Item description for Lessons in Murder (Detective Inspector Carol Ashton Mysteries) by Claire McNab...
0n a hot summer day at Bellwhether High School in Sydney, Australia, teacher Bill Pagett lies murdered, the hole in his head accomplished with neat efficiency by a Black & Decker drill.
Detective Inspector Carol Ashton investigates, bringing with her a formidable reputation for competence. She soon uncovers tangled relationships and motives for murder among the six teaching staff, along with a maze of malicious anonymous letters and threatening phone calls. And then there is yet another corpse.
Carol's investigation is further complicated by the flashfire attraction between herself and prime suspect Sybil Quade. Carol fights her desire, knowing its potential to compromise her investigation. Nor does Sybil welcome an "unnatural" obsession with the alluring woman who is inexorably gathering the evidence to convict her of multiple murder.
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Transplanted Aussie Claire McNab moved to Los Angeles more than a decade ago. As a stranger, she found living in America at times startling and puzzling, but often delightful. She has taken these experiences and woven them into her Kylie Kendall comedic mystery series. Kylie arrives direct from the outback of Australia determined to become an LA private eye.
Claire McNab currently resides in Los Angeles, in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Lessons in Murder (Detective Inspector Carol Ashton Mysteries)?
Good detective work, but what about character development? Jul 17, 2002
First of all, I did enjoy reading this book. Claire McNab's Carol Ashton is a good detective and the mysterious death of a teacher killed by a Black and Decker power drill is a captivating plot. But at the same time I was a little disappointed at what I determined to be a lack of character development for the two main characters: Carol and Sybil. What makes them tick as a human being? What are their fears and ambitions? Maybe this can be attributed to the minimal numbers of pages as more attention was paid to the mystery itself? Who knows. This book(let) is a short one and definately a fast read. Under normal circumstances I don't consider myself to be a fast reader but I finished in two sittings.
These flaws won't deter me from reading other books in this series. Actually tonight I'm beginning the second installment and it appears that we get to explore some of Carol's past. Maybe I'll have the opportunity to learn more about Carol aside from her detective skills and lust for Sybil.
In retrospect May 7, 2001
Lessons in Murder is Claire McNab's first novel. Set in a Sydney High School, it revolves around the murder of the son of a prominent politician, who is found in his classroom with a drill embedded in his head. Enter Detective Inspector Carol Ashton, described as a cool blonde with a spectacular career. She is also spectacularly closeted, maintaining a rigid division between her work and personal life that even her partner, Sergeant Mark Bourke, cannot break through. This barrier begins to crumble, however, when she meets Sybil Quade, who is suspiciously linked to the murder victim. As further deaths occur, accompanied by threatening letters and phone calls, Sybil becomes the prime suspect and Carol struggles with her growing attraction toward her. Although entertaining enough, Lessons in Murder, is the source of many irritations. Ashton's introspective self-pity, her romantic pining for Sybil, and Sybil's inability to resist the domineering attentions of Terry Clarke, are annoying distractions from the narrative. The climax is cliched, which is not surprising given that this novel faithfully follows (if not establishes) the conventions of lesbian detective fiction. Murder, an emotionally repressed detective, and romance between the two main characters are all now standard features of this genre. When first published, this novel may have been exciting and unique, but twelve years on, it has been superceded by the work of other authors.
Excellent down to earth from down under. Mar 31, 1999
This is a very interesting book. The characters are real and down to earth- believeable. There is much anticipation for Carol from one moment to the next to get closer to solving who and why the teacher was killed.