"Follow your dreams, and you'll never work a day in your life. Because that field's not hiring."
When a serial harasser collapses face-first into his haupia cheesecake, the Student Retention Office's summer retreat goes from dull to disastrous. Now Professor Molly has to fight to keep her best friend Emma out of the worst kind of trouble — and herself off the unemployment line.
If you like Dorothy Parker, P.G. Wodehouse, or E.F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia stories, you'll enjoy The Case of the Defunct Adjunct, a tale of passion, pilferage, and petty politics in the middle of the Pacific.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
‘The Case of the Defunct Adjunct’ is a murder mystery set in Hawaii and is a prequel to Frankie Bow’s earlier work, ‘Musubi’ which I haven’t read. The tale is told in the first person so the reader sees everything from the perspective of the main character, Molly. There are a lot of chapter breaks, making it easy to read in short segments. Bow adopts the tried and trusted method of painting her setting and then dropping her players into the action. She has also skilfully used other literary devices such as alliteration, sarcasm, cynicism, irony and humour. I particularly liked the use of a foil that constantly muddles his metaphors, using phrases such as: ‘madder than a wet blanket’. Bow uses her extensive knowledge of university procedure and campus life to her advantage as she develops her story. It is always difficult to write a prequel as an author inevitably develops a bond with their main protagonist. Arguably, the audience too will feel they know Molly if they’ve already read ‘Musubi’. Possibly as a consequence of this, I found the beginning of the novel lacked depth, with the characters not fully rounded before one of them meets a sticky end. Unfortunately, I hadn’t established sufficient empathy with Molly or her supporting cast to be shocked at that stage. Whilst the pace was consistent, for the first third of the book it seemed the death was rather incidental and not the focus of the story. As the plot unfolded, I found that I warmed to aspects of Molly’s character and by the half way stage I was fully engaged. If you enjoy straightforward murder mysteries with no subliminal messages or undercurrents, then give ‘The Case of the Defunct Adjunct’ a try. Once it captured my interest, I found much to admire in this tale and would certainly like to read more of Frankie Bow’s work. I award ‘The Case of the Defunct Adjunct’ four stars. Reviewed by Julie at Whispering Stories Book Blog
Academic intrigue surrounds Mahina State The Case of the Defunct Adjunct by Frankie Bow A Prequel to the Molly Barda Mystery series Academic intrigue surrounds Mahina State and Molly Barda is it its midst. Molly has to deal with the refusal of administration to remove a possibly dangerous student, the possible improper use of college funds, media coverage of the whistle blowing event, and the collapse of the accused into his haupia cheesecake, all while being nontenured! When most people think of Hawaii they think of pristine beaches and beautiful warm weather. However, Hawaii is not quite the tropical paradise of our imaginations. Tourists may have one view, but the locals must deal with real issues-sky high property costs, the exorbitant cost of shipping goods to the islands, hot humid weather, and, in The Case of the Defunct Adjunct, the dumbing down of today's students and the trials of living in academia. In this prequel we meet Molly Barda, a professor with a PhD in literature and creative writing who has wound up teaching in the school of Commerce; business writing. Molly and her friends, Emma and Iker, are conscientious teachers faced not only with the bureaucracy of academia, but the evil Student Retention Office; a department that takes person centeredness too far, turning it into "satisfy the student no matter what". When a fellow teacher is murdered and suspicion falls on Emma's brother, Molly agrees to look into the situation. Bow writes using the dialects and speech patterns found in Hawaii peppered with some Yiddish from Emma (who got her PhD from Cornell). The novel takes a good look at struggling professors at a struggling college. Years ago when I was researching to see if pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology was right for me I talked to many recent graduates. They all said, "Don't do it". I wonder if they did internships at Mahina State? Bow has the ability to take serious subjects, but treat them with humor and fun to create an enjoyable read. While I don't think I'd care to be a guest lecturer at Mahina State, I do want to return to Hawaii to see what Molly and her friends get up to next! FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC in the hopes I would review it.