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It’s Academic

itsacademiclogoMysteries featuring specific themes have proven to be very popular in recent years. One classic setting or theme for mystery fiction that has remained in the public eye has been academia. Whether the hallowed halls of a venerated old British university like Oxford or Cambridge, a tony Ivy-league school on the eastern seaboard of the U.S., or a small community technical school, murder and mayhem in the classrooms and labs of educational institutions never goes out of style. Many, if not most, of the books on this list also feature teachers, professors, or other educators as the primary sleuths.

In this list, you will find numerous examples of “series” entries — volumes in ongoing series featuring recurring characters. Not all books in each series feature an academic setting, so only those appropriate for this list appear here. If the entire set of books in a series is listed here, a notation to that effect is made.

All books in this list which are owned by Lincoln City Libraries are hotlinked to their entries in our library catalog, so that you may check on their current availability. Some titles not owned by the libraries are included in this list due to their classic nature, or their position as part of a series. If you see a title on this list that is not hotlinked to our collection, please consider ordering it through our Interlibrary Loan department. This is, by no means, a “complete” list, but focuses primarily on books still owned by the Lincoln City Libraries.

Catherine Aird

The Inspector Sloan series
Parting Breath (1977)
Some Die Eloquent (1979)

Susan Wittig Albert

The China Bayles series
Hangman’s Root (1994)

Irene Allen

Quaker Witness (1993)

Jeffrey Archer

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (1976)

Charlotte Armstrong

The Witch’s House (1963)

Maggie Barbieri

The Allison Bergeron series
Murder 101 (2006)
Extracurricular Activities (2007)
Quick Study (2008)

Robert Barnard

The Case of the Missing Bronte (1983)
Death in a Cold Climate (1981)
Death of an Old Goat (1977)
Death of a Literary Widow (1979)
School for Murder (1983)

Linda Barnes

The Carlotta Carlyle series
Deep Pockets (2004)

K.K. Beck

The Body in the Volvo (1987)

Lloyd Biggle

Interface for Murder (1970)

Nicholas Blake
(a.k.a. C. Day Lewis)

The Nigel Strangeways series
A Question of Proof (1935)
The Head of a Traveler (1949)
The Whisper in the Gloom (1954)
The Widow’s Cruise (1959)
The Sad Variety (1964)
The Morning After Death (1966)

Miriam Borgenicht

Booked for Death (1987)

J.S. Borthwick

The Sarah Deane series (Deane is a graduate student who becomes a teacher)
The Case of the Hook-Billed Kites (1982)
The Student Body (1986)
Bodies of Water (1990)
Dude on Arrival (1992)
The Bridled Groom (1994)
Dolly is Dead (1995)
— The Garden Plot (1997)
My Body Lies Over the Ocean (1999)
Coup de Grace (2000)
Murder in the Rough (2002)
Intensive Scare Unit (2004)
Foiled Again (2007)

Gail Bowen

The Joanne Kilbourn series (Kilbourn is a college journalism professor)
— Deadly Appearances (1990)
The Wandering Soul Murders (1992)
— Murder at the Mendel (1993)
A Colder Kind of Death (1994)
A Killing Spring (1996)
— Verdict in Blood (1998)
Burying Ariel (2000)

James Bradberry

The Seventh Sacrament (1991)

Rita Mae Brown

The Jane Arnold series
The Hunt Ball (2005)

Leo Bruce

Death at St. Asprey’s School (1967)
Jack on the Gallows Tree (1960)

Alafair Burke

Angel’s Tip (2008)

W.J. Burley

Death in Willow Pattern (1969)
The Schoolmaster (1977)
The Charlie Wycliffe series
— Wycliffe and the Schoolgirls (1976)

Gwendolyn Butler

A Coffin for Pandora (1973)
Coffin in Oxford (1962)
Dine and Be Dead (1960)
Olivia (1974)

Meg Cabot

The Heather Wells series
Size 12 is Not Fat (2006)
Size 14 is Not Fat Either (2007)
Big Bones (2007)

