Lake Union Publishing is certainly sharing some mighty fine reads with me this year. AUTUMN IN OXFORD is a finely crafted murder, espionage, love story which is about reading every word and storing the details so you will be able to fit the twists and changes into perspective and solve the “who done it” part. Even though the murder takes place in the first few chapters of the story in 1959, the why and who take pages of history and connection to piece it all together; lots of McCarthyism to uncover.
TLC Book Tours shared a winner with this read. The writing is top notch and has the wonderful British pacing of the well-ordered sleuth with the push of the American prejudice exposed and revealed – made plain and arrogant.
Tom is a Finish boy who was reared in New York by his dedicated parents, he has married well a wealthy socialite and his writing has won him a Pulitzer Prize. In his youth, he briefly joined the Communist Party and met the Rosenberg’s and other big names in college. He left the Party and studied History and is now doing a teaching Fellowship at Oxford. He meets his neighbor Liz, and realizes he has met the love of his life. Liz is from Toronto, has 2 children and an unemployed husband who avoided the war by moving to Canada and lives life for appearances.
Tom’s wife insists that he return to New York with her, but Tom does not want to go because of his affair with Liz, also because he is having serious trouble with his passport – some department of government is pestering and threatening his because of his past connections – blacklisting. Liz’s husband is murdered and now Tom has been arrested and a clever lawyer is now tracking the case and Tom’s backstory is outlined in detail. One needs to read with care to find all the pieces that will fit together and complete the story’s truth. I found it very difficult to put the story down, even with the deliberate pacing.
Alex Rosenberg is the author of the novel THE GIRL FROM KRAKOW. He has lived in Britain and has taught at Oxford, where he made the acquaintance of some of the historical figures that play roles in AUTUMN IN OXFORD. Rosenberg is the R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy at Duke University in North Carolina.