A Class on Murder: A Ronnie Raven Mystery
by K.B. Gibson
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432825935
Date: 06 July 2012
Ronnie Raven a psychology professor at a small Oklahoma university discovers the apparent suicide of a senior psychology professor. After the police rule it a case of murder, Ronnie becomes the major suspect because she discovered the body, called 911, and was known to dislike him. To complicate matters the local detective is convinced of her guilt, while the young campus policeman wants to date her.
Of Cherokee-Irish descent, Ronnie believes the only way to clear her name is to find the killer. Crutchfield, the dead professor, had many enemies. He sexually harassed female students and blackmailed others to gain what he wanted. Rumor also has it that Crutchfield has an explosive manuscript he planned to publish.
A frustrated football player, a coed Crutchfield tried to seduce, his downtrodden teaching assistant, colleagues he blackmailed, his ex-wife, and a disgruntled lover all might have tried to kill him. Finding out which one and getting the evidence to prove it, keep Ronnie pushing and placing herself in danger.
Ronnie interrupts several suspects in Crutchfield's office looking for something. A student claims he's checking for the paper he submitted, but which has disappeared. Then, when Ronnie searches the office, someone knocks her out and removes a box she had been about to open.
Several attempts on her life end in narrow escapes. Someone leaves a live rattlesnake under her desk. A gunshot in the library stacks is a near miss. Frustrated, Ronnie decides to make herself a public target by implying she knows who murdered Crutchfield.
This is Gibson's first mystery novel. Humor is provided via the lively exchanges between Ronnie and her close friend, drama professor Terry Panetta and her black Labrador James Dean who takes to the young policeman much to her chagrin. Gibson manages to keep a romance simmering with the young policeman and an ending that may surprise some readers, but not others. Some mild explicit language appears, but no explicit sex.