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Samantha Dawson’s life is going exactly as she planned, well almost. The doctor she’s married was actually her gynecologist; their child is actually his daughter, her stepdaughter; and her dream job of teaching philosophy at a university has actualized as a job in a dysfunctional Queer Studies program. So maybe not a perfect life, but, in relative terms, things are going her way. That is, until the chair of her department, Alexandra Turnbull, winds up dead in her hotel room. Samantha Dawson and the Mystery of the Apple, tells the story of Samantha Dawson’s quest to discover the murderer. With the list of possible suspects including a seething right wing conservative to her gay male colleague, Samantha is forced to investigate more than just a death. Accompanied by her eleven year old stepdaughter, M.C., Samantha is drawn into an academic mystery that spans not just the murky sexual life of her now dead mentor, but also the life and loves of the famous feminist Gertrude Stein. In the process, she learns that human relationships are a lot more complicated than her academic background had previously suggested. Tracking down the murderer leads Samantha into a sordid and sometimes petty maze of human relationships, sexual politics and academic intrigues. It might not be the perfect life, but it certainly was interesting.

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