An initiative of the American Library Association

A+ Academic Mysteries

By Shari Randall

Ah, September. Many consider this the beginning of the year, with so many returning to school to start the next chapter of their academic journey. What a busy time—especially when you add murder and mystery to the mix. These A+ mysteries will give you a peek inside those hallowed halls of academe, where things are not always as peaceful as they appear on the bucolic cover of a college brochure.

The Semester of Our Discontent

by Cynthia Kuhn

English professor Lila Maclean is thrilled about her new job at prestigious Stonedale University, until she finds one of her colleagues dead. Everyone, from the chancellor to the detective working the case, believes Lila—or someone she is protecting—may be responsible for the horrific event. Putting her scholarly skills to the test, Lila gathers evidence, but her search for the killer is complicated by an unexpected nemesis, a suspicious investigator, and an ominous secret society. Recipient of an Agatha Award, The Semester of Our Discontent is the first book in this series of suspenseful and humorous mysteries set in academia.

Henery Press, 2018.

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Death by Committee

by Carole B. Shmurak

Faculty squabbling at a large state university turns deadly when professor of education Susan Lombardi joins a committee to make a tenure decision about Abby Gillette, a controversial faculty member. After one colleague is hospitalized following a suspicious fire and another is found dead in Abby's office, Susan must try to figure out who is doing what to whom . . . without becoming the next victim. Death by Committee also demystifies the process of gaining tenure at a college or university, bringing the members of the book club behind the closed doors of academe.

Carole B. Shmurak, 2006.

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The Black Hour

by Lori Rader-Day

For Chicago sociology professor Amelia Emmet violence was a research topic―until a student she'd never met shot her. He also shot himself. Now he's dead and she's back on campus grappling with a question she can't let go: Why her? Then graduate student Nathaniel Barber offers to help her track down some answers. He’s got a crush and his own agenda―plans to make her his killer dissertation topic. Together and at cross-purposes, Amelia and Nathaniel stumble toward a truth that will explain the attack and take them through the darkest hours of their lives. Finalist for the 2015 Mary Higgins Clark Award and winner of the Anthony Award for Best First Novel.

Seventh Street Books, 2014.

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Passport to Murder

by Mary Angela

Start with an unlucky number, add a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor and you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder. Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true―over spring break, she and her French colleague, André Duman, are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light. But when a traveler dies and André is suspected of murder, the professor must put her research skills to work to prove his innocence. Themes of superstition―why do some fear the number 13? ―imagination and reality are woven through the book.

Camel Press, 2017.

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Native New Englander Shari Randall is the author of the Lobster Shack mystery series coming from St. Martin's Press in 2018. She loves being the Sister in Crime's Library Liaison because the role combines two of her favorite things: writing and libraries.

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