Title: Quit Monks or Die!
Publisher: Story Line Press
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
Signed by Author 1885266774 This hardcover book is square and tight. The boards and spine have no wear with pristine gilt. The pages and endpages are clean, with no markings or folds. The dustjacket is As New. Original Price is intact. Not ex-lib. No remainder mark. Signed by the Author on the title page without inscription. Bookseller Inventory # 002492
Synopsis: Set in a small town that houses little more than a research lab and an engineering school, the body of the lab's director is found in a pit used for maternal deprivation experiments with monkeys. A few days later, a graduate student is found murdered as well. Are these deaths connected? And who's responsible for these murders? Written by one of America's greatest poets, this mystery is a scathing social commentary with a criminal twist.
Maxine Kumin is the author of poetry, novels, short stories, essays and a number of children's books. She has received several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Poets' Prize, the Levinson Prize, and most recently, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. She lives in Warner, New Hampshire.
Review: Penzler Pick, December 1999: A large cast of characters populates this elegant debut mystery by a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. The setting is southern California--a mostly sleepy town the main employer of which is a suddenly controversial research lab. The lab director, found dead in bizarre circumstances, left behind a few too many people who wished him such a fate, including members of his own family and staff. This classic setup is overseen by the local chief of police, one Digger Martinez. It's only his second homicide in 30 years and at 73 he's willing to admit that detecting hasn't been his thing. As he struggles to resist the donuts that are his downfall, he ambles around with shrewd geniality, asking a few questions here and there but mostly just waiting and listening well until the truth reveals itself. Everyone's hiding something, including the dead man's twin brother, his children (also twins), his wife, and a couple of young employees, one of whom herself soon winds up dead.
Readers sorting through the layers of culpability will find added color in runaway llamas, missing monkeys, an ecumenical Seder gone awry, kinky sex, and a rodeo rider scared to death of horses. Not to mention the animal rights activists: the violently inclined Bandits of Mercy. Digger Martinez is an appealing character, a fine invention by Kumin, whose taste is for the intelligently traditional even as she brings it squarely up to date. And the pleasure of reading this entertaining treatise on animal rights is enhanced by a handsome page design and typeface--a first-class production from a small publisher. --Otto Penzler
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