Publisher description for Quieter than sleep / Joanne Dobson.
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The groves of academe prove fertile ground for murder when Emily Dickinson scholars discover that "publish or perish" can sometimes be more than a literary metaphor.
English professor and Emily Dickinson expert Karen Pelletier is as unlikely a sleuth as you'll ever find, and you'd think that an elite college like Enfield would be as safe, cozy, and insulated as its reputation. But Enfield is shaken to its Puritan roots when star English professor Randy Astin-Berger tumbles out of a closet into Karen's arms at a faculty cocktail party, strangled to death with his own flashy necktie. Karen struggles to remember Randy's last words, spoken just minutes before she caught his corpse. He'd been babbling something about a mysterious "master letter," but unfortunately, she hadn't really been listening.
Lieutenant Piotrowski of the local police naturally suspects Karen first, since she was the last person to be seen with Astin-Berger. But when a student, Bonnie Weimer, is found dead two days later, the search widens. Why anyone would want to kill Bonnie is a mystery, but plenty have reason to strangle Astin-Berger. Ned Hilton had just been denied tenure due to Astin-Berger's influence. Randy, as notorious for his philandering as he was noted for his philology, had been cuckolding the dean, and had even seduced one of his own undergraduate students, the brilliant and wraithlike Sophia, whose decidedly vicious father works as a janitor on campus.
Piotrowski asks Karen to retrace the convoluted turns of Astin-Berger's research in hope of finding a clue, and as she turns up one false lead after another, Karen nears a discovery that will get her shot at and almost burned to death before it ultimately turns the literary establishment on its ear.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886 Correspondence Fiction, Women teachers Fiction, College teachers Fiction, Massachusetts Fiction