Tag Archives: Joanne Dobson

Queiter than Sleep and The Northbury Papers – Joanne Dobson

Quieter than Sleep: A Modern Mystery of Emily Dickinson (Karen Pelletier, #1)

From the Publisher:

Professor Karen Pelletier’s prime literary passion is poet Emily Dickinson – a passion she shares with her hotshot colleague Randy Astin-Berger. Heir apparent to the head of Enfield’s English department, the pompous Randy is the campus Casanova. That is, he was – until he was found strangled with his own flashy necktie. The last person to see Randy alive – and the first to find him dead – Karen knows she must solve the case before she becomes the prime suspect. But to do that, she must first discover the truth behind Randy’s final Dickinsonian discovery – a literary bombshell that may well have been to die for….

My thoughts:

This is a cute cozy mystery, and I’m a sucker for literary mysteries, so of course I had to pick it up. One thing that I do have to point out is the fact that reading this made me think of a 90’s TV show. The description of the clothing really brought that to mind. I like the perspective that the main character adds to the story, because she’s like an outsider looking in. She works on an Ivy League school campus, but she comes from a scholarship background and she brings that toughness with her into the story. I liked the mystery and the character development, but I do have to say that I found the main character a little annoying at times (maybe a little too whiny). Other than that, a good mystery to read on a cold and rainy day.


The Northbury Papers (Karen Pelletier, #2)

From the Publisher:
Teaching American women’s literature at New England’s prestigious Enfield College has shown Karen Pelletier just how cutthroat the world of academe can be. But nothing in her tenure has prepared her for the perils to come, as this bastion of higher learning throws open its doors to a cleverly calculating killer.

A battered copy of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre leads Professor Karen Pelletier to the long-forgotten novels of an obscure writer named Serena Northbury. When she decides to pen the author’s biography, she sets off a raging controversy. Everyone, from her esteemed colleagues to her tyrannical department head, regards Northbury’s nineteenth-century writings as trash. But when the intrepid researcher stumbles upon a treasure trove of Northbury’s papers—including what looks very much like an unpublished novel—Karen knows she cannot quit, for what could be more thrilling?

Unfortunately, someone takes exception to Karen’s penchant for digging up the past. Before long, she is the unlikely suspect in a homicide—and the target of an erudite killer who is poised to kill again.

My thoughts:

Another good cozy. This time the plot was a little more convoluted, and there were a lot more threads to keep track of (which kind of bugged me in some places), but the characters were still enjoyable. I had the same problem with the main character that I had in the last book – she tends to get whiny sometimes. I like how we get to see the day to day workings of a college campus, and that the literary part of the mystery did not take over the entire story line. There’s still room for character development in future novels, so I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series.


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