Today it's my pleasure to have Frankie Bow, author of THE CURSED CANOE andother books, as my guest.
Let’s talk about campus murder mysteries.
I love reading them and writing them. What is it about academia that makes it such a compelling setting for murder? I have some ideas.
Clashing agendas. Professors want to enlighten the world with their teaching and their research. Like Christa’s psychologist sleuth Sheridan Hensley, they focus on searching out the truth. Administrators, on the other hand, need to keep the dollars flowing in, and the legislators and trustees off their backs. This may require some skillful editing of the truth:
“Our position is, yes, Mister Yamada, your wonderful idea for a Golf Course Management major is going through, and before you know it, we’ll be putting out graduates who are ready and willing to work at your resort. And also, no, Senator Kamoku, of course we’re not considering offering a major in golf as a taxpayer-subsidized sop to our most powerful trustee. The very idea.” (From The Invasive Species)
Different worldviews. Naturally, everyone on campus agrees on striving for “excellence.” It’s in the University Strategic Plan, after all.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the same definition of “excellence.”
“Dr. Rodge,” as he tells his students to call him, doesn’t give midterms or final exams, assigns no homework, and gives A's to everyone who signs up for his Human Potential class. I can’t force Rodge to “maintain academic standards worthy of our university” (Hanson’s words) or “teach a real college class and knock off that feel-good bull****” (Hanson’s contemporary, Dr. Larry Schneider). As long as Rodge shows up when he’s supposed to and stays out of trouble with the students, there’s not much else I can do. Especially not when the Student Retention Office keeps nominating him for the campus-wide teaching award every year. (From The Cursed Canoe)
Imbalance of power. Students may feel powerless, but to the administration, they are customers.
So true... and now let's talk about THE CURSED CANOE:
2nd Book in Series
Print Length: 338 pages
Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (February 23, 2016)
Professor Molly Barda investigates a mysterious paddling accident, and realizes it isn’t just business majors who cheat to get what they want. Whether it’s moving up in the college rankings, getting a seat in the big canoe race, or just looking out for themselves, some people will do whatever it takes-including murder.
About the Author, Frankie Bow
Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.
In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Frankie_Bow
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