The Edith Wharton Murders (Nick Hoffman Mysteries Book 2)

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He's now a full professor, thanks in no small part to a gift Lev Raphael. Successful professor 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.

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Nick and his partner Stefan Borowski face an escalating series of threats that lead to a brutal and stunning confrontation. A novel of suspense set in the academic world, Assault with a Deadly Lie probes the disturbing psychological impact of slander, harassment, stalking, police brutality, and the loss of personal safety. What will Nick do when his world threatens to collapse? How can he reestablish order in a suddenly chaotic life?

Assault with a Deadly Lie , the eighth installment of Lev Raphael's Nick Hoffman Mysteries, propels the series to a new level of danger and intrigue as Nick and Stefan are catapulted out of their tranquil existence by shocking accusations.

Academic hijinks, murder, and a gay protessor/detective

Chapter Chapter 9. The show is dramatic, tense, moody, exciting. You can read about his other mysteries here. The writers take a character we know to be highly intelligent and subvert her intelligence for the sake of the plot. Lots of people had been abducted on the show—recently it was her turn. She was terrified and threatened, but for the most part unharmed, not starved, tortured, sexually abused, subjected to solitary confinement, or raped. All in all, not the most horrific circumstances imaginable. For years Scandal fans have admired how her quicksilver mind can out-think anyone, but guess what happened when she was put into a dismal prison cell with a stranger?

Instead of being instantly suspicious why is she sharing a cell? It was grossly unbelievable. This woman is always thinking of motives and secrets and chess moves. Fans of the show have long admired her lightning-fast impulses and brilliant planning that make her almost a superhero. She only takes his keys and runs for the locked prison doors. That was even more ridiculous than her becoming confessional with her cell mate.

The Edith Wharton Murders: A Nick Hoffman Mystery (Nick Hoffman Mysteries)

Guess what? That man was her former cell mate. Twice in one show, the writers turned a fast-thinking, amazingly intelligent woman into the basic dumb female in a thriller.


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All they left out was mindless shrieking. And the move was deeply, unconsciously sexist.

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I doubt they would have let a man drop the gun while making an escape. Lev Raphael was The Detroit Free Press crime fiction reviewer for a decade before moving to radio and online reviewing.

Guest Post: Lev Raphael – Mysteristas

His 25th book is Assault With a Deadly Lie , a novel of suspense about stalking, gun violence, and police militarization. You can check out his books on Amazon here. You have more control over timing, editing, copy-editing, design, distribution, everything. I started the series at St. But in a few weeks I found a home for the series with Perseverance, a wonderful indie press in California which did the next two Nick Hoffman books as paperback originals.

But even without that kind of pressure, I ran out of ideas. Then I started noticing strange news stories across the country about out-of-control SWAT teams running and tiny police forces in towns with minimal crime rates buying military grade hardware, even armored personal carriers, from the Pentagon.


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The War on Terror had morphed into the War on Us. Because the University of Wisconsin Press had done such a bang-up job on my memoir My Germany —which got me three different tours, two in Germany—I gave them Assault With a Deadly Lie and the cover they came up with knocked me out. The mysteries from St. I was tired of them. They were dissimilar in type font, cover art style, and feel—because I had worked with two different artists.

Wonderfully reborn. Lev Raphael is the author of 25 books in genres from memoir to mystery to Jane Austen mash-up. That always happens. Give me a break! Stick together! I would never have written the scene that way! In movie after movie, TV show after TV show, miniseries after miniseries, I see a heroine or hero walk into an apartment, townhouse, home, condo, loft or whatever without turning on any lights. The protagonist may put down a purse, briefcase, or keys, but often will just walk from one room to another without flicking a wall switch or even turning on a single lamp anywhere.

And that was before I was a mystery writer. Because you know what kinds of mayhem happens in basements….


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Lev Raphael is the author of Assault With a Deadly Lie , a novel of suspense about militarized police, stalking, and gun violence. Well, the funniest stories I knew were about academics, so I chose academia as my setting and the series was born. Nick Hoffman was a New York Jew somewhat stranded in the Midwest, gay, and improbably for his colleagues, in love with teaching composition even though he was an Edith Wharton scholar.

The series took off, but my other work leapfrogged it and was taught at many schools around the U. I was bombarded with material.

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I tried different forms with the series: dead body in the first line, dead body halfway through, no corpse at all. And of course I attended a slew of mystery conferences and appeared as a panelist or moderator on dozens of panels. But after Hot Rocks , the seventh in the series, I had run out of steam. Nick was never one of those sleuths who was untouched by the crimes he encountered; if anything, he was battered and beaten down by them as much as he was by academic stupidity and cupidity.

I let the series lie dormant while I kept publishing in other genres. And then over the course of a few years, I noticed a disturbing trend reported in one newspaper after another: even small town police departments forces were becoming militarized. They were getting surplus assault weapons and armored vehicles from the Pentagon, setting up SWAT teams, and recruiting from veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Even more disturbing was a shift in consciousness due to being trained by the military: cops were starting to think of citizens as The Enemy. This shift is an enormous change in our republic, and it disturbed and fascinated me enough to make it the centerpiece of my 8th Nick Hoffman novel, Assault With a Deadly Lie. Blog at WordPress.