Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Perfect Coed -- Judy Alter

We all know that nobody's perfect.  Sometimes even the people who look perfect or who their parents think are perfect are the ones who wind up dead in the trunk of someone's car.  That's what happens to Missy Jackson in The Perfect Coed.  The car belongs to Susan Hogan, who teaches in the English Department at Oak Grove University.  Susan would much rather be working on her proposed book about Zane Grey than having to deal with being accused of murder, but things get worse: someone tries to kill her.  Amateur sleuthing ensues.

So does professional sleuthing, and since Susan is involved with Jake Phillips, the chief of the campus police, there's a certain amount of conflict about her trying to solve the mystery.  Another complication is the arrival of Susan's Aunt Jenny, who's confident from the first that she knows who the killer is.  There are other coeds who are in the mix, too, because something's going on, something slightly sinister that the women won't talk about to anyone.

I mentioned that I got a kick out of the academic hijinks in The Skeleton Takes a Bow, and the same is true here.  The shenanigans and maneuvers involving tenure are all too realistic (and funny if you're not involved in them), and some of the things about the students reminded me very much of my classroom days.

Susan is a prickly character, and she doesn't put up with any guff from her male colleagues, the cops, or even Jake.  Aunt Jenny is funny and a great cook.  I have a feeling all these characters will be returning for a sequel, so you'll want to pick this one up now before you get behind.  You won't regret it.

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