Who says academia isn't the real world? It's got the vanity of professional sports; the hypocrisy of politics; the cruelty of big business; and the inhumanity of organized crime. A perfect setting for murder and satire!
That's why I started the Nick Hoffman series, set at the fictional State University of Michigan at Michiganapolis. Nick is a composition teacher there, which makes him low man on the totem pole in his Department of English, American Studies, and Rhetoric (EAR). And being involved in murder doesn't help his chances for getting tenure—or does it?
|Assault with a Deadly Lie (Coming in October 2014)
Nick Hoffman finds his secure, happy, college-town life changed forever after a nightmarish encounter with police. But even when that horrible night is over, life doesn’t return to normal. Someone is clearly out to destroy him. Nick and his partner Stefan Borowski face an escalating series of threats that lead to a brutal and stunning confrontation. What will Nick do when his world threatens to collapse? How can he reestablish order in a suddenly chaotic life?
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|Hot Rocks (Perseverance Press, 2007; reissued, 2012)
Fitness = Death when Nick Hoffman heads back to the gym right after a vacation, finding himself caught in a "Desperate Housewives"-type mystery. Michigan Muscle is a state-of-the-art health club adjacent to the State University of Michigan. It's a palatial complex for fitness, but every palace has its intrigue, and when Nick stumbles across a dead trainer, he's drawn into a web of passion and privilege unlike anything he's ever experienced before.
|Tropic of Murder (Perseverance Press, 2004)
"Lev Raphael has done it again -- another mordantly witty mystery featuring everyone's favorite acerbic English professor, Nick Hoffman. Relax with Tropic of Murder and take an entertaining, exotic Club Med vacation without even having to get out of your favorite chair. "
|Burning Down the House (Walker, 2001; reissued, 2012)
"Lev Raphael's lacerating wit fillets the fatted calves of academia, roasts them with the hot breath of satire, then serves them up in the sauciest of mysteries."
|Little Miss Evil (Walker, 2000; reissued, 2011)
"Nick Hoffman is back, relegated to the basement of his college so he won't get into trouble. But when someone torches his mailbox, Nick gets the hint that an arsonist is carrying a flame for him. As ever, Lev Raphael is witty, biting and on the nail when it comes to the groves and gripes of academe, majoring in mayhem and murder along the way."
|The Death of a Constant Lover (Walker, 2009; reissued, 2011)
"Lev Raphael sets his campus mysteries at a factory-like state university in fictitious Michiganapolis, Mich., and populates them with the kind of stupid students and pretentious faculty members who blacken the eye of academia. Happily, he also gives his narrator, a lowly English professor named Nick Hoffman, license to mow down these intellectual pretenders with his scathing wit."
|The Edith Wharton Murders (St. Martin's Press, 1997; reissued, 2011)
Nick Hoffman, desperate to get tenure, has been saddled with a thankless task: coordinating a conference on Edith Wharton that will demonstrate how his department and his university support women's issues. There's been widespread criticism that SUM is really the State University of Men. Problem is, he's forced to invite two warring Wharton societies, and the conflict between rival scholars escalates from mudslinging to murder. Nick's job and whole career are on the line unless he can help solve the case and salvage the conference.
|Let's Get Criminal (St. Martin's Press, 1996)
Professor Nick Hoffman can't understand how his supercilious new office mate Perry Cross beat out other candidates for the brand new position in Canadian Studies. How did Cross get hired when he's under-qualified? Just as troubling, Nick discovers that Cross's past intersects with his own in disturbing ways. When Cross is found dead and the verdict is murder, Nick becomes a prime suspect since he was one of the last people to see Cross the evening he was killed. Nick has no choice but to investigate on his own.
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