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Murder at BYU: A finding guide to and annotated bibliography of murder mysteries in the Harold B Lee Library at BYU involving universities, colleges, professors and/or students: Part II: 1941-1960

An annotated bibliography of professor-, student-, college- or university-based murder mystery fiction or literature in the Harold B Lee Library (HBLL) at BYU.

Colleges, Universities or Professors in Murder Mystery Fiction at BYU, Part II: 1941-1960

 [See Kramer in the "Reference and Analysis" section above to find complete abstracts and other details at the pages noted at the end of the entries; quotations in this section are from Kramer.  Titles below, listed in chronological order, are available at the Lee Library (call numbers in bold).]

22.  Johnson, W Bolingbroke. The Widening Stain. New York: Knopf, 1942. PS 3505 I793 W43 1942. "The Wildmerding Library on the campus of a high-status but unidentified university in the eastern United States, is known far and wide for its great collections of rare manuscripts. But when Mademoiselle Coindreau, an assistant professor of French, is found dead of a broken neck after a supsicious fall from one of the building's galleries, the Wildmerding Lirary begins to acquire a new, less-edifying reputation. Gilda Gorhham, the library's chief cataloger, looks into Mademoiselle Coindreau's demise. ... [O]ne of the brightest and wittiest of all American college mysteries. ..." Johnson is a pseudonym for Morris Gilbert Bishop who received an AB and PhD from Cornell, and was a professor of romance languages there. (Kramer entry #53, p 45.)

23.  Lewis, Lange. Murder Among Friends. Indianaoplis: Bobbs-Merill, 1942. PS 3503 E97 M87 1942. "Kate Farr takes a job as secretary to Ulysses Calder, the wise and humane dean of a university medical school in Los Angeles. Miss Farr's predecessor, Garnet Dillon, was a beautiful young woman who was efficient as a typist but, as Dean Calder puts it, was 'not necessarily good' when it came to sexual conduct. Miss [Dillon] has disappeared, and Kate Farr, taking an introductory tour of the medical school's facilities, finds her body laid out in the embalmbing room. Detective Richard Tuck of the local police enters the case at this point. ..." Lewis is a psyuedonym for Jane Lewis Brandt who earned an AB from University of Southern California in 1939; she wrote two mystery novels that centered on academia, the other entitled Juliet Dies Twice. (Kramer entry #54, p 46.)

24.  Mitchell, Gladys. Laurels are Poison. London Michael Joseph, 1942. PR 6025 I832 L23 1942. "Miss Murchan, a warden [or dean] pf Athelstan Hall at 'Cataret Training College' disappears during a school dance. Miss du Magne, the principal of the teacher-training institution, sends for Mrs Beatrice Bradley ... a distinguished psychologist and criminologist who acts as consultant to the British Home Office. Installed as Athelstan's temproray warden, Mrs Bradley gets to the bottom of the affair. ..." Mitchell's full name is Gladys Maude Winifred Mitchell; she was a graduate in history from the University of London, and became a public school teacher and girls' track coach until her retirement in 1961. (Kramer entry #55, pp 46-47.)

25.  Campbell, Mary Elizabeth. Scandal Has Two Faces. Graden City, NJ: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1943. PS 3505 A528 S32 1943. "It is June of 1939 and at a large state university in Ohio the English department is about to give final examinations. Trouble arises when the questions to one of the tests turn up in a fraternity house. Then the widely disliked director of the freshman English program, a man who is also the university's dean of liberal arts, is found murdered in his office. Matthew Craig, the local prosecuting attorney, takes personal charge of the murder case. ...[This book] is on-campus detective fiction in undiluted form. ..." Campbell recieved AB and AM degrees from Radcliffe and a PhD from Yale, and when this book was published she was a member of the English deaprtment at Indiana University. (Kramer entry #56, p 47.)

