Sunday, January 24, 2021

Six perfectly alluring academic mysteries

Edwin Hill is the Edgar- and Agatha-award nominated author of Little Comfort, The Missing Ones, and Watch Her.

[Q&A with Edwin Hill]

At CrimeReads. he tagged six favorite academic mysteries, including:
The Secret History, by Donna Tartt (1992)

How can you write about academic novels without bringing in Tartt’s terrific debut? Set at the fictional Hampden College in Vermont (and based on Tartt’s very real alma mater, Bennington College), the novel follows a group of six academically gifted classics students who— no spoilers because happens in the first pages—kill one of their own. The novel follows the build up to and the aftermath from the crime and its lasting impact on those who survive. Reading the novel for the first time in a decade or so, I’m stunned by its intelligence, and how Tartt succeeds in creating richly drawn characters who are intelligent, annoyingly intelligent, and annoying, sometimes in the same paragraph. More than any other novel on this list, it makes me yearn for my own college days.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Secret History is on a top ten list of the best Twinkies in fiction, and among Kate Weinberg's five top campus novels, Emily Temple's twenty best campus novels, and Ruth Ware's top six books about boarding schools.

--Marshal Zeringue