Friday, January 17, 2014


by John Moss
Anne McDermid and Associates Ltd.

This mystery is a good fit for readers who enjoy history and grammar along with the body count. The fourth in the Miranda Quin and David Morgan mysteries, The Dead Scholar immerses the two Toronto detectives in, as the title suggests, the death of a scholar, an ecclectic group of characters, all members of the Francis Bacon Society, and verbal sparring that's right up their alley.

The body is that of the elderly Professor Dieter Kurtz, found on Philosophers Walk in Toronto. It turns out that as the president of the Francis Bacon Society, Kurtz appears to be despised by the remaining twelve members and each had a motive to kill him. In an attempt to get to know the members better and hopefully find the killer, Quin and Morgan agree to attend a weekend getaway the Society has planned at a secluded island in the Muskokas. The sumptuous lodge and its surrounding buildings provide the perfect setting for the divining of old secrets, hidden loyalties, and death.

Since the life and writings of Francis Bacon are the focus of this group of suspects, it's natural that the author also devotes a fair amount of space to the historical aspect. The question for the detectives is, where does the motive lie? There are enough red herrings, intricacies and dialogue within the 579 pages of the novel to engage the reader during the quest for the killer.

The amount of research that went into The Dead Scholar is obviously enormous but it's evident that Peterborough author John Moss has a particular affinity to his topic and setting. He also takes much delight in word play, as do his two protagonists. It's a good read for these long, cold nights when a puzzle more than a thriller hits the spot.

The Dead Scholar was published principally as an e-book and is available on Kobo and Kindle. For more information see the author's website

1 comment:

  1. Miranda Quin and David Morgan are two of my favourite police detectives. I loved Dead Scholar and look forward to the next in the series!