26.  Innes, Michael. The Weight of the Evidence, New York: Dodd, Mead & C0, 1943.  PR 6037 T466 W26 1943.   "'Nesfield University' [is] a seedy provincial institution somewhere in the north of England, where members of the faculty mask thier professional shortcomings with pretense and pomposity. The crime that brings [Detective Inspector John] Appledby [previous mentioned, above, see the entry for "INNES"] to Nesfield is the murder of Professor Pluckrose, a biochemist who is crushed by a meteorite. The object does not fall from the sky; rather it is pushed on to Pluckrose from atop a university building while he is sitting in the sun in a deck chair. ..." Innes wrote a total fo four mysteries which involve colleges, universities or professors, see above for brief bio. (Kramer entry #57, p 48.)

27.  Stein, Aaron Marc. The Case of the Absent-Minded Professor, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1943. PS 3569 T34 C21 1943. "The absent-minded professor in the title of this classic college mystery is Alpheus Chambers, a world-famous anthropoloigst at a small college in the American Midwest. Chambers finds the corpse of a gangland hooldum in the mansucript room of the college library. Since he claims not to remember his actions before his dicovery, everyone in the school's indigenous [?!] community is prepared to believe that he is the ganster's murderer. Only Tim Mulligan and Elsie Hunt ... doubt that Chambers committed the crime. [They] are itinierent archaeologists who happend to on campus cataloging the 'Horton Collection' of rare gold pieces. Quickly familiarizing themselves with the college's internal politics, they identify the guilty party and, while doing so, blow open a host of smoldering college scandals. The large roster of suspects includes faculty members, students, and the college's beligerent football coach. Readers who enjoy president watching will be particularly interested in the portrait of President Webster and his vacuous 'bird-like' wife, Sarah. ..." No info on author. (Kramer entry #60, pp 49-50.)

28.  Rees, Dilwyn. The Cambridge Murders, London: Gollancz, 1945. PR 6007 A513 C24 1945. "The detective-protangonist of this leaisurely and elegant Cambridge mystery is Sir Richard Cherrington, the vice president of 'Fisher College' and professor of prehistory at the university. Sir Richard is a reader of detective novels and his familiarity with sleuthing is callled into play when, in quick succession, two persons associated with Fisher College are murdered. ..." Ress is a pseudonym for Glyn Edmund Daniel, who received a BA and a PhD in archaeology from Cambridge prior to WWII. (Kramer entry #69, pp 58-59.)

29.  Eustis, Helen. The Horizontal Man, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1946. PS 3509 U66 H59 1946. "Almost all serious students of mystery fiction consider The Horizontal Man to be one of the best college-mystery novels. Set at 'Hollymount College', and exclusive women's college in New England, this brooding, psychological story centers on the murder of Kevin Boyle, a twenty-nine-yearo-old bachelor member of the Hollymount English department. ..." Eustis was awarded a BA from Smith College in 1938 and this novel won an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America for the best first novel of 1946. (Kramer entry#72, p 61.)

30.  Kyd, Thomas. Blood is a Beggar, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1946. PS 3558 A612 B45 1946. "Professor Oscar Biddler, the chairperson of the English department at a large university in the eastern United States, is showing a film to his drama class, and Anne Ridgeway, his young, attractive secretary, is operating the projection equipment. Bidddler is shot dead as the film unreels, and when the lights are on, Miss Rdigeway is hunched over the professor's corpse. Although Ridgeway is not holding the fateful psitol (it has been thrown into a far corner), the thrity students in the classromm are conviced that she commidded the murder. ..." Kyd is the psuedonym of Alfred Bennet Harbage who recieved an AB and PhD from the Univeristy of Pennsylvania, and was professor of English and comparative literature at Harvard after WWII. (Kramer entry # 75, pp 63-64.)

31.  Leslie, Jean. Two-Faced Murder. Garden City, NJ: Doubleday, 1946. PS 3523 E756 T86 1946. " ...[W]hodunit-author Peter Ponsonby, a professor of English at a university somewhere in California, visiits his friend Ken Grayson, a professor of English at a university deep in the desert southwest. Upon his arrival, Ponsonby finds that everyone is out looking for Jane Titus, who has disappeared; [she] is the young wife of a biochemist and the daughter of Jim York, the chairperson of the English department. Eventually, Mrs Titus is found dead in a field. Ponsonby's reputation both as a detective and as a writer of mysteries has preceded him. ..." Leslie was inspired to create the Ponsonby character from the professors she encountered while pursuing graduate studies in psychology. (Kramer entry #77, pp 65-66.)

