The Red Queen's Run by Bourne Morris begins with a faculty meeting in the school of journalism. The protagonist Meredith "Red" Solaris is concerned about the animosity displayed by a few of the faculty members, and her thoughts go to the Amy Bishop shooting in Alabama.
(OK--first page, and I'm wondering...fact or fiction? Somehow those lines didn't feel like fiction; the name didn't exactly jog my memory, but I stopped right there and Googled Amy Bishop. Indeed, when Bishop failed to be granted tenure at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, she went to a faculty meeting and shot and killed three professors, wounding three others.)
As Red Solaris regrets that the ivory tower is not all sweetness and light, intelligent discussion, and academic camaraderie, the reader knows to expect violence as well. An interesting way to introduce the darker side of university politics.
When the Dean of the Journalism School is found dead from an apparent heart-attack and/or a fall down the stairs, Red is appointed interim Dean and begins to wonder if the death of her friend and mentor was an accident or murder.
Several issues are tackled in the novel: faculty in-fighting, student/professor sexual relationships, curriculum, and cheating and plagiarism. There is also a romance developing between Red Solaris and the detective assigned to the case.
I didn't find the detective's willingness to share information with Red too believable, but otherwise, I was all in and eager to discover who had actually murdered the dean.
Read in Sept.; blog post scheduled for Nov. 20
Mystery. Dec. 9, 2014. Print length: 280 pages.