Saturday, September 29, 2012

Speaking of Murder by Tace Baker

In the previous post, Tace Baker told readers how she took so much of her life experience, added a murder and a few twists, and wrote Speaking of Murder, the book that was a finalist for the Linda Howard Award for Excellence earlier this year. Readers who enjoy stories set in the academic world might be drawn this story of a linguistics professor determined to find the killer of her star pupil.

Lauren Rousseau had just defended Jamal Carter when he had a run-in with the chair of the linguistics department at Agawam College. For some reason, Alexa Kensington was opposed to Jamal's thesis topic.She witnessed a second incident involving him and Alexa while another student saw him in an argument with a man on campus. When she finds Jamal dead, she knows there are a few people who might have disliked him. But, why was he killed? Who hated him that much?

Jamal's death knocks Lauren's life off kilter. And, her best friend, Elise, seems to be keeping secrets. Lauren becomes tangled up in her own search for answers, a search that endangers her dog, and threatens her. Baker's story is a complex, intriguing mystery.

I will admit, I had a hard time liking Lauren Rousseau. Although she truly cared for her students and friends, and went to great lengths to help people, her neediness bothered me. For that matter, it bothers her, and she doesn't understand it. Her relationship with her boyfriend, Zac, sometimes struck me as a little juvenile for a woman in her late thirties, as she pushed him away while wanting him when she wanted him to be there.

However, I did appreciate her relationship with the investigating officer in the story, a relationship that seemed to become more respectful as the case progressed. Lauren had a much more mature relationship with the police than many amateur sleuths do in books.

Speaking of Murder is a solid debut for Tace Baker. It's a complex mystery, with a storyline that offers a multitude of possibilities for the reasons behind a murder. Readers who enjoy the politics and secrets surrounding the academic world will welcome this new sleuth.

Tace Baker is a pseudonym for Edith Maxwell. Edith's websites are www.tacebaker.com and www.edithmaxwell.com

Speaking of Murder by Tace Baker. Barking Rain Press. 2012. ISBN 9781935460473 (paperback), 178p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book because she was doing a guest blog.

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