32.  Adler, Terry. On Murder's Skirts, New York: Phoenix, 1947. PS 3501 D63 O67 1947. "Jasper B Hubbard is one of college-mystery fiction's nastier academics. The chairman of the biology department at 'Landon University' in Indiana, Professor Hubbard plagiarizes his graudate students' brightest ideas and researches his faculty members' backgrounds so he can blackmail them. Moreover, he is trying to give up cigarettes and the resulting stress, which reinforces his naturally bullying personality, makes his secretary Ellen Carter's life so unbearable that she is about to reign her position. Little wonder, then, that when Hubbard is found dead in his office, the apparent vicitm of a coronary occlusion, the news receives'polite attention' rather than sympathetic hand-wringing from those who knew him. The eventual results of Professor Hubbard's autopsy generates more interest, however, because the procedure shows that Hubbard was actually poisoned. ..." No author info. (Kramer entry #79, p 67.)

33.  Lockridge, Fraces Louise and Richard Lockridge. Murder is Served. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1948. PN 6071 D45 D49 v2 anthology. "It is final examination time at 'Dyckman University' in New York City, and John Leonard, an associate professor of psychology, is grading the blue books turned in by the students in his experimental psychology class. The exam of Peggy Mott, an aspiring Broadway actress, is titled 'Hatred' and contains so much bitter prose that Leonard is convinced that Mott is about to commit a murder. ... But when John Mott, Peggy's husband, is stabbed dead in a restaurant by an unknown assailant, [private investigators] Jerry [North] and his amazingly intutive wife, Pam, drop all their other responsibilities to engage in sleuthing. Helped by Lieutenant Bill Wiegand and Sergeant Aloyius Mullins of the New York Police, the Norths find the villina ..." Frances attended the University of Kansas and Richard attended the Univeristy of Missouri. (Kramer entry #83, pp 69-70.)

34.  Bramhall, Marion. Murder is Contagious. Garden City NJ: Doubleday, 1949. PN 6071 D45 U44 1949. "When Bert Johnson, the star football player and top scholar at 'Midwestern University', begins to fall behind in his studies, Kit Acton, the wife of economics professor Dick Acton takes it upon herself to investigate. A married veteran, Johnson lives with this wife and infant daughter in 'Quonset Village'. Mrs Acton's initial inquiries suggest that Johnson's problems are related to his daughter's case of the measles, but the plot soon thickens. Jim Smythe, a wounded vet confined to a wheelchair, is found dead with a kitchen knife protruding from his back, and Sally Blair, the hard-drinking wife of yet another student-veteran, is beaten to death. There are many, many suspects ...". Bramhall is the daughter of a minister and was a resident of Masschusetts. (Kramer entry # 85, pp 71-72.)

35.  Innes, Michael. The Paper Thunderbolt. New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co., 1951. PR 6037 T466 P28 1951. "A group of scientists operating from a sanitarium outside of Oxford, plots to develop a drug that will bring it power over the world. The drug, known as Fromula Ten, destroys its victims' capacity for aggressiveness. This sinister band is foiled, however, by John Appleby of New Scotland Yard, ..., and by Oxford undergraduate Jane Apleby, [his] twenty-one year-old sister. In the process, the two Applebys also find the truth behind the disappearance of Oxford undergraduate Geoffrey Ourglass, the young man to whom Jane Appleby is engaged. ..." See Innes bio above. This book was orignially published in the UK under the title Operation Pax. (Kramer entry #91, p76-77).

