled, investigative filmmaker Maggie MacGowen accepts a short-term contract to teach film production at a local community college-an interesting diversion, she thinks, until the next TV gig comes along. But if Maggie expects her sojourn in the ivory tower to be peaceful, she is dead wrong. Instead, she finds herself in the middle of an explosive power struggle.

In the current era of budget cuts and fee increases, community college president Park Holloway arouses faculty and student animosity with his expensive building program, especially an admin building derisively nicknamed the Taj Ma'Holloway. When Maggie finds the college president hanging in the building's stairwell, suspicion falls not on her, but on her young friend Sly Miller. A world-class artist, his sculpture was supposed to be hanging in place of the body. That's only the beginning of a twisty plot dealing with the aesthetics and business of art, a billion-dollar art-for-arms deal; political corruption and cronyism; and issues of art forgery and journalistic ethics, all capped off by a stunning denouement.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Edgar-winner Hornsby’s well-constructed eighth Maggie MacGowen mystery (after 2010’s The Paramour’s Daughter), documentary filmmaker Maggie, now teaching at California’s Anacapa Community College, finds the college’s unpopular president, ex-congressman Park Holloway, hanging from a hoist built to display a sculpture created by a protégé of Maggie’s, sophomore Ronald “Sly” Miller. When Sly falls under suspicion of murder because Holloway promised to replace his sculpture with a work by “a professional artist” within a year, Maggie decides to investigate. As she learns more about Holloway’s angry son, corrupt associates, and unethical practices, she realizes his murky political and personal past would make compelling material for a film. Hornsby, a community college professor herself, offers a nuanced glimpse of campus life in the budget-crisis era, a plot with a nicely topical twist, and a cast of smart, appealing characters. Readers will cheer Maggie on as both new romance and fresh career opportunities beckon. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"...is further evidence yet that Wendy Hornsby is one of the most skilled mystery authors writing today. Smart, funny, and richly entertaining..." -- Gar Anthony Haywood, Assume Nothing
Library Journal
A campus art installation turns into a crime scene when the college's president is found hanging from the ceiling, very much dead, and not by his own hands. The unpopular Parker Holloway was a former politician, whose past is troubled by some controversy. Visiting film professor Maggie finds his body, and once again she's caught in the middle of a murder investigation. Maggie, the widow of an LAPD detective who's known for her investigative TV series, immediately steps into detective mode, much to the consternation of the local cops. When Maggie learns too much about Parker's political past, the killer sets his sights on her. VERDICT Longtime series readers will be pleased by the eighth title (after The Paramour's Daughter) in Hornsby's amateur sleuth series. The first-person narrative sets a familiar tone, plus side stories about Maggie's family and friends make for a comfortable read. Those who like academic settings and local politics will enjoy. Share with Sue Grafton and Hank Phillippi Ryan fans.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564745262
  • Publisher: Daniel, John & Company, Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/10/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 499,045
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Edgar-award winner Wendy Hornsby is the author of nine previous mysteries, seven of them featuring Maggie MacGowen. She lives in Long Beach, California, where she is a professor of history at a local college.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    No Rest for the Weary

    The eighth Maggie MacGowen Mystery finds our protagonist in a funk. She’s still depressed after the death of her homicide detective husband, Mike, less than a year ago. Then the investigative filmmaker learns that her TV series is being cancelled by the network. At loose ends, until she finds her next gig, she accepts a one-semester contract at a local community college to teach a few film editing courses.

    Her young friend Sly, who Maggie and Mike rescued from the streets as a nine-year-old and who attends the school, has won a contest to supply an art object to be permanently displayed in the entrance of a newly constructed administration building. However, the president informs Sly it will only be on exhibit for a year, when it will be replaced, setting off Sly’s temper in his disappointment. But Maggie gets others on the faculty to meet with the president, who is persuaded to reverse himself. Shortly afterward, the president is found hanging from a chain at the entrance ceiling from which Sly’s art sculpture is to be hung.

    From this point, the plot moves smoothly ahead, with Maggie, of course, uncovering background information to help solve the murder as well as other possible crimes. The story develops slowly and surely, with excellent character development and smooth writing and a credible conclusion.

    Recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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