Cold and Pure and Very Dead

By Joanne Dobson
(Bantam, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780553580020, 304pp.)

Publication Date: October 2, 2001

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The Agatha Award-Nominated Author of Quieter Than Sleep

Professor Karen Pelletier has made a name for herself as one of the leading scholars of literature at exclusive Enfield College. But when an offhand comment sets off a firestorm of controversy, she finds herself embroiled in a scandal that began with a notorious novel from the 1950s — and ends with a very real murder....

When a New York Times reporter ends an interview with Karen by asking her to name the best novel of the twentieth century, she glibly picks the steamy potboiler Oblivion Falls, a long-forgotten tome that caused a sensation forty years ago.

After Karen’s comment renews interest in Oblivion Falls, the book quickly climbs onto the bestseller charts — and now everyone wants to know what became of the book’s long-vanished author, Mildred Deakin. The reporter who broke the story finally tracks her down — and is rewarded for his efforts by being shot dead in the writer’s driveway.

When Mildred is arrested for murder, Karen feels obligated to investigate further. And what she discovers, as she probes the long-forgotten publishing drama surrounding Oblivion Falls, is almost as shocking as the book itself — and far more deadly.

About the Author
Joanne Dobson is a novelist and a scholar of American women's literature. Her six-book Professor Karen Pelletier mystery series won her an Agatha nomination and a Noted Author of the Year award from the New York State Library Association. THE KASHMIRI SHAWL is her first venture into the genre of historical fiction. Formerly a tenured professor of American Literature at Fordham University, Joanne is a specialist in Emily Dickinson and in the work of nineteenth-century American women writers. Currently she teaches in National Endowment for the Humanities and Fulbright Fellowship International summer programs at Amherst College. She also teaches Creative Writing at the Hudson Valley Writers Center, which this autumn honors her for her multifaceted career as Scholar, Teacher, and Writer of Fiction.
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