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  • New Series Alert

    Linguistic Professor Lauren Rousseau finds one of her students shot dead on campus. The student was writing a thesis that the department chair was dead set against. When Lauren reads the draft he had given her she starts to connect some dots between his paper and the department chair. Did the chair kill Jamal? Lauren may not be sure who the killer is, but she is determined to find the murderer and what it was that caused such a volatile relationship between the chair and Jamal. Authors often write their stories far in advance, so the fact that the author is touching on some very relevant topics of the day is refreshing. Racial bigotry cannot be tolerated and I love that the author addresses this in the storyline. I’m a huge fan of Edith Maxwell/Maddie Day, so I was excited to see a new series from her. Though it was a rocky start for me, I finally found my stride about the midpoint of the book. I’m going to wait for the next entry in this series to decide whether I will be reading it religiously, it could be that I need to get comfortable with a new location and characters, or whether this one is going to be a no go for me. I truly hope it is the former as I enjoy her other books.

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  • Thrilling read!

    A linguistics professor at a New England college attempts to solve the murder of her student (and lover) in this suspenseful mystery. Campus politics, drug abuse, the Quaker religion, race relations and a police investigation all combine to make Speaking of Murder a thrilling 5 star read. Lauren Rousseau teaches linguistics and has championed the research paper her student Jamal has written on black children and language. The head of her department, Dr. Alexa Kensington, rejected the paper and argues passionately with Jamal who is later found dead. Solving his murder and discovering how or if Alexa is responsible is only one part of this well constructed story. Lauren is working on her relationship with Zac, a freelance videographer, who has pushed her to be more committed to him. She’s also dealing with her own family and her longtime friend Elise’s drug problem. Although Lauren believes she’s only helping the police investigation she doesn’t realize how dangerous this will become. Speaking of Murder is the first in a new series and I’m looking forward to reading the next. I love the college setting, the diverse characters and the plot which gathers speed until the nail biting final moments. Thank you to NetGalley, Beyond the Page Publishing and Edith Maxwell for this ARC.

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  • Promising New Mystery Series with Linguistic Exper

    This is the first in a series featuring Lauren Rosseau, a linguist professor at a small college in a New England town. She stumbles into a murder investigation when she finds one of her students, murdered. To complicate the picture, she had a one night stand with the student earlier. And to further complicate that, she has a boyfriend but he is serious about the relationship and Lauren is undecided. This sets up the conflicts that will ensue as Lauren tries to solve the mystery and figure out her personal life. What I liked about the book: 1. Interesting premise for the start of a new series, a linguist. It will be interesting to see how this skill is woven into mysteries in the future. 2. The world of academia is always interesting, especially when set in a quaint old town. 3. The mystery was fast paced and it kept the story moving. Always a reason to keep turning the pages. What I was not so fond of: I'm not sure about the main character. Her judgment seems pretty impaired with the decisions she makes in her personal life. Sleeping with a student? Big no no, even if he is older. I will reserve judgement and see what I think in the next book. Thank you to the publisher Beyond the Page Publishing for providing me with this ARC.

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  • An intriguing mystery!

    Speaking of Murder by Edith Maxwell was originally published in 2012 using the pseudonym Tace Baker. Lauren Rousseau is a linguistics professor at Agawam College. She lives in a condo with her dog, Wulu, a cockapoo. Lauren has recently obtained tenure along with her colleague and friend, Ralph Fourakis. She has been dating Zac Agnant, a Haitian American videographer. Lauren is Jamal Carter’s faculty advisor for his thesis which has her approval, but it has it a roadblock with department chair, Alexa Kingston. Lauren finds Jamal dead on campus one evening. She does not know why anyone would kill her top student, so Lauren sets out to learn more about Jamal. The mystery was multifaceted. There is the death of Jamal, the fire at the boat shop, a missing friend, break in at Lauren’s condo, and Lauren’s dog is taken. I liked all the action which kept the story moving forward. The whodunit was interesting with a variety of suspects and misdirection to throw off readers. While I liked that aspect of Speaking of Murder, I was not a fan of Lauren Rousseau. The book begins with her sleeping with her star pupil. Lauren did not find this wrong nor the aspect that she was cheating on her boyfriend, Zac. There was too much focus on Lauren’s love life. I was baffled as to why Zac stayed with Lauren. She is unable to make a commitment, rude to the man, judgmental, and cheats on him. Lauren did not hesitate, though, to call him when she did not want to be alone (or when she wanted to do the horizontal hula). I did not understand Lauren’s dogged persistence in searching for a friend who did not want to be found especially if your life is in danger. I wish the main character had been Officer Natalia Flores (I liked her). In addition to frequent mentions of jiggy jiggy, the book contains foul language. I was disappointed that I was left with unanswered questions at the end. I wish there had been a better wrap up of the various storylines. There were also inconsistencies. Lauren’s life is in danger, so she makes sure to lock doors and windows. She even tells Officer Flores when she is going off to visit her aunt. But then she goes off jogging alone at night or walking across campus on her own in the dark. While I enjoy Edith Maxwell’s other cozy mysteries, Speaking of Murder was a miss for me. Speaking of Murder has an intriguing mystery with an unaccounted for chum, a slain student, a poached pooch, a blazing boat shop, a dubious department head, and a persistent professor.

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