Ruth Dudley Edwards
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The Informer: The Life and Art of Liam O'Flaherty

Murdering Americans — Tangled Web review 

Another delightful satire by the author of a string of novels, each using the mystery genre to carry her outrageously iconoclastic themes. In this book, she assaults 'political correctness' in a big way, specifically that as inflicted upon the American educational system, but with plenty of digs and parallels with Britain.

As usual, her heroine is Baroness 'Jack' Troutbeck, the eccentric and forthright Mistress of a Cambridge college, who is bi-sexual, cigar- smoking and whose constant companion is her foul-mouthed parrot. Dame Troutbeck is offered a 'freebie' semester as a Visiting Professor in a small-town university in Indiana, who are under the misapprehension that she is a radical socialist like the majority of those 'loonie-lefts' who now run many American seats of so-called learning – to quote, 'academia in the United States is now dominated by knee-jerk liberalism, contempt for Western civilisation and the institutionalisation of insane political correctness'.

She is soon as appalled by what is going on there, as the college grandees are at her blatantly-right-wing attitudes. The college administration has been hi-jacked by a woman Principal and her sinister enforcer, who have Freeman State University in an iron grip of radical, but avaricious liberals whom she suspects have murdered the previous sensible Provost. A subversive student group is attempting to protest at the regime which is denying them a proper education, in favour of 'dumbing-down', heavily censored teaching and positive discrimination carried to such extraordinary lengths that a young white male is looked upon as a pariah. The book is peppered with accounts of true examples of PC gone mad, such as the official who was sacked because he used the word 'niggardly' in a report!

Jack Troutbeck rallies the forces of dissent, even to the extent of toting a pistol; more deaths occur, but of course right triumphs in the end. Though a rumbustious and often farcical tale, there is no doubt that Ruth Dudley Edwards is using the story to grind a damned great axe and it is apparent that she views the rise of such PC as a real threat to both education and the Western way of life. The many quotes she slips in from learned philosophers on the subject shows that she has taken the issue very seriously and that it is more than just a cynical satire meant to entertain.

Tangled Web


Killing the Emperors

Killing The Emperors: UK paperback edition published in July 2013 by Allison & Busby. Published in 2012 in the US by Poisoned Pen Press; published in the UK by Allison & Busby.

All Ruth's fiction is now back in print.

Ruth at Poisoned Pen Bookshop in Arizona, run by her editor, Barbara Peters, who is married to her publisher at Poisoned Pen, Rob Rosenwald.

‘This blithe series puts itself on the side of the angels by merrily, and staunchly, subverting every tenet of political correctness.’
Patricia Craig in The Independent
All novels, except Murdering Americans, are available in BBC Audio Books, read by the brilliant Bill Wallis.


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Ruth Dudley Edwards
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