- VOTED NUMBER ONE WOMEN’S MYSTERY ON GOODREADS
- FORWARD MAGAZINE INDIE AWARD FINALIST
- CHOICE MAGAZINE AWARD WINNING AUTHOR
WHAT IF THE EVIL PROFESSOR YOU FANTASIZED ABOUT MURDERING ACTUALLY WOUND UP… DEAD?
Kelly Oliver serves up a puzzling and irreverent academic murder mystery with flavors of hard-boiled mobster grit, and a fierce female lead mystery readers will adore.
Twenty-one-year-old Jessica James isn’t your average Northwestern University Philosophy PhD candidate. Raised on a Montana ranch by a charming but alcoholic mother, she’s as scrappy as she is smart, blonde-and-blue-eyed, and she still wears her cowboy boots. “You can take the girl out of the country”… as they say.
Currently, Jessica’s living in the stuffy attic of the Victorian mansion the university bought and transformed into the philosophy department, unbeknownst to everyone but the secretary and janitor. It’s not the best Chicago has to offer, but it’s no sweat compared to the dingy trailer park of her upbringing. And despite her less-than-glamorous digs, she works hard—no thanks to her arrogant thesis advisor Professor Baldrick Wolfgang “The Wolf” Schmutzig, “Preeminent Philosopher” and World-Class Dickhead, who seems to be going out of his way to prevent Jessica from completing her degree. “It takes more than intelligence to get a PhD, Miss James,” he’s fond of saying.
Turns out it also takes more than intelligence to stay alive, because Jessica and her criminology-student pal Jack find the smug professor murdered in the bathtub of his office while stealing a few late-night puffs from a joint.
Truth be told, neither Jesse nor Jack are particularly sad to see The Wolf go. But they aren’t the only ones who know about the professor’s grisly demise. Dmitry Durchenko is a low-profile Northwestern janitor who narrowly escaped the clutches of the Russian mob twenty years ago with two of his mafia boss father’s most prized possessions—antique Russian paintings valued at several million dollars apiece. Now the mob’s back to claim them. And they know Dmitry’s hidden at least one painting with the professor.
Suddenly, Dmitry’s life—and the lives of his family—are at stake. Plus, Jessica’s left plenty of evidence at Professor Schmutzig’s office, including her rejected thesis with a scathing, post-dated review from her smarmy advisor. And Jessica has a feeling the murder and her manuscript are somehow connected.
Readers will find a clever, endearingly awkward, and downright hilarious heroine in Jessica James, a brilliant academic who’s much more than curious—she’s extraordinarily brave. Plus there’s Jessica’s ragtag posse—Amber, the tech-savvy hippie, Jack, a wise-cracking stoner, and Lolita, Dmitry’s smart, seductive, and fearless daughter—as the icing on the cake.
Smart, capable women shine in this cast. An irresistible treat for fans of kickass women sleuths, especially those wearing cowboy boots; and laugh-out-loud funny mysteries. For everyone who’s ever wanted to murder the Wolf in her own life.