Passport to Murder (Professor Prather Mystery)
by Mary Angela
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Passport to Murder (Professor Prather Mystery)
2nd in Series
Camel Press (September 15, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
Start with an unlucky number. Throw in a romantic location. Include a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor. And you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder.
This semester, it seems that Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s imagined going to France, and her French colleague, André Duman, has finally made that trip possible. Over spring break, she and André are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light. But before she can utter her first bonjour, a professor dies, and they are stuck in Minneapolis. She returns to Copper Bluff with an unstamped passport and a mystery to solve.
When André becomes the prime suspect, Emmeline puts her research skills to good use, determined to find out who really killed the professor and spoiled their spring break plans. With thirteen travelers assembled, the possibilities are varied and villainous. Luckily, her dear friend and sidekick, Lenny Jenkins, is close by. Together, they will sort through the conflicting clues even if it costs them time, trouble, or tenure.
Guest Post By The Author
Guest Blog: Teachers Make a Difference
When you see the word “teacher,” what comes to mind? Now add the word “English” in front of it. Maybe some of you imagine an old woman with glasses, clutching a dull book, or better yet, a red pen. We’ve all had those English teachers who’ve made us feel less than worthy, and unfortunately, some of those happen to fit the stereotype. But for me, my early influences were Ms. Jules and Mr. Hart, two high school teachers who made writing and reading fun. I still remember the narrative I wrote for Mr. Hart in ninth grade. Even though the paper was based on my personal experiences, it was the first piece of creative writing I ever did, and it was thrilling. To make my life sound interesting? That was cool. In eleventh grade, I had Ms. Jules, and we read Hawthorne and Whitman and listened to The Moody Blues. Until that day, I thought only I analyzed music lyrics. Now I had someone else to share my secret with.
Later, an entire college department made me feel like what I cared about was important. My English professors dedicated their lives to studying authors, literature, and poetry. They even wrote some of their own. After entering the workplace directly out of high school, I felt as if I had hit the higher-learning jackpot when I enrolled at the university. To spend my days reading and then writing about what I had read? It seemed like a fantasy after working in a call center.
But I took my job as a student quite seriously, walking my class schedule weeks before the semester started, taking notes incessantly during class, studying late the night before my final exams. Professor Prather would have been pleased, and many of my real professors were. They were happy to write me recommendations for graduate school and, later, jobs.
But the truth is, they had given me much already, an entire treasure trove of memories that I still pull from today as I’m writing the Professor Prather mystery series. Although my characters aren’t based on “real” people, they are influenced by my own experience, and my experience was filled with smart, passionate teachers who cared.
That kind of caring requires dedication and commitment. When my first novel was published, years after college, I shyly turned to my old professors for book blurbs, wondering if they would even remember who I was. Not only did they remember, they were happy to read and review, and today, I’m thrilled to say reviews from Professors Wolfe and Roripaugh are printed in book two, Passport to Murder.
We can all say that teachers make a difference, but I can almost prove it. I’m positive if it weren’t for them, I would have never written the Professor Prather series, a series that has opened up so many other possibilities in my life.
So this school year, I hope you take the time to thank your teachers or your children’s teachers. They really do make all the difference.
About The Author
Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective. For more information, go to www.maryangelabooks.com.
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