Paulette Callen

Charity (1997)

Dorothy Cannell

Goodbye, Ms. Chips (2008)

David Carkeet

Double Negative (1980)

Sarah Caudwell

Thus Was Adonis Murdered (1981)
The Shortest Way to Hades (1984)
The Sirens Sang of Murder (1989)
The Hilary Tamar series (Hilary is a professor of Medieval Law at Oxford)
The Sibyl in Her Grave (2000)

Agatha Christie

The Hercule Poirot series
Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)

Anna Clarke

The Paul Glenning series
— Last Judgement (1985)

Carol Clemeau

The Ariadne Clue (1982)

Victor Clinton Clinton-Baddeley

Death’s Bright Dart (1967)
My Foe Outstretch’d Beneath the Tree (1968)
Only a Matter of Time (1969)
No Case for the Police (1970)

Beverly Connor

The Lindsay Chamberlain series
Dressed to Die (1998)

Stephen Cook

Upperdown (1985)

Thomas H. Cook

The Chatham School Affair (1996)

Desmond Cory

The Mask of Zeus (1992)

Michael Craft

The Claire Gray series
Desert Autumn (2001)
— Desert Winter (2003)

Philip R. Craig

The Jeff Jackson series
The Woman Who Walked Into the Sea (1991)
A Case of Vineyard Poison (1995)

John Creasey

A Rabble of Rebels (1971)

Bill Crider

One Dead Dean (1988)
Murder is an Art (1999)
The Professor Carl Burns series
— Dying Voices (1989)
…A Dangerous Thing (1994)
A Knife in the Back (2002)
Dead Soldiers (2004) (LT edition only)

Edmund Crispin

The Gervase Fen series (Fen is a crime-solving Oxford Don)
Obsequies at Oxford (1945) (U.S. title)
— The Case of the Gilded Fly (1945) (U.K. title)
Holy Disorders (1946)
— The Moving Toyshop (1946)
— Dead and Dumb (1947)
— Love Lies Bleeding (1948)
— Buried for Pleasure (1948)
— Sudden Vengeance (1950)
— The Long Divorce (1951)
— Beware of the Trains (1962) (short stories)
— The Glimpses of the Moon (1978)
Fen Country (1980) (short stories)
Sudden Vengeance (1982)

Deborah Crombie

The Scotland Yard series
Dreaming of the Bones (1997)

Amanda Cross
(a.k.a. Carolyn Heilbrun)

The Kate Fansler series (Fansler is a professor of English at Harvard)
The James Joyce Murder (1967)
Poetic Justice (1970)
The Theban Mysteries (1971)
The Question of Max (1976)
Death in a Tenured Position (1981)
Sweet Death, Kind Death (1984)
No Word From Winifred (1986)
A Trap for Fools (1989)
Players Come Again (1990)
Imperfect Spy (1995)
Puzzled Heart (1998)
Honest Doubt (2000)
In the Last Analysis (2001)
Edge of Doom (2002)

D.A. Crossman

Murder in a Minor Key (1994)

Jeffrey L. Cruickshank

Murder at the B-School (2004)

Diane Mott Davidson

The Goldi the Caterer series
The Cereal Murders (1993)

Dorothy Salisbury Davis

Shock Wave (1972)

Mildred B. Davis

Tell Them What’s-Her-Name Called (1975)

David Delman

Death of a Nymph (1985)

Jane Dentinger

The Jocelyn O’Roarke series
The Queen is Dead (1994)

Colin Dexter

Last Bus to Woodstock (1975)
The Riddle of the Third Mile (1983)
The Daughters of Cain (1994)

Peter Dickinson

Hindsight (1983)

Joanne Dobson

The Karen Pelletier series (English professor)
Quieter Than Sleep (1997)
The Northbury Papers (1998)
The Raven and the Nightingale (1999)
Cold and Pure and Very Dead (2000)
The Maltese Manuscript (2003)

Stephen Dobyns

Boy in the Water (1999)

