Monday, March 30, 2009

MYSTERY MONDAYS REVIEW: Publish or Perish by Margot Kinberg

MysteryMondaysLogoI "met" Margot Kinberg through Facebook, when she contacted me after some unsuccessful attempts to leave comments on my blog. (Thanks a lot, Blogger...) I believe she wanted to comment on my review of Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie. Christie is one of Kinberg's biggest writing influences, as I could tell from reading her first book, Publish or Perish...

Publish or Perish cover
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pub. Date: Dec. 2008, Strategic Book Publishing
Hardcover, 212 pages
Source/FTC Disclosure: I purchased my copy of this book after the author recommended it to me. I was in no way compensated for this review and my opinions are my own.
What is the price of success? How far would you go to achieve your goals and what would you be willing to sacrifice? Enter the world of success at Tilton University, where publishing means everything, and some people are willing to do anything to get ahead. For graduate student Nick Merrill, the price of success is his life. For former police detective-turned-professor Joel Williams, Nick's murder is an irresistible puzzle as he discovers that more than one person stood to gain by Merrill's death. As Williams uncovers the truth, he finds that even those closest to Nick were willing to sacrifice him.


While not one of the most complicated mysteries I've ever read, I enjoyed Publish or Perish and am glad that Margot Kinberg contacted me. The book is an easy read, moves pretty quickly, and is definitely laid out in the manner of an Agatha Christie. Kinberg sets the scene with many pages devoted to the story before Nick's murder actually takes place, so you get a feel for all the possible suspects, and naturally there is more than one. Is it Nick's advisor who is accused of stealing Nick's software? Or is it Angel, the girlfriend who caught Nick with another advisor at Tilton University? What about Rose, who would do anything to win the fellowship that had been awarded to Nick?

Those questions lead me to my biggest issue with this book. It was too easy to figure out who the murderer was, in my opinion. In the end, it was almost too obvious who stood to benefit the most by Nick's death. Of course, that's mostly because of another *major* event that takes place, but I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who want to read this :-) I really liked the basis for the plot of this book--while I'm not sure if anyone would truly commit murder in these circumstances, it made for an interesting story. You really wanted to see certain people "get theirs" in the end. All-in-all I thought it was a good debut for Kinberg--minus one star for being too easy to figure out.

4 stars


  1. I think that with so many mysteries on the market nowadays it takes a brilliant author to come up with a plot that holds mysteries a reader truly cannot solve until the end. But if the writing is good the book still holds it's value as it seems to be the case here.

  2. Lilly, you have a very good point--thanks! I realize that I should have been a little clearer by what I meant. Not only did I figure out the culprit easily, but I figured it out and felt certain about it very early on in the story. It was almost too obvious in this case.


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