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.