Ruth Dudley Edwards

The “Jack” Troutbeck/Robert Amiss series
Matricide at St. Martha’s (1994)
— Ten Lords a Leaping (1995)

Aaron Elkins

The Gideon Oliver series (Oliver is a Professor of archaeology)
Fellowship of Fear (1982)
The Dark Place (1983)
Murder in the Queen’s Arms (1985)
Old Bones (1987)
Curses! (1989)
Icy Clutches (1990)
Make No Bones (1991)
Dead Men’s Hearts (1994)
Twenty Blue Devils (1997)
Skeleton Dance (2000)
Good Blood (2004)
Where There’s a Will (2005)
Unnatural Selection (2006)
Little Tiny Teeth (2007)
Uneasy Relations (2008)
Skull Duggery (2009)

Terence Faherty

The Owen Keane series
The Lost Keats (1993)

E.X. Ferrars

The Andrew Basnett series
Root of All Evil (1984)
Something Wicked (1984)
The Crime and the Crystal (1985)
The Other Devil’s Name (1986)
Murder Too Many (1988)
Smoke Without Fire (1989)
— Thy Brother Death (1993)

Charles Finch

The September Society (2008)

Dorothy Fiske

Academic Murder (1980)

Kate Flora

The Thea Kozak series
An Educated Death (1997)
Death in Paradise (1998)

Antonia Fraser

The Jemima Shore series
Oxford Blood (1985)

Elizabeth George

The Inspector Thomas Lynley series
Well-Schooled in Murder (1990)
For the Sake of Elena (1992)

B.M. Gill

Death Drop (1979)
Seminar for Murder (1985)

Christopher Golden

Bodies of Evidence series
Bodybags (1999)

Carol Goodman

The Drowning Tree (2004)

Joe Gores

A Time of Predators (1969)

Paula Gosling

Monkey Puzzle (1985)

Linda Grant

Lethal Genes (1996)

Stephen Greenleaf

Beyond Blame (1985)

Susanna Gregory

The Matthew Bartholomew series
An Unholy Alliance (1996)
To Kill or Cure (2007)

Robert Grudin

Book (1992)

Batya Gur

Literary Murder: A Critical Case (1993)

Patricia Hall

The Yorkshire series
A Skeleton at the Feast (2000)
Deep Freeze (2001)

Cyril Hare

An English Murder (1951)

Charlaine Harris

A Secret Rage (1984)

Will Harriss

The Bay Psalm Book Murders (1983)

Carolyn G. Hart

The Rich Die Young (1983)
The Death on Demand series
A Little Class on Murder (1989)
The Henry O series
Death in Lover’s Lane (1997)

Tim Heald

The Simon Bognor series
A Small Masterpiece (1982)

Joan Hess

The Claire Molloy series
Strangled Prose (1986)

Reginald Hill

The Dalziel/Pascoe series
An Advancement of Learning (1971)

John Buxton Hilton

The Superintendent Kenworthy series
The Innocents at Home (1986)

Isabelle Holland

Grenelle (1976)

Hazel Holt

The Mrs. Malory series
Mrs. Malory Investigates (1989)
— The Cruelest Month (1991)
Mrs. Malory: Detective in Residence (1994)

Susan Holtzer

The Anneke Haagen series
Curly Smoke (1995)
Bleeding Maize and Blue (1996)
The Black Diamond (1997)
The Silly Season: An Entr’acte (1999)

Doug Hornig

Foul Shot (1984)

Michael Inness

The John Appleby series
— Death at the President’s Lodgings (1937)
— The Weight of the Evidence (1945)
The Long Farewell (1958)
Hare Sitting Up (1959)
Picture of Guilt (1969)

Jane Isenberg

The Bel Barrett series
Death in a Hot Flash (1999)
— Mood Swings to Murder (2000)
— Midlife Can Be Murder (2001)
Out of Hormone’s Way (2002)
Hot Wired (2005)

Lisa Jackson

Lost Souls (2009)

P.D. James

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972)