36.  Farrer, Katherine. The Missing Link. London: Collins, 1952. PR 6056 A37 M37. "Perdita Link, the infant daughter of John and Perpetual Link, is kidnapped. John Link is an Oxford don [dean]. Inspector Richard Ringwood of Scotland Yard, an Oxford graduate himself, is assigned to the case, and his inquriries take him among John Link's university colleagues, to a band of gypsies camp outside Oxford, and even to the ape cages at the 'Bestiarick Gardens', a small zoo run by the university. ..." Farrer is a graduate of St Anne's College, Oxford, and wrote three mysteries. (Kramer entry# 95, pp 79-80.)

37.  Vulliamy, CE. Don Among the Dead Men. London: Michael Joseph, 1952. PR 6043 U44 D64 1952. "Kerris Bowles-Ottery, a professor of chemistry at the 'University of Ockham' in England, discovers a traceless compound that, when mixed with food or drink, produces in its recipients heightened feelings of well-being and amusement. Those who ingest the concoction laugh, sing, dance, and otherwise dispaly the symptoms of advanced euphoria. They also fall dead in a matter of hours, but, as Bowles-Ottery ratinalizes, they expire happily. With this lethal but humane compound at this disposal, Bowles-Ottery sets out to rid the university of his enemies. ..." Villiamy was homeschooled and did not attend university or college, and published ten mystery novels before his death in 1971. (Kramer entry # 97, pp 81-82).

38.  Waugh, Hillary. Last Seen Wearing. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1952. PS 3573 A9 L27 1952. "A classic police procedureal, Last Seen Wearing begins with the mysterious disappearance from 'Parker College' of Marilyn Lowell Mitchell, an eighteen-year-old freshman. Parker College, a fashionable insitution for women, is located in the town of 'Bristol', Massachusetts, ... Among the possible culprits in the case are male students from nearby 'Carlton College', a Parker College security guard, and several members of the Parker College faculty. ..." Waugh received a BA from Yale in 1942, and he was a naval aviator during WWII. (Kramer entry #99, pp 82-83.)

39.  Levin, Ira. A Kiss Before Dying. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1953. PS 3523 E7993 K57 1953. "Two sisters, the daughters of a millionaire copper magnate, are murdered. At the time of their deaths, the young women are students at two different insittutions of higher education in Wisconsin. Then the third surviving sister--a Columbia University graduate living in New York City--finds herself in jeopardy. ... Much of the story takes place at 'Stoddard University' the school attended by the first victim. ..." Levin is a graduate of NYU and this book won an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America for the best first mystery novel of 1953; it was also a made in to a movie by the same title in 1956. (Kramer entry #100, pp 83-84.)

40.  Mainwaring, Marion. Murder at Midyears. New York: Macmillan, 1953. PS 3563 A368 M57 1953. "A quintessential college mystery, Murder at Midyears is set at 'Collins College', a New England insitution for high-status young women. The book begins with a short history of Collins and then moves quickly to a meeting of the school's department of English literature. Presiding over the gathering is Gabriel Mersey, the dictatorial and corrupt head of the department. Gabriel is so loathsome that neither his colleagues nor the book's readers are surprised when, three chapters later, someone slips the evil old autocrat a lethal dose of cyanide. The sleuth in the story is Toby Sampson, a local assistant district attorney ... [and] Sampson explores the late Dr Mersey's full closet of skeletons before coming upon the identity of the murderer. ... The story abounds with real and false clues, and the murderer, as Sampson reveals, had a thoroughly academic motive." Mainwaring received a BS from Smith and PhD from Radcliffe; she was at various times an English professor, a book editor, and a newspaper correspondent. (Kramer entry #101, p 84.)

