Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Blog tour, Cozy, mystery, Review on May 31, 2014



Academic cover


Murder Is Academic
(Laura Murphy Mystery Series)

File Size: 1626 KB
Print Length: 223 pages
Publisher: Lesley A. Diehl (March 29, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.


Laura Murphy, psychology professor, thinks there’s nothing she likes better than coffee and donuts on a summer morning until she says yes to dinner with a Canadian biker and finds herself and her date suspects in the murder of her college’s president. Laura’s friend, the detective assigned the case, asks her to help him find out who on the small upstate New York college campus may be a killer.  The murder appears to be wrapped up in some unsavory happenings on the lake where Laura lives.  A fish kill and raw sewage seeping into the water along with the apparent drowning suicide of a faculty member complicate the hunt for the killer.  And then things become personal.  The killer makes a threatening phone call to Laura. With a tornado bearing down on the area and the killer intent upon silencing her, Laura’s sleuthing work may come too late to save her and her biker from a watery grave.


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This was an interesting twist on a cozy, at least in my opinion, because there were lots of different pieces to the puzzle.  I don’t know if it was me (perhaps a reading funk?) but the book didn’t really start to grab me until near the end.  It seemed like the story went along but I couldn’t figure out how the pieces were going to fit together.  But a little more than halfway through things really started to roll and some of the characters showed their “evil” side.  I don’t think I would have figured out the killer with the clues provided…but I did suspect this character, if nothing else as being weird and something was up.

Laura is a strong character and sometimes I wondered if she was running over Der who was the police detective.  It was a different twist to see a detective basically authorizing the amateur sleuth to actually look into things…of course the murders would never have been solved without her sticking her nose into the situation and nearly getting killed.  I do like that Laura was not afraid to poke around and try and figure out who the killer was and why.

I’d give this 3 1/2 paws and it will be interesting to see if there is another book to follow this one (considering how it ended – maybe a series, maybe not)


About The Author

LES DIEHLCROPPEDLike me, my protagonists choose to live their lives close to nature.

From the deep, green river valleys and tree-covered mountains of upstate New York to the palm-treed pastures of the Big Lake Country in Florida, these women have found their homes and their hearts in rural America.

These plucky snoops are joined by a transplant from Connecticut, Eve Appel, who moves to rural Florida to set up a consignment shop with her best friend and partner, Madeleine Boudreau.

All these amateur sleuths yearn for the simple, artless existence of hard work coupled with rustic pleasure.

That’s why they live away from big cities, but murder and violence have a way of stalking us, even our plucky heroines, who think they’ve avoided life’s perils.

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Tour Participants

May 15 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
May 16 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review,
May 17 – The Book Junkie – Review, Giveaway
May 19 – Bea’s Book Nook– Review,
May 20 – fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s ramblins and reviews – Review
May 21 – deal sharing aunt – Interview, Giveaway
May 22 – Victoria’s Pages of Romance – Guest Post
May 23 – Traci Andrighett’s blog – Review
May 26 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
May 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
May 28 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
May 29 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview
May 30 – Community Bookstop – Review
May 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review