Marshall Jevons

The Henry Spearman series
Murder at the Margin (1978) (e-book edition only)
— The Fatal Equilibrium (1985)

D.J.H. Jones

The Nancy Cook series
Murder at the MLA (1993)
Murder in the New Age (1997)

Cathleen Jordan

A Carol in the Dark (1984)

D. Daniel Judson

The Darkest Place (2006)

Rob Kean

The Pledge (1999)

Nora Kelly

The Gillian Adams series (Gillian is a professor, her boyfriend is a Scotland Yard detective)
In the Shadow of King’s (1984)
My Sister’s Keeper (1992)
Bad Chemistry (1993)
Old Wounds (1998)
Hot Pursuit (2002)

Harry Kemelman

The Red Mask mystery series
The Nine Mile Walk (1967)
The Rabbi Small series
Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red (1973)
The Day the Rabbi Resigned (1992)
— The Day the Rabbi Left Town (1996)

Susan Kenney

Graves in Academe (1985)

Rebecca Kent

Finished Off (2009)

Laurie R. King

A Darker Place (1999)

Fern Kupfer

Love Lies (1994)

Laurence Davis Lafore

Nine Seven Juliet (1969)

M.D. Lake

The Peggy O’Neill series (O’Neill is a campus cop)
— Amends for Murder (1992)
— Cold Comfort (1990)
— Poisoned Ivy (1992)
A Gift for Murder (1992)
— Murder by Mail (1993)
— Once Upon a Murder (1995)
— Grave Choices (1995)
— Flirting With Death (1996)
— Midsummer Malice (1997)
— Death Calls the Tunes (1999)

Jake Lamar

If 6 Were 9 (2001)

Jane Langton

The Homer Kelly series (Homer is a Harvard professor)
Dark Nantucket Noon (1975)
The Memorial Hall Murder (1978)
Natural Enemy (1982)
Emily Dickinson is Dead (1984)
Good and Dead (1986)
Murder at the Gardner (1988)
The Dante Game (1991)
God in Concord (1992)
— Divine Inspiration (1993)
The Shortest Day: Murder at the Revels (1995)
Dead as a Dodo (1996)
The Face on the Wall (1998)
The Thief of Venice (1999)
Escher Twist (2002)
The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg (2003)
Steeplechase (2003)

Janet LaPierre

Children’s Games (1989)

Emma Lathen

Ashes to Ashes (1971)

Wendi Lee

The Angela Matelli series
Habeas Campus (2002)

Jim Lehrer

The Franklin Affair (2005)

Elizabeth Lemarchand

The Pollard and Toye series
Death of an Old Girl (1967)
— Light Through Glass (1984)

Michael Z. Lewin

The Leroy Powder series
— Night Cover (1976)

Frances Lockridge

The Mr. and Mrs. North mysteries
Murder is Suggested (1959)
The Drill is Death (1961)

Richard Lockridge

The Captain Heimrich series
Accent on Murder (1958)
Murder Can’t Wait (1964)
Twice Retired (1970)

M.K. Lorens

Sweet Narcissus (1990)
Sorrowheart (1993)

Peter Lovesey

The Sergeant Cribb series
Swing, Swing Together (1976)

Mike Lupica

Extra Credits (1988)

Amanda Mackay

Death is Academic (1976)

Charlotte MacLeod

The Peter Shandy series (Shandy is a professor at an agricultural college)
Rest You Merry (1978)
The Luck Runs Out (1979)
Wrack and Rune (1982)
Something the Cat Dragged In (1983)
The Curse of the Giant Hogweed (1985)
The Corpse in Oozak’s Pond (1987)
Vane Pursuit (1989)
Exit the Milkman (1996)

Jessica Mann

The Thea Crawford series
Troublecross (1972)

Robert Bernard Martin

Death Takes a Sabbatical (1967)
Deadly Meeting (1971)

Guillermo Martinez

The Oxford Murders (2005)

J.C. Masterman

An Oxford Tragedy (1933)
The Case of the Four Friends (1957)

