Creamed at Commencement
A Graduation Mystery

Professor Melanie Andrews, murdered at the Yonkers University graduation, was a brilliant academic. She was also a control freak who thought that everyone else's business was also hers.

Two female amateur detectives (of different ages but similar mindsets) solve the crime. Katie Maguire is a 61-year-old, part-time receptionist in a newly formed detective agency. She has also recently enrolled as a part-time college student at Yonkers University. She doesn't have a lot of formal education; but like the late Professor Andrews, she is productive, conscientious -- and nosy! Katie's boss is on vacation when the agency is asked to work for private clients in Ireland to find the murderer of the professor. Some might play when the cat's away. But not Katie. Not when e-mail makes it easy to say "yes" to long-distance clients. So now Katie faces the dual challenge of solving a murder and fitting in as a college student. Her twentysomething classmate, Maria Pinacchio (fiancÚ Roberto Rodriguez is a police detective), proves to be an able assistant.

The detective duo deals with a number of suspects: the victim's sister, angry about the disposition of some jointly held property; a dean who may be sitting on a financial scandal; a janitor who guards his basement office as if it were Fort Knox; a young male professor rumored to be overly friendly with female students; a deaf administrative assistant who may know more about the murder than she cares to admit; an ambitious professor conducting an anti-wrinkle cream experiment that may add a new wrinkle to the case; a Professor Andrews wannabe who has a weight-loss plan that may have included getting rid of her controlling mentor; and a professor in his eighties who is reticent about the meeting he had with the victim shortly before her death. The action takes place at the suburban university campus and also fifteen miles south at a variety of locations in New York City: an aerobics studio, a restaurant, an office, an apartment, and a shopping mall.

Katie and Maria learn a lot about academic ambition as well as the art and science of detecting. Oh joy. Nancy Drew fantasies are realized.

Read an excerpt from "Creamed at Commencement: A Graduation Mystery"
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