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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Killer Curriculum is a quirky and compelling murder mystery novel penned by author Douglas Alexander. We first meet Detective Sarah Rime at a crime scene, on her first day in a new small-town post in New York State. The unusual and grisly crime is going to cause problems fast if it isn’t solved, and her captain recommends an unorthodox method to do just that. Enter August Booker, a retired FBI detective who spends most of his time teaching his star students how to profile killers. So when Booker invites cheerleader Kara, tech nerd Max and the elderly but plucky Ski to join Sarah’s case, she suddenly has a lot more on her hands than just a murder to solve.
Fans of the cozy mystery genre will really enjoy the short chapter style and easy readability of this excellent little mystery. Author Douglas Alexander builds plenty of charm into every page with a real commitment to his ensemble cast, and the humor and pathos of their exploits contrast well with the genuinely grisly and intense moments where crime scenes and criminals rear their heads. I enjoyed the portrayal of August Booker best: an ‘old soul’ whose work has beaten him down before he’s even hit forty, making him reminiscent of a classic noir detective from the thirties. The dialogue is always sharp and enhances characters well, and each person gets their moment to shine with their special skills, slowly changing Sarah’s perceptions of them. Overall, Killer Curriculum is a superb novel sure to impress murder mystery fans everywhere.