Wendell McCall

Concerto in Dead Flat (1999)

Colleen McCullough

On, Off (2006)

Val McDermid

The Lindsay Gordon series
Report for Murder (1987)
The Distant Echo (2003)

Jill McGown

The Lloyd and Hill series
Gone to Her Death (1989)

Ralph McInerny

The Search Committee (1991)
The Notre Dame mysteries
On This Rockne (1997)
Lack of the Irish (1998)
Irish Tenure (1999)
The Book of Kills (2000)
Emerald Aisle (2001)
Celt and Pepper (2002)
Irish Coffee (2003)
Green Thumb (2004)
Irish Gilt (2005)
The Letter Killeth (2006)
The Green Revolution (2008)

N.J. McIver

Come Back, Alice Smythereene! (1985)

James Melville

Death of a Daimyo (1984)

Barbara Michaels

Houses of Stone (1993)

Valerie Miner

Murder in the English Department (1982)

Gladys Mitchell

Spotted Hemlock (1985)

Maureen Moore

Fieldwork (1987)

Ian Morson

The William Falconer series
Falconer’s Crusade (1995)

Marcia Muller (editor)

Dark Lessons: Crime and Detection on Campus (1985) (813.08 Mul)

Janet Neel

The Wilson and MacLeish series
Death Among the Dons (1993)

Jane O’Connor

Dangerous Admissions: Secrets of a Closet Sleuth (2007)

Leslie O’Kane

The Molly Masters series
When the Fax Lady Sings (2001)

Karen E. Olson

The Annie Seymour series
Sacred Cows (2005)
Secondhand Smoke (2006)

Sister Carol Anne O’Marie

The Sister Mary Helen series
A Novena for Murder (1984)

David Osborn

The Margaret Barlow series
Murder on the Chesapeake (1992)

Katherine Hall Page

The Faith Fairchild series
The Body in the Bonfire (2002)

Robert B. Parker

The Spenser series
The Godwulf Manuscript (1973)
Hush Money (1999)

Richard North Patterson

The Spire (2009)

Iain Pears

An Instance of the Fingerpost (1998)

John Penn

Mortal Term (1984)

Elizabeth Peters

The Amelia Peabody/Emerson Radcliffe series
Crocodile on the Sandbank (1975)
The Vicky Bliss series
Borrower of the Night (1973)
The Jacqueline Kirby series
The Seventh Sinner (1972)

Audrey Peterson

The Claire Camden series
— Dartmoor Burial (1992)
The Jane Winfield series
Nocturne Murder (1987)

Stella Phillips

Hidden Wrath (1982)

Christine Poulson

The Cambridge mystery series
Stage Fright (2003) (LT edition only)

Ian Rankin

The Inspector Rebus series
A Question of Blood (2003)

Lev Raphael

The Nick Hoffman series
— Let’s Get Criminal (1996)
The Edith Wharton Murders (1997)
— The Death of a Constant Lover (1999)
— Little Miss Evil (2000)
— Burning Down the House (2001)

Robert Reeves

Doubting Thomas (1985)

Gillian Roberts

The Amanda Pepper series
Caught Dead in Philadelphia (1987)
Philly Stakes (1989)
I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia (1992)
With Friends Like These — (1993)
How I Spent My Summer Vacation (1994)
In the Dead of Summer (1995)
The Mummer’s Curse (1996)
The Bluest Blood (1998)
Adam and Evil (1999)
Helen Hath No Fury (2000)
Claire and Present Danger (2003)
Till the End of Tom (2004)
A Hole in Juan (2006)
All’s Well That Ends (2007)

Robert Henry Robinson

Landscape With Dead Dons (1956)

Beth Saulnier

The Alex Bernier series
Bad Seed (2002)

Dorothy L. Sayers

The Lord Peter Wimsey series
Gaudy Night (1936)

Margaret Scherf

The Banker’s Bones (1968)

