Crime on Campus

Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse mysteries, isn’t the only novelist who has set a murder in Oxford. Tara Heuze rounds up another ten for us in 10 Criminal Underrated Novelists, an essay for the website Culture Trip. 

Among her finds: Kingsley Amis (The Riverside Villas Murder), Nicholas Blake (pseudonym of the poet C. Day Lewis) (The Beast Must Die), and John Mortimer (Rumpole of the Bailey). Check out these Oxford mysteries as well, in this Culture Trip essay,  and these, collected in a Crime Reads piece. 

Molly Odintz gives us a brief history of the academic mystery genre here, for Crime Reads, noting a couple of our favorites, Amanda Cross’s Death in a Tenured Position, and P. D. James’s An Unsuitable Job For a Woman. Mystery Readers International gives us an overview of the academic mystery here, in Academic Mysteries 101. 

Elżbieta Perkowska-Gawlik discusses Cross’s book as well as Gail Bowen’s Burying Ariel in her essay “Victimization in Academic Mystery Fiction,” included in The Campus Novel: Regional Or Global (2019). Additional analysis of the genre here, from Ewa Kraskowska. 

This comprehensive essay from Mystery Readers International covers both Oxford and Cambridge as settings, and Stop, You’re Killing Me is a website devoted to the academic mystery. It even has a job index–you can look up the character by his/her occupation! We’re enchanted (and yes, there’s an entry for psychics and the paranormal). So many clever and devious minds on campus–we’ll be back!