The more than 480 mysteries listed here meet one of two criteria: "the novel is set, all or in significant part, at an institution of higher learning, or it features characters from colleges or universities who act within their academic roles on off-campus locales." Among the more familiar detectives readers will find represented are Amanda Cross' Kate Fansler and Colin Dexter's Morse, though only a handful of the Morse novels are deemed sufficiently academic to be included.
Organization is chronological, beginning with a novel published in 1910 (William Johnston and Paul West's The Innocent Murderers) and ending in 1999. This arrangement may be useful for that part of the audience "who might want to conduct scholarly investigations of the college-mystery subgenre of mystery fiction," but those using the volume as a readers'-advisory tool would be better served by an author-by-author listing. Bibliographic information includes author, author's dates, and publisher, place, and date of first U.S. publication. If the book was published first in Great Britain, that is noted as well. Annotations are quite detailed, describing the plot and also offering some facts about the series, if relevant, and about the author. Finally, the reader is referred to other titles listed in the bibliography by the same author.
Following the chronological listing is a short annotated bibliography of other books, as well as articles and journals, about college-mystery novels. There are four indexes: by title, by author, by character, and by colleges and universities. The "Character Index" is misnamed, being rather a list of subjects, such as athletics, law, and zoology. A true character index would be an extremely useful addition, as would a series index. Despite these omissions, the volume should be useful in libraries with comprehensive mystery reference collections. RBB
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...the volume should be useful in libraries with comprehensive mystery reference collections. (Booklist)
Recommended to all academic and public libraries. (CHOICE)
..a remarkably detailed and entertaining exploration of a specialized sub-genre... (Ellery Queen)
The annotations offer a satisfying level of detail and analysis. (Zentralblatt für Geologie und Paläontologie)