Sarah R. Shaber

The Simon Shaw series
— Simon Said (1997)
Snipe Hunt (2000)
The Fugitive King (2002)
Shell Game (2007)

Edith Skom

The Beth Austin series
— The Mark Twain Murders (1989)
The George Eliot Murders (1995)
— The Charles Dickens Murders (1998)

Joan Smith

The Loretta Lawson series (Loretta is a feminist academic)
— A Masculine Ending (1987)
Why Aren’t They Screaming? (1988)
Don’t Leave Me This Way (1990)
— What Men Say (1993)
— Full Stop (1995)

Taylor Smith

The Best of Enemies (1997)

Richard H.R. Smithies

An Academic Question (1965)

Kurth Sprague

The Rusty Coulter series
— Frighten the Horses (2003)

Patricia Sprinkle

Murder at Markham (1988)

Susannah Stacey

A Knife at the Opera (1988)

Veronica Stallwood

The Kate Ivory series
Death and the Oxford Box (1993)
Oxford Exit (1994)
Oxford Mourning (1995)

Aaron Marc Stein

A Body for a Buddy (1981)
The Elsie Hunt/Tim Mulligan series
— The Sun is a Witness (1953)

Sarah Strohmeyer

The Bubbles Yablonsky series
Bubbles Unbound (2001)
Bubbles Ablaze (2003)

Julian Symons

The Detling Secret (1982)
The Name of Annabel Lee (1983)

William G. Tapply

The Brady Coyne series
Death at Charity’s Point (1984)

Edith Taylor

The Serpent Under It (1973)

Elizabeth Atwood Taylor

Murder at Vassar (1987)

L.A. Taylor

Footnote to Murder (1983)

Sarah Stewart Taylor

Mansions of the Dead (2004)

Josephine Tey

Miss Pym Disposes (1947)

Donald Thomas

Mad Hatter Summer (1983)

Pamela Thomas-Graham

The Ivy League mystery series
A Darker Shade of Crimson (1998)
Blue Blood (1999)

June Thomson

Rosemary for Remembrance (1988)

Michael Underwood

Victim of Circumstance (1980)

Lea Wait

The Antique Print series
Shadows on the Ivy (2004)

Ann Waldron

The Death is Academic series
Unholy Death in Princeton (2005) (LT edition only)

Jill Paton Walsh

The Imogen Quy series
The Wyndham Case (1993)
Debts of Dishonor (2006)

Lilla M. Waltch

The Lisa Davis series
— The Third Victim (1987)

Elizabeth C. Ward

Coast Highway 1 (1983)

Hillary Waugh

Last Seen Wearing (1952)
Pure Poison (1966)

Rubin Weber

The Grave-Maker’s House (1964)

Theodora Wender

The Glad Gold series
— Knight Must Fall (1985)
— Murder Gets a Degree (1986)

Morris West

Masterclass (1988)

T.H. White

Darkness at Pemberley (1978)

David Williams

The Mark Treasure series
— Treasure by Degrees (1977)

Colin Wilson

Necessary Doubt (1964)

Derek Wilson

Unquiet Spirit (2006)

James C. Work

A Title to Murder: The Carhenge Mystery (2004)

Eric Wright

The Inspector Charlie Salter series
The Night the Gods Smiled (1983)
The Joe Barley series
Death by Degrees (1993)
— The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn (2000)

James Yaffe

A Nice Murder for Mom (1988)

Margaret Yorke

The Patrick Grant series
— Dead in the Morning (1970)

Mark Zubro

The Tom and Scott mysteries (Tom Mason is a high school teacher)
A Simple Suburban Murder (1989)
Why Isn’t Becky Twitchell Dead? (1990)
— Only Dead Priest (1991)
— The Principal Cause of Death (1992)
— An Echo of Death (1994)
Rust on the Razor (1996)
— Are You Nuts? (1998)
One Dead Drag Queen (2000)
Here Comes the Corpse (2002)

Original printed list from Oct 1986 | Adapted and expanded for the Web June 2006 sdc / Last updated September 2016 sdc