Publish and Perish by Sally S. Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When is a death of natural causes a murder? Why does the death of Ben's friend Richard not seem as "natural" as it should?
These are the questions Ben Reese is determined to find answers to.
Not the most mysterious mystery ever, the four stars are for the writing, themes, and characterizations. None of the characters go to church during the story, but it is decidedly Christian as it discusses themes of purpose and meaning. One character is staunchly Republican, which causes some trouble.
I appreciated that this is a traditional murder mystery with none of modern spectacle of blood and suspense, rather the reader pieces together the clues and can figure out the whodunit. You get to like Ben Reese as a person (although he might be almost too perfect), hope for good for him, and sorrow for his past. Ben is horrified at the thought that the murderer sat there and watched as his victims died. He has nightmares about WWII, where he was an advance scout and reconnaissance officer.
I also realized last night, that the book could be set either in the town I grew up in, or the town I now live in (more likely) with their Methodist colleges and distance from Columbus. That's kind of fun.
Some quotes, I particularly enjoyed:
"Because as Ben had become immersed in history and American studies, he stopped even asking what he might want to be, while he studied what he wanted to know."
"Logic is the fruit of reason; meaning is the child of imagination."
Not a difficult or particularly challenging read, but I enjoyed it. Happy to see that the books are also available on Kindle. I read this book and the second years ago, and didn't remember anything other than enjoying them. My SIL got me Book 3 for Christmas, so I'm rereading - so glad because I certainly got more out of it this time than last. I'm excited to read Book 2, Pride and Predator.
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