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Western Kentucky University

A Bit of Whimsey: Mysteries and Academia

Who did it? Where was it done?

These titles will give you a look at murder, mystery, and mayhem through the eyes of professors, administrators, staff, and students. Many, but not all titles, are set on college or university campuses. Read them for fun, for the puzzle, to learn a little about another field or maybe get a new view of life in academia (one way to beat the burnout blahs). If you're going on a trip, find one set in that place and read it before you go. Feeling nostalgic for your old school or grad student days? Maybe there's a mystery here that can take you back.

Have students critique the presentation of your field in a mystery or analyze an excerpt. Give the students part of the mystery and see if they can apply their knowledge of your field to spot the solution. We make no assertions about the quality of these mysteries-that's your call-but if you find one that captures your field, maybe it can give advisees a sense of what it is like to be fully qualified and working in the area.

Disclaimer: For those who couldn't figure it out on your own, the presentation of this list in no way condones acts of violence and we would encourage the use of these to illustrate the problems with violence as a solution to problems.

Additional sources of information:

  • Ian Carter, "Ancient cultures of conceit: British university fiction in post war years" Routledge. ISBN 041504827
  • Entire Winter 1996-7 issue devoted to Academic Mysteries. Mystery Reader's Journal, 12(4) Contributing authors include: N. Decure, R. Henrich,K. Klein, J. Kramer, J. Lang, P. McGuire, P. Kenney, B.J. Rahn, P. Scowcroft, C. Aird, R. Barnard, P. Carlson, A. Clarke, S. Holtzer, J. Langton, J. Mann, J. Neel, K. Page, G. Roberts, B. Rowlands, E. Skom, G. Townsend, M. Yorke.

Several items to note before you begin.

  1. The following are publications available at FaCET for checkout by those teaching or planning on teaching for WKU. The materials are arranged alphabetically by title but you may use the browser "Find" option to locate using other factors.
  2. American titles of publications were used.
  3. If the author used an academician as the main character in a series then only the first title of the series is given. The word (series) appears after the author's name.
  4. If you are looking for a particular mystery, field, school, etc. on this list the fastest way to locate it is to use your browser's search or find feature.
  5. The library was built from donations of books.
Mysteries Set in Academia
ID Title First Author Pub Date Publisher Access #
37 A Dangerous Thing Crider, Bill 1996 Worldwide PS3553.R497.D3 1996
469 A Murder Too Many Ferrars, Elizabeth 1988 William Collins & Sons PR6003.R458 19988
462 A Treasury Alarm Davey, Jocelyn 1976 Walker PR6035.A64.T7 1976
38 Amends for Murder Lake, M D. 1989 Avon Books 91015840 1989
1092 Aristotle Detective Doody, Margaret 1978 Harper & Row PZ4.D687Ar 1978
481 Beginning with a Bash Tilton, Alice 1937 Milton PS3539.A9635.I76 1937
478 Ceremony of Innocence Dean, SF.X. 1984 Walker Publishing Co. PS3554.E1734.C4 1984
461 Ciphered Keech, Scott 1980 Harper & Row PZ4.K2539.Ci
460 Deadly Meeting Bernard, Robert 1970 W.W. Norton & Company PS3563.A728 D3 1970
41 Dear Dead Professor La Roche, K Alison 1944 Crestwood PZ3.L3274.De
477 Death and the Mad Heroine Dean, SF.X. 1985 Walker Publishing Co. PS3554.E1734.D4 1985
483 Death and the Oxford Box Stallwood, Veronica 1993 MacMillan PR6069.T195.D35 1993
464 Death is Academic MacKay, Amanda 1976 David McKay & Company PZ4.M1537.De
487 Death of an Old Goat Barnard, Robert 1977 Walker PZ4.B25877.De3
482 Deathspell Stallwood, Veronica 1992 MacMillan PR6069.T195.D4 1992
489 Double Take Oleksiw, Susan 1994 Scribner's Sons PS3565.L42 D6 1994
364 George Eliot Murders Skom, Edith 1986 Delacorte Press PS3569.K65.G46 1995
638 Got Your Number Bond, Stephanie 2001 St. Martin's Press PS3570.B01 2001
486 Grave Goods Mann, Jessica 1985
PR6063.A374.G7 1985
485 Grave Witness Levi, Peter 1985 Quartet Books Ltd PR6023.E912 1985
484 Holy Disorders Crispin, Edmund 1980 Walker & Co PR6025.046 1980
472 Icy Clutches Elkins, Aaron 1990 Warner Press PS3555.L48129 1990
491 In the Shadow of King's Kelly, Nora 1984 St. Martin's Press PS3561.E3947 I5 1984
476 It Can't Be My Grave Dean, SF.X. 1984 Walker Publishing Co. PS3554.E1734.I8 1984
308 Knight Must Fall Wender, Theodora 1985 Avon Books 8491197 1985
42 Let's Get Criminal Raphael, Lev 1996 St. Martin's Press PS3568.A5988L4 1996
473 Make No Bones Elkins, Aaron 1991 Warner Press PS3555.L48M35 1991
475 Nantucket Soap Opera Dean, SF.X. 1987 Walker Publishing Co. PS3554.E1734N3 1987
480 Natural Enemy Langton, Jane 1982 Ticknor & Fields PS3562.A515 N37 1982
307 Once Upon a Crime Lake, M D. 1995 Avon Books 9494473 1995
323 Peace at Bowling Green Crabb, Alfred Leland 1955 Bobbs-Merrill PZ3.C8399
468 Root of All Evil Ferrars, Elizabeth 1984 William Collins & Sons PR6003.R458 1984
467 Smoke Without Fire Ferrars, Elizabeth 1990 M. D. Brown PR6003.R458.S6 1990
474 Such Pretty Toys Dean, SF.X. 1982 Walker Publishing Co. PS3554.E1734.S9 1982
36 The Caravaggio Books Peterson, Bernard 1997 Worldwide PZ4.P4847.T
463 The Cipher Gordon, Alex 1961 Simon & Schuster 619601 1961
470 The Crime and The Crystal Ferrars, Elizabeth 1985 Wlliam Collins & Sons PR6003.R458 1985
466 The Lace Curtain Murders Belfort, Sophie 1983 Atheneum PR6052.E39.L3 1983
492 The Mark Twain Murders Skom, Edith 1989 Council Oak Books PS3569.K65 M37 1989
488 The Memorial Hall Murder Langton, Jane 1978
490 The Mummy's Case Peters, Elizabeth 1985 Congdon & Weed PS3563.E747 M8 1985
471 The Other Devil's Name Ferrars, Elizabeth 1986 William Collins & Sons PR6056.E68 1986
465 The Reluctant Spy Melville, James 1995 Severn House PR6063.E439.R44 1995
363 The Shortest Way to Hades Caudwell, Sarah 1986 Dell Publishing PR6053.A855.S5 1986
361 The Sirens Sang of Murder Caudwell, Sarah 1989 Dell Publishing PR6053.A855.S54 1989
479 The Summertime Soldiers Kelly, Susan 1986 John Wiley & Sons PS3561.E39715.S8 1986
39 Those Who Hunt the Night Hambly, Barbara 1988 Del Rey PS3558.A4215 T45 1988
362 Thus Was Adonis Murdered Caudwell, Sarah 1981 Dell Publishing PR6053.A855.T5 1981
40 Trail of Murder Andreae, Christine 1995 Worldwide PS3551.N4134.T7 1995
35 Treasure by Degrees Williams, David 1984 St. Martin's Press 8363285 1984


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