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Before Christine Poulson turned to crime, she was a respectable academic with a PhD in History of Art and had written widely on nineteenth-century art and literature. During her career as an art historian, she worked as a curator of ceramics at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and as curator for the William Morris Society at Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, London. She taught for the Open University and was a lecturer in Art History at a college in Cambridge. The city of Cambridge and the surrounding Fens, with their unique, sometimes sinister atmosphere, provided the setting for her first novel and she was spurred on by her own experience of being made redundant. Her most recent work of non-fiction, a book on Arthurian legend in British Art,1840-1920, was short listed for a Mythopoeic Award in the USA in 2002.
Author photo © Sergio Bondioni
An intelligent, interesting, eloquent mystery which fairly bristles with whodunit verve! This is the third in the Katie Flanagan series, you could actually read this as a standalone, but I recommend starting at the beginning with Deep Water. Katie heads as an undercover technician to a lab researching deadly viruses jumping the species barrier. There is something suspicious happening at the laboratory, and events are set to take a lethal turn. The prologue thoroughly and completely sets the scene with a newspaper report highlighting the danger of a horrific virus that appears to have crossed from monkey to human. We then jump forward two years, and I quickly fell into step alongside Katie, just who if anyone, can she trust? The chapter headings set the timing in play, adding to the tense atmosphere. Christine Poulson’s eloquent pen brings the lab to life, makes the threat of the diseases feel so very real, and sets a fabulously chilling undertone. I suspected everyone, and could almost feel myself glaring at them as I read. An Air That Kills takes a deadly subject, ramps up the tension, and releases a wonderfully readable and thrilling mystery for your enjoyment.
A quietly dramatic novel, ‘Deep Water’ thrusts questions forward, and I found myself asking ‘what would I do?’ as I read. Several interlinked stories weave their through and around a clinical trial into obesity, and the search for a cure for a rare blood disorder. Daniel, a lawyer specialising in patents, and his wife Rachel, have opposing thoughts on the morality of a potential cure for their daughter, while researcher Katie finds suspicious incidents mounting up at the laboratory where she works. This is a fairly short novel, yet Christine Poulson ensures the clear, concise writing style still paints a vivid picture. It really does feel as though this could be a real situation, yet there is a subtly intensity to the storyline. ‘Deep Water’ prods and provokes, it highlights issues, yet still is a tense and captivating tale. ~ Liz Robinson November 2016 Book of the Month.
Midwinter in Antarctica. Six months of darkness are about to begin. Scientist Katie Flanagan has an undeserved reputation as a trouble-maker and her career has foundered. When an accident creates an opening on a remote Antarctic research base she seizes it, flying in on the last plane before the subzero temperatures make it impossible to leave. Meanwhile patent lawyer Daniel Marchmont has been asked to undertake due diligence on a breakthrough cancer cure. But the key scientist is strangely elusive and Daniel uncovers a dark secret that leads to Antarctica. Out on the ice a storm is gathering. As the crew lock down the station they discover a body and realise that they are trapped with a killer...
Lisa has a secret lover, an escape from the pressures of caring alone for her son, who has cerebral palsy. Once a month she meets Jay, just for the weekend, free from all responsibilities. Their time together is perfect - until the day when Jay doesn't show up, and everything she thought she knew about him turns out to be a lie. For Jay it was perfect, too. But he shouldn't have let himself fall in love with Lisa, because now the people who destroyed his entire life five years ago are onto him and he must disappear again ...
All is not well at Cambridge University's St. Ethelreda's College. The head of the English Department is dead, and Professor Cassandra James is appointed the task of running the department. Faced with the choice of whipping her underperforming colleagues into shape or losing the much-needed funding for the program, Cassandra resigns herself to the challenge. However, when she stumbles upon the former head's private papers and realizes that the death was no accident, Cassandra is forced to use her academic expertise of solving obscure literary puzzles for a very different purpose: tracking down a killer."e;Poulson deftly keeps up the tension while manipulating the roles characters play on and off the stage: an academic cozy with attitude."e; - Kirkus Reviews
All is not well at Cambridge University's St. Ethelreda's College. The head of the English Department is dead, and Professor Cassandra James is appointed the task of running the department. Faced with the choice of whipping her underperforming colleagues into shape or losing the much-needed funding for the program, Cassandra resigns herself to the challenge. However, when she stumbles upon the former head's private papers and realizes that the death was no accident, Cassandra is forced to use her academic expertise of solving obscure literary puzzles for a very different purpose: tracking down a killer.British Praise for Murder is Academic:"e;Cambridge academic Christine Poulson's first crime novel is a triumph of suspense and intrigue. A labyrinthine plot is unravelled as intriguingly as a literary puzzle."e; - Bodies in the Bookshop Magazine"e;An intriguing read...Poulson certainly keeps the reader guessing...There is a lot to enjoy in this romp through the Cambridge commons. This is Poulson's first novel, and she creates a strong sense of place with a narrative style that is both energetic and engaging."e;- Sherlock Magazine"e;A fascinating mystery..The sense of place was very strong...This is [Poulson's] debut book, and I just hope that the next one is not too long coming."e; - Mystery Women