When I finished reading Simon Said my first thought was this is what an academic mystery should be. After ranting about how bad the Princeton Murder book was I feel compelled to explain what makes this one so much better.
Simon Shaw, the protagonist of Shaber’s stories, is a history professor at
Moreover, Shaber’s descriptions of
There are flaws; it isn’t perfect. Reading the book I knew that Shaber herself was not an academic. I don’t remember anything in particular that caught my attention, but little comments suggested a somewhat stereotypical perception of higher academics. I read one review that was disgusted by her disregard for tenure policies. Nonetheless, these discrepancies did not turn me off to the story.
Most importantly, I felt that Shaber created a realistic character whose actions largely reflected human nature. Shaw’s conversations were authentic. His actions, while not always logical, were more realistic because of that. The relationships that he develops with Gates and Julia through the book are engaging.
Obviously, I was not alone in my praise for this book. It received the Malice Domestic Award from