Author Janice MacDonald has created seven academic mystery novels that mix humour and suspense, but each of which explores a completely different facet of university life and the arts/culture scene in Edmonton, Alberta. Her amateur sleuth, Miranda "Randy" Craig *wishes* she was a tenured professor but just scrapes by in one non-permanent academic job after another, usually connected in some way to the University of Alberta. This time out, at least, she has finally married her long-time cop boyfriend and taken a sunny honeymoon trip to Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico -- but this being a Randy Craig Mystery, she and Steve are soon caught up in what appears to be the elaborately staged murder scene of a student from the U of A. From there, the story takes us back to Edmonton and a series of ingeniously connected scenes that all tie back in one way or another to the city's visual arts scene.
I should stop there to avoid spoilers, but I've read this whole series and think this one is the very best of the bunch. In an afterword, MacDonald hints that this is likely the last in the series. Here's hoping that's not the case (never say never!), but I do hope that readers of intelligent academic mystery will explore the entire series.
By the way, Amazon's listings for the books in this series are a bit of a mess (especially in the Kindle versions) and may be causing some confusion -- two different books are identified as #3 in the series, two others are both listed as #6, and there is no #1. I've tried (without success) to get them to fix the numbering, so for readers who'd like to work through the whole series in the correct order, it is:
* Sticks and Stones (Randy Craig Mystery #1)
* The Monitor (Randy Craig Mystery #2)
* Hang Down Your Head (Randy Craig Mystery #3)
* Condemned to Repeat (Randy Craig Mystery #4)
* The Roar of the Crowd (Randy Craig Mystery #5)
* Another Margaret (Randy Craig Mystery #6)
* The Eye of the Beholder (Randy Craig Mystery #7)
All seven of these books in in print from the publisher (TurnstonePress.com) in paperback and e-book formats, so don't be fooled into paying jacked-up prices from third-party sellers for the older titles in the series. Let Amazon know you want the books and they should be able to get any of them for you.
- Paperback: 350 pages
- Publisher: Ravenstone (Oct. 15 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0888016492
- ISBN-13: 978-0888016492
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 18.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 358 g
- Customer Reviews: 4 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #670,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)