The Musubi Murder

The Musubi Murder

4.3 4
by Frankie Bow

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Professor Molly Barda, the narrator of the pseudonymous Bow’s winning first mystery, is pursuing tenure at Hawaii’s Mahina State University. The academic politics of Mahina are tougher than most, but Molly plays the game quietly until guest of honor Jimmy Tanaka, the owner of the Merrie Musubi fast-food chain and a potential major donor to Mahina, fails to show for a big reception at the school cafeteria. Molly unwillingly enters a search for Tanaka, and in the process finds herself falling for the man’s competitor, Donnie Gonsalves, the owner of Donnie’s Drive-Inns. Amid faculty grudges and unpopular student retention policies, Molly searches for the key to not just the missing Musubi mogul but a nasty killing. Bow, who teaches at a public university, uses wry humor to alleviate the horror of her heroine’s situation and is familiar enough with island culture to know the popularity of Musubi rice balls with a heart of Spam. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Molly Barda is a faculty member at Mahina State University, teaching at the College of Commerce in Hawaii. All she wants to do is lay low and work until she is granted tenure. Fast-food guru Jimmy Tanaka makes a donation to the college but fails to show up for the ceremony. Nobody can find him. Old secrets, long-standing grudges, and murder are on the menu. This humorous debut makes entertaining use of the local patois. Anyone who has ever labored on a college campus will recognize the place and its resident academic egos. VERDICT Certain to appeal to readers who love well-drawn settings or academic cozies such as Sarah Shaber's "Simon Shaw" series or Clea Simon's "Dulcie Schwartz" books.
Kirkus Reviews
Murder complicates a college professor's already stressful life. Mahina State University is far from paradise for Molly Barda. The ceiling in her office is crumbling, her office furnishings are limited to a desk, a coffee maker, and a yoga ball, her students are barely literate, and her dean, Bill Vogel, thinks the appropriate punishment for plagiarists is an opportunity to rewrite the offending paper. As a member of the Department of Management in the College of Commerce, Molly is forced to mingle with "our Friends in the Business Community" at events like the breakfast honoring Jimmy Tanaka, "The Most Hated Man in Hawaii." The owner of Merrie Musubis, a fast-food chain whose signature dish is Spam sushi, Tanaka uses his fortune to do things like raze the historic Hanohano Hotel and build a concrete monstrosity in its place. Tanaka's breakfast does have its upside. Molly gets to sit with handsome Donnie Gonsalves, owner of Donnie's Drive-Inns and Tanaka's chief rival for Mahina's fast-food dollar. But the meal is marred by two unfortunate events: Tanaka's absence and the presence of a plastic skull theatrically perched atop a fruit tray. The second causes heartburn for Molly's ex, Stephen Park, a theater professor whose notoriously disorderly prop room is eyed as the source of the prank skull. Molly's colleagues Pat Flanagan and Emma Nakamura repair with her to her office—which does, after all, boast a coffee maker—to mull Tanaka's disappearance. But when the police discover that the prank skull isn't a plastic prop after all, the Student Retention Office's rules for consumer-friendly faculty behavior are suddenly the least of Molly's worries. Molly's debut is a smart and welcome addition to the teaching-college-is-murder genre.

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The Musubi Murder 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dorothy Parker meets Jane Smiley.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
This is a book set in a college town of Mahina, Hawaii. I sure hope the stuff that happened here does not go on where my girls are going to college. There is murder, cheating, and the students don't get held accountable for the wrongs they do.What would you do for your children? Do we complain when they are got cheating? want them to have second chances. Where do we stop fixing things for them? What is best?There is plenty of drama, romance, mystery and characters that I like In Musubi Murder. The main character is Molly Barda a college professor who is untenured so she has to do the crummy jobs. She is single. Her two co-workers that are her friends Emma Nakamura and Patrick Flanagan. They like to drink her coffee.Molly has to go to a breakfast honoring Jimmy Tanaka who is one of the most hated man in Hawaii because he donated a lot of money to the college. There is protest there and Jimmy is a no show.Molly does meet Donnie Gonsalves owner of Donnie's Drive-Inns. She finds him attractive. His son is one of her students.Jimmy is found to be murdered. Molly finds some clues with the help of her friends.There are plenty of suspects, lots of people are upset with Jimmy and his business practices.There are some images that made me want to gag thinking about the murders.I would be willing to see what happens next to Molly and her friends.I was given this ebook to read for free and in return I agreed to give a honest review of The Musubi Murder and be part of its blog tour.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts In The Musubi Murder we meet Molly Barda, and her friends, Emma Nakamura and Patrick Flanagan. They are college professors in Mahina, Hawaii. The College of Commerce has budget issues and is literally falling apart around them. I am reading this book just after the Governor of my fine state of Wisconsin has cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of out college system. I hope and pray it doesn’t end of like the college in this story. Jimmy Tanaka, founder of Merrie Musubis, and a man with a shady background, has promised a huge donation to the school but he fails to show up at a breakfast in his honor. Or a least that is what everyone thought. He is there in a way, a way that leads to a murder investigation and Mollie finds herself heavily involved. She is also just starting a relationship with Donnie Gonsalves, but he seems to be a man with many secrets. Not knowing anything about musubi (pronounced moo-soo-BEE) the title was a big draw and when I found they were sandwiches that could be made with SPAM, a childhood favorite, I knew I had to read this story. Frankie Bow has laid the groundwork for a promising mysteries series in addition to giving a very intriguing whodunit that includes not only a bit of revenge but corruption too. I found the characters to be very well developed and the backdrop of college politics very interesting. The humor interspersed throughout the story made it even more enjoyable. How can you go wrong with a setting in Hawaii? A great place I have always wanted to visit. The author has many more installments planned and I am looking forward to them. Book 2: Molly Barda and the Cursed Canoe Book 3: Molly Barda and the Black Thumb Book 4: Molly Barda and the Invasive Species Book 5: Molly Barda and the Blessed Event Book 0: The Defunct Adjunct
Drewano More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a change of pace book, something not too deep or action packed and ‘The Musubi Murder’ fit right in. It’s a bit slow and a bit predictable, but the characters are wonderful and quirky, and the author does a wonderful job of transporting the reader to this tropical paradise. I really felt as if I connected to the characters who really drive this story.