• Title: The Fugitive King (The Professor Simon Shaw Murder Mysteries)
  • Released: 2011-03-25
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 248
From Publishers Weekly In his third winning cozy (Simon Says; Snipe Hunt), history professor Simon Shaw's journey to "the homeplace" in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains is interrupted by an escaped convict, Roy Freedman, who at gunpoint asks his help in finding evidence to support Freedman's claim of innocence for a murder committed decades before. Once home, the obliging prof taps into the local collective memory, gossiping with his kin and acquaintances at the sheriff's department. What he finds is unsettling. Why was so little evidence recorded at the time of the murder? What motive would drive Freedman to plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit and serve 40 years in prison? Learning the answers to these questions may prove more dangerous than Simon bargained for. Shaber excels at depicting local color, from Appalachian geology and native flora, to evocative glimpses of postwar rural America. With his migraines, tenure worries and wounded feelings after a spat with his girlfriend, the 30-something Simon comes across as likable and all too human-we understand why his relations are glad to see him. Minor characters also have their appealing foibles, especially Simon's uncle and aunt, Mel and Rae, who are separated because Mel looks forward to retirement and Rae would "die if she stopped working." A chatty style is perfectly suited to an investigation that depends so much on conversation and characters' reminiscences.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal Shortly after authorities discover a female skeleton just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, Professor Simon Shaw (Simon Says) is taken hostage by an escaped convict in Raleigh. Said convict confessed to killing the woman back in 1958, though her body was never found, but now he wants Shaw, a forensic historian, to prove him innocent. The convict returns to prison, and Shaw finally decides to investigate, putting a huge glitch in his love life. Forensic research details, historical facts about ethnic Melungeons and Appalachia, and frequent reminders of North Carolina academia provide plot cement. Solid, middle-of-the-road prose recommends this cozy to larger collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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