Murder in the New Age (Paperback)D. J. H. Jones (author)
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Fans of Murder at the MLA, also by D. J. H. Jones, will welcome this second adventure of Nancy Cook, a Chaucer scholar with a sharp mind and a taste for Bakelite jewelry. When Nancy arrives in Santa Fe, she's looking for a getaway from her job at Yale--a place to revise her book before an autumn rendezvous with Chicago detective Boaz Dixon. The room she sublets is decorated in black and red, bedecked with herbs and crystals. She is awakened by drumming. The quiet retreat she was hoping for is a crowded household of New Agers dabbling in self-help philosophies, ""crystal culture,"" astrology, and channeling.
Intrigued by the preoccupations of her companions if disgusted by their diets and hygiene, Nancy finds that her sympathy for Nicole, a software whiz with a weight problem, draws her into the increasingly mystifying affairs of the household. The appeal of New Agism--the sorts of people drawn to it and why--becomes a mystery she sets out to solve. When a fugitive cyberthief in the household attempts murder under cover of a peyote ceremony, a surprising arrival alters both the police investigation and Nancy's future--academic and romantic.
With acute observation and acidic wit, Jones provides a hilarious analysis of New Age subculture and its pretensions.
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Number of pages: 189
Weight: 245 g
Dimensions: 220 x 131 x 13 mm
More social parody than classic mystery, and its pseudonymous author pokes fun at many New Age obsessions, from crystal healing to pyramids. . . . although the book pokes some well-deserved fun at the City Different, it also does not fail to realize Santa Fes charms.
Its a nasty pleasure to watch the clever series heroine, the Chaucerian scholar Nancy Cook, stick it to the colony of New Agers whose house she is sharing while on sabbatical in Santa Fe. In her inspired intellectual assaults on cant, she debunks their theories on near-death experiences, gives them the scientific skinny on crop circles and informs them that their beloved Anasazi were cannibals.
Santa Fe author D. J. H. Jones is in love with Nancy Cook. But who could help it? This main character is completely captivatingsavvy, smart, beautiful, a Chaucer scholar who finds herself in the middle of the mystery. . . . tres trendy, with new age mumbo jumbo and the city of Santa Fe figuring prominently. Thankfully, all that is perfectly balanced with the mystery kitsch that has addicted millions to the genre: details, details, details, a bit of exaggeration and all the pleasant tricks and twists. As with any good mystery, though, what makes the novel is Nancy Cook, a character Im eager to see again.
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