Edgar Award Finalist: Murder strikes the Massachusetts hometown of a literary icon, and a scholarly sleuth investigates, in a “remarkable” mystery series (Booklist). Although she spent her life withdrawn from the people of Amherst, Massachusetts, every man, woman, and English professor in this small university town claims ownership of poet Emily Dickinson. They give tours in her house, lay flowers on her grave, and now, as the hundredth anniversary of her death approaches, they organize festivals in her name. Dickinson scholar Owen Kraznik has just been railroaded into organizing the festival when Amherst starts to burn. As the fire consumes a fourteen-story university dormitory, transcendentalist scholar and occasional sleuth Homer Kelly considers that it may have been set on purpose. Two students die in the blaze, but neither was the arsonist’s target. Emily Dickinson wrote countless poems on the nature of mortality, but before Amherst can celebrate her words, death will leap off the page.
About the author
Winner of the Bouchercon Lifetime Achievement Award, Jane Langton (1922–2018) was an acclaimed author of mystery novels and children’s literature. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Langton took degrees in astronomy and art history before she began writing novels, and has set much of her fiction in the tight-knit world of New England academia.
She published her first novel, The Majesty of Grace, in 1961, and a year later began one of the young adult series that would make her famous: the Hall Family Chronicles. In The Diamond in the Window (1962) she introduced Edward and Eleanor, two New England children whose home holds magical secrets. Two years later, in The Transcendental Murder, Langton created Homer Kelly, a Harvard University professor who solves murders in his spare time. These two series have produced over two dozen books, most recently The Dragon Tree (2008), the eighth Hall Family novel.
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