2: Death of a Department Chair

Death of a Department Chair by Lynn C. Miller

If I recall correctly, this was an actual remainder table book, which I picked up because it was a mystery set at a university, and thus I thought it might be amusing. It seemed apropos to read it when I finished my comps.

Not the worst book I’ve ever read, but otherwise this review is pretty accurate. It was a slog. I did finish it, by reading one chapter at a time. It suffered from many, many beginning writer problems. The characters were introduced with police blotter descriptions that were supposed to show how different they were, when in fact, they were indistinguishable aside from names–I did a lot of “who?” *flip, flip, flip* “ohh.”

Also not a fan of the experimental pov switches. A better writer might have been able to make this work, but it did not work here. The “journal entries” were totally unrealistic. I could continue, but you get the idea.

Miller is a theater professor, which helps explain some of the book’s issues (especially the lack of characterization). The story may have worked better as a play, since actors would be able to add nuance to the characters.

For balance, here is a more positive take.