"Freshman Murders – A Residue Class Mystery:" A Review
By Dennis G. Cadena
"Truth will come to sight; murder cannot be hid long" – "Merchant of Venice," Act ii, Sc. 2
The recipe for a compelling murder mystery is scarcely mysterious: consummate hubristic villainy blended with dashes of fascinating characters of divers backgrounds and avocations, pinches of perplexing puzzles to solve, and slices of near total despair revived phoenix-like by daring ingenuity keener than a razor’s edge. Gerald Weinberg’s "Freshman Murders" delivers all of this and more in an artful concoction of corporate intrigue and homicidal mayhem set in the presumptively serene world of academe. The protagonist, mathematics Professor Josh Rosemont – already intensely engaged in assisting government prosecutors in decrypting the financial records of a nefarious corporation under an ever-looming trial deadline– becomes a reluctant detective in a set of gruesome murders perpetrated around the confines of Hurlesburg State University. Josh, however, although deftly wily and capable, is not a lone omniscient sleuth. He has the inestimable support of his loving wife Carmela, an anthropology professor and former police detective, as well as that of a multicultural collection of brilliant young researchers and students. As the plot unfolds, it is perfectly seasoned with both surprising suspects and nearly overwhelming obstacles and challenges to be overcome. From soup to nuts, "Freshman Murders" is one deliciously satisfying meal of a novel that, even to its very last bite, remains a thoroughly tasty treat with a curtain-closing line to be savored for many days after.
I encourage any and all to pick up "Freshman Murders" – a murder mystery meal from which you will find yourself leaving the table especially well sated.
The time demands / Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and willing hands – Josiah Gilbert Holland
Many technologists employ in their work the notion of a “just noticeable difference.” But how do we react, and how should we react, when confronting a highly noticeable difference in another human being? And how can or should that other human being react to our reactions? These intriguing questions about individual differences to individual differences embody the heart of the engaging and thought-provoking novel “The Hands of God” by Gerald M. Weinberg. The young protagonist in the novel, Pamela, lost both hands as a very young child in a horrific accident that killed her mother. Left to be raised by an abusive, belittling grandfather, who attempts to keep Pamela hidden from the world, she nevertheless learns how to cope with her situation. Even more importantly, she learns to develop a surprisingly unique set of talents in her isolation. It is Pamela’s burgeoning gifts that are the basis of her eventual escape from her hostile home, embarking her on an adventure outside the narrow world she inhabited for so much of her life. There she meets many different people, some of whom treat her with great respect, some who do not, but each of whom have their own ideas about what Pamela should be doing with her developing abilities – abilities on which an ever-expanding set of people come to place critical and even life-and-death importance. How Pamela learns to cope with these pressured-filled situations, learns true discernment, and learns personal responsibility with respect to her own destiny constitutes the major arc of this tale. “The Hands of God” is a story that, via intriguing and unconventional characters and unexpected situations, does what only the best kind of story can do: help a reader see that each of us is different in our own way and must learn to cope with those differences in the most humanly authentic manner we can. As such, I enthusiastically recommend “The Hands of God” to readers young and old alike. It is an inspiring tale that will truly captivate your heart and mind and soul.