PhDEATH: The Puzzler Murders ~James P. Carse
Every once in awhile a book comes along that just takes the reader on a wonderful ride; turning around so many things at one time thought to be true but are now varied. James Carse has indeed accomplished this mind changing with a hauntingly interesting tale, which plays with the imagination and the expectation with delight.
The setting is a major university in a major city on a square. We are allowed to join a select group of the faculty to be part of an intellectual combat team attempting to outwit the Puzzler and a deadly agenda. The NY Times puzzle master is trying to help, along with the city’s top detective, and U.S. Military Intelligence. The 10 puzzles are difficult and the committee had to call in a fifth grader to assist them in the solving of at least one of the ten.
As the whole faculty is sometimes made fun of for the academic snobbery, many are revealed to be working too many angles and not actually involved in what they were hired to do. Nothing is dull in this story from the shared philosophy discussions to the humorous personality traits exposed. We are treated to the complete academic year and even a bit of summer session. The reader must take a good look at essential issues, because they are urgent and fun and one must turn on the thinking skills and get right into gear.
Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, Inc. www.mzpr.com sent me an uncorrected Galley for review and in the promotion material with the book was this paragraph:
“The mystery is complex and the book has a great deal of wit and humor. Will Shortz, NEW YORK TIMES Puzzle Master makes a decisive appearance in the book along with Bernie Sanders, Lady Gaga and other celebrities. Members of the faculty and all of the victims, except one, are entirely fictional. Carse says they bear no direct relation to persons living or dead. They are composites so carefully drawn that some readers may feel they are real and perhaps even recognizable. The one exception concerns a highly dramatic crime that led to prosecution and imprisonment. That person, once a colleague of Carse’s, is long dead. The author leaves it up to curious readers or NYU alumni to figure this one out.”
That paragraph just sent me right to open the book and start reading. I had to keep putting the book down, when I wanted to just keep reading and reading. Good twists and hooks found here.
From the cover:
“Carse, Emeritus Professor himself at a premier university – in a major city on a square- shows no mercy in his creation of the seemingly omniscient Puzzler, who through a sequence of atrocities beginning and ending with the academic year, turns up one hidden pocket of moral rot after another.”
“The engaging and insightful stories explain why Carse has gained an almost cult-like following at NYU and beyond.” (-Publishers Weekly)