Severn, Mar 2010, $28.95
Harvard doctoral candidate Dulcie Schwartz feels a bit overwhelmed as a third year grad student trying to get her adviser Professor Bullock to approve her thesis concept on the gothic novel The Ravages of Umbria and its author. After meeting with distracted Dr. Bullock at his home, Dulcie leaves only to find the corpse of fellow graduate student Cameron Dessay lying on the front step. She especially did not like the pompous comp lit transfer who the females dubbed “de sigh”, but would not wish him dead.
Although she has solved a mystery recently (see Shades of Grey) Dulcie would prefer to stay out of this one so she can focus on her treatise and advise undergrad Raleigh Hall. However, Cambridge PD Detective Carioli invites her to the station in Red Square for questioning and upon meeting the self assured Raleigh while watching her friend Lloyd Pruitt react with fear, Dulcie wonders if she can avoid sleuthing especially when her late cat Mr. Grey appears telling her to have faith in her own abilities while her new kitty purrs.
This is a terrific academic amateur sleuth with a bit of the paranormal enhancing the entertaining story line. Fast-paced, readers obtain a deep look at academia at Harvard, which wraps around the murder mystery. Dulcie is a superb lead protagonist who holds the plot together while encouraged by the ghost of Mr. Grey to rust herself as he does. Grey Matters is a wonderful investigative thriller.