English professor Karen Pelletier is well known for her provocative manner and iconoclastic opinions, so it's no surprise that she perversely cites a commercial novel from the 1950s when asked to named the greatest book of the twentieth century. The only work by Mildred Deakin, who disappeared from public view shortly after its publication, Satan Mills quickly becomes the hottest book around. It's the center of contentious arguments in academic circles, climbs onto The New York Times bestseller list, and receives the coveted honor of being an Oprah Book Club selection. At the height of the frenzy, a reporter who discovers the reclusive author in rural upstate New York is found dead in her driveway. Could Deakin have been so protective of her privacy that she'd shoot someone to protect it?
Called in to help with the investigation, Karen learns that the scandalous happenings at the heart of Satan Mills were more autobiographical than its attractive young author wanted anyone to know. The intrepid professor deploys all her literary and investigative skills in an all-out effort to exonerate the embattled older woman and restore her peaceful existence
Original title: Cold and Pure and Very Dead
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Amateur