Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Musubi Murder (Professor Molly Barda Mysteries #1), by Frankie Bow (author), Nicole Gose (narrator)

Frankie Bow, January 2015

Molly Barda is a junior, untenured professor at Hawaii's (apparently fictional) Mahina State University, in the College of Commerce. She just wants to teach, publish, and keep out of trouble until she gets tenure.

Instead, she attends a breakfast honoring the college's largest benefactor, ever. The guest of honor, Jimmy Tanaka, doesn't show up, but a skull does show up, in a fruit plate. This isn't how anyone wanted the breakfast enlivened.

But the strange events have only begun. Molly has to cope with students who don't want to do their assignments, a dean and a "student retention office" who don't want academic rigor driving away the paying customers, and, oh yes, the skull turns out not to be a theater department stage prop, but the skull of the missing Jimmy Tanaka.

Tanaka was, it's fair to say, widely disliked, but who would benefit from murdering him? And then go to the trouble of completely cleaning the skull and putting it in the fruit plate? How is it even possible to do that between the time Tanaka was last seen and the time his skull was found the next morning?

It turns out an awful lot of people Molly knows have butchering experience, although mostly with goats and pigs.

Two of them are students. One is a friend. another is her new boyfriend, Donny Gonzales, founder and owner of fast food chain Donny's Drive-Ins--and Tanaka was suing him for violating a non-compete agreement signed when Donny worked for Tanaka. It's all a little crazy, and Molly soon becomes convinced that he knows the murderer.

There's noting serious or substantial here, but Bow keeps the reader turning the pages to see what happens next and who really did it. It's light but fun, with just enough plot and character development to keep the reader entertained.

Recommended for light reading.

I bought this audiobook.