Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Death in an Ivory Tower: Review

Death in an Ivory Tower is the fifth installment in Maria Hudgins' Dotsy Lamb cozy mystery series.Dotsy is a 6o-something grandmother and teacher of ancient and medieval history who is determined to finally complete her PhD. She and her doctoral adviser, Professor Larry Roberts, are off to Oxford for an academic conference revolving around the myths of King Arthur and their influence on Elizabethan England. Larry is currently a bit miffed at his student--Dotsy somehow managed to influence a couple of New Age Arthurian zealots with an agenda to apply for the conference. Bram Fitzwaring and his on-again, off-again lover Mignon Beaulieu plan to rock the conference with their "proof" that Arthur was a real king and not just the stuff of legends.

Fitzwaring rocks the conference all right....but not with a major Arthurian bombshell. He's found dead in his room just hours before his scheduled presentation. It's first thought that the diabetic conferee died from a case of hypoglycemia. But Dotsy is a diabetic as well and certain facts surrounding the death just don't add up. Then a family friend who is a visiting doctor at a local Oxford hospital is shot and Dotsy wonders if there is a connection.  But what could the connection be...and will she be able to make the British police listen to her suspicions?

This is a well-paced cozy mystery with an academic setting--a winner for me, as you all know! Dotsy is a likeable character and interesting as an amateur detective. She works with the police and doesn't assume that she can take on villains all on her own. I'm not sure how the rest of the series works (this is my first foray into the Dotsy Lamb Travel Mysteries)--but this one in particular works with Dotsy as sleuth because of her personal knowledge of diabetes.  We also learn a bit about Arthurian legend versus history along the way, but Hudgins doesn't load the story down with details. There's just enough for interest and background. A solid cozy mystery that, while part of a series, can certainly be read as a stand-alone with no need to have read previous books first. I will certainly look forward to catching up on others in the series--particularly if they include academic settings as well. ★★★


LuAnn @ BackPorchervations said...

Looks like a good read! TBR listed.

Unknown said...

I am putting that on my TBR list, too! Looks like a very enjoyable read! Thanks!

fredamans said...

I might connect to this one being a diabetic myself. Great review!