Shell Game by Sarah R. Shaber
A Professor Simon Shaw Mystery (Professor Simon Shaw Mysteries)

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Professor Simon Shaw, Pulitzer Prize winner and sometime sleuth, encounters his oldest corpse yet: Uwharrie Man, who died fourteen thousand years ago on the banks of Badin Lake in North Carolina. But Uwharrie Man isn't the murder victim in Simon's latest case. That victim is Simon's closest friend, archaeologist David Morgan. Simon is convinced that David died because he came between factions struggling for control of Uwharrie Man's bones---the Lumbee Indian Nation, who want to rebury the skeleton, and the archaeologists, who want to study and display it.
Tension escalates as the Lumbee insist that Uwharrie Man is Native American, while the archaeologists suspect he was Caucasian and push for the opportunity to investigate further. Simon's colleague in detection, police sergeant Otis Gates, disagrees with Simon's theory about David's death, straining their friendship to its limits and leaving Simon to hunt for the killer alone.
Adding to Simon's burdens, he has been chosen to be the executor of David's will and must deal with Morgan's difficult sister, who is Gates's prime suspect. Throughout, Simon single-mindedly pursues his friend's killer, whose identity shocks everyone, Simon most of all.
Shell Game is Shaber's best entry yet in a solid and always delightful academic cozy series.

About Sarah R. Shaber

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Sarah R. Shaber lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she works in advertising and public relations. She is the winner of the 7th Annual St. Martin's Malice Domestic contest for the Best First Traditional Mystery.
Published March 6, 2007 by Minotaur Books. 224 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shell Game

Kirkus Reviews

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David Morgan, 42, a North Carolina academic whose important life decisions have turned on which boots to pack for an archaeology dig, is fatally whacked with a geode for reasons beyond the understanding of Detective-Sergeant Otis Gates and Morgan’s best friend, Pulitzer Prize–winning Shaw.

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Publishers Weekly

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Shaber's brisk fifth Simon Shaw cozy (after 2004's The Bug Funeral ) obliges the Raleigh, N.C., history professor to apply his forensic skills to the murder of a close friend and colleague.

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Shaber explores, in a most balanced manner, both sides of this very real, very controversial issue as Simon Shaw researches and thinks through the computer research his friend was doing even as he died.

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