Murdering Americans: New York Times review
Ruth Dudley Edwards’s rollicking satirical mysteries have heretofore been confined to the British Isles, but now that MURDERING AMERICANS (Poisoned Pen, $24.95) has gotten around to American academia, we can expect to hear howls from the heartland. Through some colossal error in administrative judgment, a liberal arts college in Indiana has invited Baroness Ida Troutbeck, the foul-mouthed, politically iconoclastic and altogether endearing heroine of this series, to grace its campus as a visiting professor. Once in residence, Lady Troutbeck (who insists on being called Jack) finds reason to investigate the behavior of the school provost and the suspicious death of the woman’s predecessor. But the guilty pleasure of this farce is the spectacle of Jack tearing down the precepts of political correctness honored on American campuses, like diversity studies and the tortured nomenclature that designates Indians as “First Citizens.” “I like amusing and constructive anarchy,” Jack says, pausing in her efforts to stir up a student insurrection. Well, so do we, and no one brings down the temple with more outrageous wit and style than Ruth Dudley Edwards.
Praise for Killing the Emperors:
Having cut a swathe through the British establishment with her satirical novels, Dudley Edwards fixes her sights on American academia. Her protagonist, the outspoken rightwinger Baroness Troutbeck, accepts the post of distinguished visiting professor at an Indiana university, where she finds both staff and students ensnared in the sort of politically correct tangle that would turn the most knee-jerk liberal into a savage reactionary. Undaunted by the suspicious death of the provost, the baroness takes on the thought police with her customary aplomb. An entertaining, provocative read.
A taste of some of the flak David Cameron can expect from Right-wingers when he convenes the party conference at Blackpool next month. The Marquess of Salisbury gave a warm tribute to his friend, Ruth Dudley Edwards, at the launch of her latest whodunit novel, Murdering Americans, at the Policy Exchange last night but was less effusive about the Tory leaders. Robert Cranborne, a patrician Tory, dismissed the current “liberal regime” of David Cameron, and praised Lady Troutbeck, the heroine of the novel, for being a “peer of high Tory principles and pronounced Sapphic tendencies”. Cranborne did once famously compare himself to “an ill-trained spaniel”.