The Love Potion Murders in the Museum of Man
A Norman de Ratour Mystery
By Alfred Alcorn
(Steerforth, Paperback, 9781581952315, 288pp.)
Publication Date: February 3, 2009
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When Professor Humberto Ossmann and Dr. Clematis Woodley, who heartily despised each other in life, are found together in a mortal embrace, Norman de Ratour knows that evil once again stalks the hallowed precincts of the Museum of Man. It has been several years since the museum was wracked by what became known as the “cannibal murders.” Many of the same characters – Malachy Morin, Lieutenant Tracy of the Seaboard Police Department, Constance Brattle of Wainscott University's Oversight Committee, the Reverend Alfie Lopes, Elsbeth, now Norman's beloved wife, and Israel Landes, his devoted friend – play their parts as an unseemly conspiracy unfolds: A powerful aphrodisiac under development in the Genetics Lab is being used as a murder weapon.Norman, now director of the museum, figuratively dons his deerstalker hat to help the Seaboard police find and bring the miscreants to justice. The Love Potion Murders in the Museum of Man takes black comedy to philosophical heights, exploring the human (and inhuman) condition and seeking to redeem it through humor in a novel that combines parody and murder mystery suspense.
Alfred Alcorn is the author of the previous Norman de Ratour Mystery, Murder in the Museum of Man, and former director of travel at Harvard University’s Museum of Natural History. He lives in Belmont, Masschusetts.
"The Love Potion Murders in the Museum of Man is no less giddy, but in a dry, snide style. Uppity Wainscott University is caught on Alfred Alcorn's blade when two antagonistic academics are found on the floor of the genetics lab, victims of an industrial-strength aphrodisiac and done to death by sexual excess. The Marx Brothers would be very welcome at this quirky institution." — The New York Times Book Review
Praise for the first Norman de Ratour Mystery, Murder in the Museum of Man
"An adroit, hilarious send-up." — The New Yorker
"A stylish, fiendish detective story." — The New York Times Book Review
"Readers will be choked with laughter." — The Boston Herald
A "wonderfully funny and surprisingly suspenseful story." — The Chicago Tribune
"Alcorn's unexpected hybrid blends academic spoofery . . . and a murder mystery, serving it up with just the right balance of innocence, subtle malevolence and cheeky irony." — Publishers Weekly