Book Promo ~ Department of Death

Department of Death:
A Nick Hoffman Mystery

by Lev Raphael

Years ago Nick Hoffman was given a position in the English Department at the State University of Michigan because SUM wanted to hire his partner as writer-in-residence, but now he’s been unexpectedly installed by his dean as chairman of that department. It’s a wildly unpopular choice, and he’s suddenly the focus of more animosity from his colleagues than he’s ever dealt with before. He can’t seem to make anyone happy and can’t get a handle on his myriad new responsibilities as an administrator, a position he never wanted. Then tragedy strikes again way too close to home: Someone seeking his help is murdered, and under the shadow of another recent murder, Nick is a prime suspect. Hounded by campus police, the local press, and social media, Nick wonders if this could finally be the end of his career―that is, if he manages to stay out of prison.

In the spirit of David Lodge, Francine Prose, Richard Russo and Jane Smiley, Department of Death is Lev Raphael’s most blistering satire yet of the current perversity of academic life.

Reviews

Raphael makes the most of the academic setting of his immensely enjoyable 10th mystery featuring Nick Hoffman, a literature professor at the State University of Michigan (after 2019’s State University of Murder). After reluctantly accepting an administrative position as the interim chair of the English and Creative Writing Department, Nick must deal with petty faculty rivalries and with an associate chair who proposes that students read digital texts instead of printed texts (“Digital reading puts readers in control and defies the patriarchy”). Late one night, Nick gets a call from associate dean Boris Hernandez, who wants Nick to meet him at his office right away to discuss an urgent matter. When Nick and his partner, Stefan Borowski, SUM’s writer-in-residence, get to Boris’s office, they find him slumped over his desk with a bloody head wound. This latest murder validates Nick’s fiefdom’s nickname of the Department of Death, and Nick and Stefan once again hit the sleuthing trail. Raphael’s witty prose enhances a crafty plot. Fans of Robert Barnard and Jane Langton will be pleased. – PUblishers Weekly

Lev Raphael skewers academic pretensions with wicked glee [and] Dickensian flair. —Chicago Sun-Times

Lev Raphael combines stylish literary mystery with an intimate look at the jungle of academia…witty, impeccably written. —The Mystery Review

About the Author

Lev Raphael is the author of twenty-six books in genres from memoir to mystery. His work has been translated into over a dozen languages and he’s also the author of hundreds of short stories, essays, and blogs. Raphael was a longtime reviewer of crime fiction for the Detroit Free Press, a guest reviewer on Michigan Radio and other public radio shows, and hosted his own talk show where he interviewed authors like Salman Rushdie and Julian Barnes. He lives in Michigan with his longtime spouse

Visit Lev Raphael’s Blog
Writing Across Genres

  • Publisher : Perseverance Press (April 9, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1564746194
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1564746191

Available from

AMAZON
Barnes & Noble
Bookshop.org

Book Promo: Fool’s Errand

Fool’s Errand from Jeffrey S. Stephens is a clever,
upbeat story about long buried family secrets,

the complex relationship between a young man and his father,
and an adventurous hunt for both hidden treasure and difficult truths.

Years after the death of his gangster father, a young man
discovers a letter that sends him reluctantly defying the
mob as he races to locate a hidden treasure.

The love between a father and a son can be both complicated and compelling, especially when the father is a charming rogue. “Blackie” Rinaldi had ties to the mob, and his only son has done all he can to avoid the pitfalls of his father’s chosen path. But when an enigmatic letter hinting at a cache of stolen money surfaces six years after Blackie’s untimely death, the younger Rinaldi is forced to confront his father’s colorful past.

An international treasure hunt ensues, with surprising twists and engaging characters. Fool’s Errand from Jeffrey S. Stephens, author of the popular Jordan Sandor series, is an entertaining story of family ties and a parent’s never-ending influence.

Blackie’s son follows a series of clues from the mean streets of New York to the Las Vegas Strip, and ultimately to the South of France. Along the way, he is confronted by dangerous mobsters, dishonest relatives, suspicious friends, a mysterious woman and the risks of a journey his father may or may not have planned for him.

With the ideal balance of humor and heart, adventure and romance, Fool’s Errand features compelling, relatable characters and a fast-paced narrative that will keep readers guessing as each new secret is revealed.

Author Jeffrey S. Stephens lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is also the author of the Jordan Sandor espionage thrillers, beginning with Targets of Deception and, most recently, Rogue Mission. He is also the author of the recent thriller, Crimes and Passion, the first in a planned series featuring Lieutenant Robbie Whyte.

Amazon Reviews

“While Fool’s Errand brings elements of The Maltese Falcon (one of my all-time favorite films), Goodfellas, and even a dash of old-school detective thrillers and serial films, this tale is fully current. It’s a great read and a worthy weekend escape from real life. It doesn’t insult anyone’s beliefs or intelligence. It’s smart, it’s sharp, and it will make a strong movie in the right creative hands. I picked up Fool’s Errand and read it through, cover to cover, in a day. Stephens’ prose is brisk and clean, to the point, and entertaining as it keeps you turning pages. Fool’s Errand is a fun, satisfying read, full of heart and surprises.”  — PJ Media

“Told in the first person, this engaging mystery is both plot-and character-driven. Moving from past to present is deftly handled, and the mystery presented seems both plausible and intriguing. Love of family, albeit a flawed one, is key.”  — Kirkus Reviews

For more information, please visit www.jeffreystephens.com.

Fool’s Errand
Publisher: Post Hill Press
ISBN-13: 978-1642937381
ISBN-10: 164293738X
Available from Amazon.com