Likins, Peter. “Academic Affairs: A Poisoned Apple” Darby Books , 2017.
Mysteries Can Be Fun
I am not much of a mystery reader so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Peter Likins’ “Academic Affairs”. It is, quite simply, a fun read. Before you read let me to tell you to forget your ability to figure everything out since everything changes before the last few pages.
The setting is Sparta, a rural Alabama in the 1930s and the title is misleading since we do not think of Alabama and academia together. Beaufort Prendergast is the president of Chickamin Christian College who suddenly dies due to what seems to be a heart attack. He outside the office of the Executive Dean for Academic Affairs Jerry Pilkington who was murdered in his office the day before. He had eaten a poisoned apple brought to him by Mary Belle, a beautiful young coed There were those who insinuated that an affair was going on between the dean and the student but she seemed to be a bit too obvious of a suspect. Jake Muffett, the sheriff who with his son and daughter and now, for the first time in his tenure there was their murder case. Actually there was another murder, that of Beaufort Prendergast and now there were two murders. One could only wonder if the two murders were connected in some way. Yet the case seemed simple enough in Pilkington’s’ death; all that had to be done was to find out who touched the apple before it proved fatal. However it all becomes very complicated with the death of Prendergast and the appearance of a young journalist, Katy O’Halleran and we understand that this is a story of sex, power, and blackmail.
I cannot share any more of the plot with you because to do so would cause me to say things that could ruin the read. Wrier Peter Linkin has created quite a cast of characters and a mystery that is laced with humor. It will keep you guessing and entertained and you will that the myth of the genteel south is not much more than a myth.