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Shadows on the Ivy: An Antique Print Mystery Paperback – Jul 5 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (July 5 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743475585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743475587
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,043,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In Agatha nominee Wait's third enjoyable antique print mystery (after 2003's Shadows on the Coast of Maine), professor, antique print dealer and part-time sleuth Maggie Summer gets embroiled in an on-campus murder. Somerset County College, thanks to wealthy benefactors Dorothy and Oliver Whitcomb, is experimenting with a new dormitory designed to house single parents and their children. During a party at the Whitcombs' house, one of the students is poisoned, and as student adviser for the dorm residents, Maggie takes great interest in the case. When another student is murdered, Maggie digs even harder to get at the truth. Who could possibly have a motive to harm these struggling students? Are the Whitcombs as benevolent as they seem, or do they each have ulterior motives that could prove sinister? Maggie is hard put to juggle her teaching duties (during lectures she uses antique prints to illustrate American history) with her detecting. While it has little to do with the plot, Wait's knowledge of antique prints and American culture will entertain and educate readers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Maggie Summer, widowed, late thirties, owner of a house in Somerset County, New Jersey, history professor at the local junior college, and dealer in antique prints, is also the advisor to a house of single parents on campus. A wealthy local couple has endowed the house and the students so that they can live together, care for their children in a campus day-care center, and attend classes. When two of the young mothers are poisoned, all hell breaks loose. The president of the college thunders about the college's reputation, the donors' lives don't bear a lot of scrutiny, and Maggie is increasingly pressed to balance her work, her teaching, and her emotional isolation. Although the plot regularly veers into melodrama, Maggie is an extremely attractive protagonist. Descriptions of her antique prints head each chapter and have engaging connections to the content. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa62bd540) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa60eb144) out of 5 stars The reader is caught up in her world and eager to continue Aug. 15 2004
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Shadow on the Ivy is a Maggie Summer Antique Prints mystery. Set on the campus of Somerset County College, Shadow on the Ivy presents the dilemma of attempted murder of a young single parent, resident of a newly established residence for single parents at Somerset, Whitcomb House. Another successful murder of a Whitcomb House resident plunges Maggie even deeper into the mystery needing to be solved. Struggling with ongoing personal issues of loneliness, further enhanced by her recent widowhood and unwelcome knowledge that her spouse had been unfaithful to her, Maggie ponders the possibility of becoming a single parent herself. Facing two demanding careers, one teaching American History as illustrated by antique prints and cartoons, and the other selling antique prints on the antique circuit, Maggie is caught between factions in the college and private interests in the wealthy founders of Whitcomb House. When she begins to suspect the murder may take her to high places in the college hierarchy, she finds that even her job is in jeopardy. While the local police and detective are not exactly bumbling, they are finally only able to solve the mystery with the full and endangered assistance that Maggie alone can give. Throughout her efforts, Maggie maintains her email relationship with close and friend and antique colleague, Will. Will this relationship blossom into something more enduring? Will Maggie find the solution to the problems that eat her heart as well as the solution to the murder of young Tiffany? The reader is caught up in her world and eager to continue with every page and chapter.

One of the loveliest trademarks of the Maggie Summer mysteries is that each chapter is headed by an actual description of an antique engraving or print, appropriate to the subject of the chapter. Author Lea Wait educates her readers effortlessly in American History, antique prints, and art appreciation, along with masterful suspense. There is not a single false step, tone or move in the flawless narrative. Shadow on the Ivy flows and entices.

Nancy Lorraine

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa60eb198) out of 5 stars entertaining academic mystery July 28 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Maggie is a professor of history at Somerset County Community College, but she toils during her time off working on her antique business where she specializes in rare prints. Right now Maggie is attending a social function being given by Dorothy and Oliver Whitcomb, major contributors to the college and the moving force behind Whitcomb House, a dormitory for unwed single parents and their children. The six lively students have their fees, book and any incidentals including childcare paid for.

The six students are also at the party but Sarah becomes ill and falls into a coma; she is rushed to the hospital where the doctors discover she was poisoned. They believe there was nicotine in the spicy drink she was having. A couple of days later another student is poisoned and is found in the House by one of the children. Tiffany was wilder than Sarah was and some of the mothers believe she was blackmailing someone. The case becomes personal when Maggie's office is trashed and someone tries to break into her home. To save Whitcomb House Maggie decides to see if she can discover who the killer really is.

SHADOWS ON THE IVY is very different from the other "Antique Mystery" book because this story concentrates on the heroine's life as a professor while the other works showcased the protagonist as an antique print dealer. Thus, this novel displays a completely different side of Maggie that readers will like. Lea Wait has written an exciting and entertaining academic mystery that provides a whole different meaning to study time.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa60eb36c) out of 5 stars A Disappointing Academic Sleuth April 8 2013
By Holly Adiele - Published on
Format: Paperback
I purchased this campus mystery for several reasons -- because I like academic mysteries, because it's about single parents attending college (as I did), and because the cover claimed the first book in this series was nominated for an Agatha award. It seemed like a good bet (especially at the secondhand price of 50 cents). What a mistake! What a waste of my reading time! Yes, the academic setting is fine, the single parent students are great, the glimpses of both Maggie Summer's jobs (teaching & selling antique prints) are interesting. But the mystery plot is clunky and Maggie is a huge disappointment! She is blah, indecisive, and at times downright dumb. She makes all the cliched amateur detective mistakes (short of entering a haunted house alone at midnight) that make you groan aloud while watching a bad movie. If the book hadn't been such a quick read, I would have thrown it in the trash halfway through -- I definitely wanted to whack Maggie Summer upside the head with it about every ten minutes! Uusually when I finish a book by an author previously unknown to me, I go online to find secondhand copies of the other books in the series. Not this time!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa60eb990) out of 5 stars prints and poisons Jan. 13 2006
By Linda Pagliuco - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A college dorm especially for single parents and their children - an intriguing concept. And it seems to work until someone starts poisoning some of the single moms. Maggie, of course, as advisor to the house, becomes embroiled at the center of the tragedy. Besides doing her utmost to identify the killer, Maggie attempts to work her way thru several personal dilemmas. Should she have a child? Should she get married first, or will her experiences at the dorm give her the courage to become a single mom herself? What about her relationship with Will, which doesn't seem to meet many of her emotional needs?

None of these dilemmas is solved in Shadows/Ivy, but the killer is found and 2 mothers and daughters reunited. "Cozies" tend to lack suspense, and this is no exception. Otherwise, it's an OK mystery story.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa60eb9b4) out of 5 stars A Cozy gone astray Aug. 29 2005
By Lorraine Talbot - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've enjoyed the earlier books in this series because I prefer escaping into the world of traditional cozy mysteries and that's what they were.

This one doesn't fit the genre. There are very young children characters put in jeopardy. (A cozy no-no). A four year old girl's mother is poisoned and she's left in the care of a group of young single parents. (Would this happen in real life? Probably not without the supervision of a Social Service). This same little kid is traumatized when she finds the body of her mother's friend. The setting is the college where the protagonist teaches rather than the usual antique show. There are few characters so not much of a mystery. We know early on that it's one of a only a few disagreeable suspects.

Maggie has no Watson. The fun of cozies is meeting again the likeable characters from earlier books. No Will Brewster, no Gussie to help within this story. Maggie withholds evidence from the police, out of character for the Maggie of the earlier books. The motive of the murder was to hide the kinky bondage sex of a wealthy college supporter who will live to endulge his proclivities another day. The only character I liked was Winslow Homer, Maggie's cat and also the only element in this book of a true cozy.