41.  Candy, Edward. Bones of Contention. Garden City, NY: 1983. PR 6064 E83 B6 1983. This is the 1983 American edition of the 1953 British edition. "The 'London Museum of Pathological Conditions in Childhood' is part of the 'Royal College of Paediatricians' [sic] which, in turn, is one of the less distinguished units of the University of London. The skeleton of a young girl, packed in a cabin trunk, arrives unsolicited at the museum. Old Mr Murivance, the museum's director, finds the incident unsettling, and few days later dies suddenly after receiving a series of injections to ease pain in a sore shoulder. Murivance leaves a sizable bequest to impoverished Miles Latimer, the editor of the college's professional journal, but Latimer is soon grievoulsy injured and removed to a nursing home after he mysteriously falls down a college staircase ...Professor Fabian Honeychurch, the college's found and president, wants to get to the bottom of these troubling matters and, along with several of his faculty and staff, he turns amateur detective. ... " Candy is a pseudonym for Barbara Allison Boodson Neville, who received her medical degrees and training from University College, London. (Kramer entry # 103, pp 85-86.)

42.  Carr, John Dickson. The Dead Man's Knock. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1958. PS 3505 A763 D345 1958. "Mark Ruthven, a professor of English at 'Queens Collge' in 'Queenshaven', Virginia, has made an important discovery. An expert in the life and times of detective-story pioner Wilkie Collins, Ruthven has found three letters from Collins to Chalres Dickens ... [which] outline the plot of a sealed-room mystery that Collins planned to write but never actually set down on paper. Ruthven would like to give his new treasures painstaking scrutiny but events intervene. First, his wife leaves him after a family tiff. Then Rose Lestange, a beautiful bachelorette friend of many of Queens' male faculty members, is stabbed dead behind the locked doors of her bedroom. ... Happily for all concerned, with the exeption of Miss Lestrange and her murderer, Dr Gideon Fell happens to visiting Queens... A fat, wheezing British lexicographer, Fell is an internationally-celebrated detective ..." Carr is considered "one of the giants of the 'Golden Age' of mystery fiction"; he attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania and modeled Fell on GK Chesterton. (Kramer entry # 113, p 93.)

43.  Mitchell, Gladys. Spotted Hemlock. London" Michael Jospeh, 1958. American edition: New York: St Martin's, 1985. PR 6025 I832 S6 1958. "'HighPepper Hall' is an agricultureal training college for men in the English county of Berkshire. 'Calladale College' , twenty-five miles away, is an agricultural trining school for women. As might be expected, the romantic traffic between the two insititutions is considerable, and one evening the dead body of a female, presumably a Calladale student, is discovered in an ancient stagecoach on the Highpepper grounds. Becasue her nephew, Carey LeStrange, is serving as a tutor in piggery, ... Dame Beatrice LeStrange Bradley arrives on the seen to offer her own uniquely energetic brand of detection. ..." See author bio at title Laurels are Poisonabove. (Kramer entry #115, pp 94-95.)

44.  Fenwick, Elizaabeth. A Long Way Down. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1959. PR 6011 E56 L56 1959. "'Stanton College' one of the oldest and most distinguished schools for men in the United States is rocked by two mysterious deaths. First, the fiancee of a young instructor in English dies after tumbling off the town's highest bridge. Then someone shatters the skull of Old Professor Gibson, the campus eccesntric, all over the floor of the professor's dining room.. ...Stanton College is fortunate to have Matthew Holley as its security chief..." Her full name is Elizabeth Fenwick Way, "and specialized in grisly stories set in isolated or tightly bounded communtities". (Kramer entry # 117, p 96.)

45.  Butler, Gwendoline. Death Lives Next Door. London: Bles, 1960.  Published in the US as Dine and Be Dead. New York: MacMillan, 1960. PR 6052 U813 D46 1960 (as "First Inspector Coffin mystery" at PR 6052 U813 D4 1992). "The central figure in this bizarre psychological story is Marion Manning, a University of Oxford philologist. Grey-haired, stocky, and in her fifties, Manning shares her home with a mysterious woman named Joyo. Manning is being hounded by another mysterious person known as 'The Watcher'. When that individual claims to be Manning's husband and is then found stabbed dead in Manning 's home ... Inspector John Coffin from London launches an investigation. ..." Butler received an MA from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford; the wife of a medieval history professor at the University of St Andrews, she has published over fifty mysteries. (Kramer entry #119, pp 97-98.)

 

 

 

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