After a painful divorce, Cassandra James takes up a lectureship in a women’s college in Cambridge and buys an isolated house deep in the Fens. But her quiet life is shattered on a hot summer’s day when she discovers the body of Margaret, her head of department, floating in a swimming pool. The shock of finding the body leads Cassandra to be uncharacteristically careless over contraception. As her waistline thickens, so does the plot. For as the days grow shorter and darker, Cassandra suspects that Margaret’s death was not an accident and that she herself is the next target. As the book races towards its heart-stopping dénouement she has to draw to the utmost on her intelligence and resourcefulness to unmask the killer and protect her unborn child . . .
Dead Letters was published in 2002 by Robert Hale.
Dead Letters was published as Murder is Academic in the USA by St Martin’s Press in 2004.
Dead Letters / Murder is Academic was made available on ebook in 2013.
Reviews for Dead Letters / Murder is Academic
‘an intriguing read . . . keeps the reader guessing . . . a lot to enjoy in this romp through the Cambridge Commons . . . a strong sense of place and a narrative style that is both energetic and engaging.’
Margaret Murphy, SHERLOCK
‘A fascinating mystery, the sense of place was very strong . . . I just hope the next one is not too long coming.’
Lizzie Hayes, MYSTERY WOMEN
‘It’s a relief to encounter a new crime writer who doesn’t rely on blood splattering and sweaty bodies to achieve her effects . . . the climax is surely unique . . . definitely different.’
Gwen Moffat, SHOTS magazine
‘an atmosphere which is utterly entrancing . . . a wry sense of humour combined with crisp prose . . . For Anglophiles and those that love a good academic mystery, look no further.’
‘the masterful ending is hugely suspenseful and highly original’
themysteryplace.com (website of THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK MYSTERY MAGAZINE)
‘superior writing and an excellent ear for dialogue . . . brings her characters to vivid life . . . I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this novel . . . a very impressive debut.’
‘an amateur sleuth tale that is filled with unexpected twist and turns . . the cast is simply brilliant . . . a treat for mystery fans.’
‘fine debut . . . topnotch talent and page-turning intrigue.’
‘Poulson adroitly shifts the focus of suspicion . . . and builds suspense to a high pitch before delivering a satisfying conclusion.’
‘excellent debut mystery.’
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