Simon & Schuster, Jul 5 2011, $25.00
In 1994 in Vermont, Jasper College hires literature Professor Richard Aldiss to teach an undergraduate class Unraveling a Literary Mystery. Using closed circuit TV Aldiss will conduct the class from his prison cell where he serves two life sentences for murdering two female grad students twelve years ago. Aldiss assigns his student with identifying who reclusive author Paul Fallows is. Fallows has written two novels containing clues to who he is, but to achieve a chance at success means understanding the game Procedure. One of the students Alex Shipley not only achieves the objective, she proves her incarcerated professor could not have killed the students.
Several years later someone kills one of the nine students who participated in Unraveling a Literary Mystery using the same M.O. as the homicides that placed Aldiss in prison. Harvard Professor Alex returns to Jasper to investigate who the murderer is.
Rotating between 1994 and the present and enhanced by references to the 1980s homicides, readers will enjoy this suspense thriller. The cast is especially solid with obviously the leads being the game playing enigmatic Aldiss and the genius Shipley. However, a critical late revelation about Aldiss seems inane for such a brilliant mind though emphasizing the gamester personality but to me detracts from an otherwise exciting whodunit then and now.