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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Dear Committee Members

Dear Committee Members - Julie Schumacher

Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels.

 

In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies.

 

If you don't like your novels in epistolary form, skip right past this one - it's a series of letters only from the MC, written over the course of a year, so no dialogue.  

 

If you do like the narrative form, find dry wit and sarcasm hilarious, and have ever spent any amount of time in a university, I recommend this one.  It took me a few dozen pages to work out who the main characters are, but the biting humour was worth it.

 

A bonus half star for surprising me; I spent 3/4 of the book trying to decide if Jason Fitger was more of a man-child, a pompous ass, or a passionate and compassionate advocate for his students. I wasn't expecting much more depth from the book that what I'd gotten so far.  Then the last 25% gave me pause because at the end Schumacher showed me his humanity and left me feeling like someone snuck kale into my berry smoothie.  

 

A quick, hilarious read with a little something to tug at you in the end.